Curriculum

The course catalog lists all courses offered in Medieval/Renaissance Studies with the ME/R prefix, regardless of semester.

The course catalog also lists courses for credit toward the Medieval/Renaissance Studies major, regardless of department. The courses listed below are those offered with the ME/R prefix this semester.

Current Courses in Medieval Renaissance Studies

SPRING 2020 

ART HISTORY COURSES

ARTH 251: The Arts in Renaissance Italy Before and After the Black Death

Instructor: Musacchio

MR – 11:20 AM – 12:35 PM

This course surveys a selection of the arts in Renaissance Italy from circa 1300 to 1500. This period witnessed the rise of the mendicant orders, the devastation of the Black Death, the growth of civic and private patronage, and, finally, the exile of the Medici family, all of which had a profound impact on the visual arts for centuries to come. The work of major artists and workshops will be examined and contextualized within their political, social, and economic settings by readings and discussions of both contemporary texts and recent scholarship.

Distributions: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

 

ARTH 330. SEMINAR: Birth, Marriage, and Death in Renaissance Italy

Instructor: Musacchio

W  – 9:30 AM – 12:10 PM

During the Italian Renaissance, major family events like birth, marriage, and death were marked by both works of art and oftentimes elaborate rituals. In this seminar we will examine birth trays, marriage chests, painted and sculpted portraits, and funerary monuments, as well as a wide range of the domestic objects that surrounded people in their everyday life. All of these objects will be related to contemporary literature, account books, letters, and laws, as well as recent scholarship in art history, social history, and women’s studies, to provide insight into life in the Renaissance.

Seminar: Italian Renaissance Art

Prerequisites: ARTH 100 or permission of instructor;

Distributions: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

 

ARTH 247:  Introduction to Islamic Art and Architecture

Instructor: Brey

TF – 9:55 AM – 11:10 AM

During the Italian Renaissance, major family events like birth, marriage, and death were marked by both works of art and oftentimes elaborate rituals. In this seminar we will examine birth trays, marriage chests, painted and sculpted portraits, and funerary monuments, as well as a wide range of the domestic objects that surrounded people in their everyday life. All of these objects will be related to contemporary literature, account books, letters, and laws, as well as recent scholarship in art history, social history, and women’s studies, to provide insight into life in the Renaissance.

Distributions: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

 

ENGLISH COURSES

ENG 214/314. The Global Middle Ages: Stories, Ideas, Communities

Instructor: Ingallinella

TF – 9:55 AM – 11:10 AM

This course surveys literary artifacts from around the medieval world. Far from being a “dark” age, the Middle Ages were vibrant with ideas and passionate about cultural exchange and communication. Medieval men and women traveled, and their stories traveled with them. The medieval West turned the life of the Buddha into a widely popular Christianized narrative, Barlaam and Iosaphat. In the fourteenth century, three men from England, Italy, and Morocco—John Mandeville, Marco Polo, and Ibn Battuta—wrote vivid and strikingly different accounts of Persia, India, and Central Asia. How did medieval storytellers construct, support, or revolutionize a given perception of the world? In this course, we will explore key genres such as epic poetry, history writing, religious texts, travelogues, lyric, romance, narrative fiction, and theater plays. For each genre, we will discuss texts written or translated in medieval England side by side with counterparts originating in Africa, and Asia, and Europe. By the end of this course, you will (1) learn how intriguing stories moved across borders, communities, and centuries by word of mouth or on the worn folios of a manuscript; (2) be able to historicize dynamics of cultural appropriation; and (3) rethink medieval literature as a complex, fluid, and mobile system beyond hermetically sealed civilizational units.

Prerequisites: None

Distributions: LL - Language and Literature

 

ENG224: Shakespeare Part II: The Jacobean Period

Instructor: Wall-Randell

TF –12:45 PM – 2PM

A close study of plays from the later half of Shakespeare’s career. We’ll read six plays: Measure for Measure, Othello, King Lear, Pericles, The Winter's Tale, and The Tempest. The focus, first and last, will be on the close, careful, and responsive reading of these plays, working out together a sense of the meaningful and memorable experiences that they offer us. At the same time, recognizing that these great plays were written originally as scripts for performance, we will seek to learn about and to re-imagine their life on the stage, exploring their historical context, watching filmed versions oa midterm, and a final exam, and students will have the opportunity to undertake creative and performance projects.

Prerequisites: ENG 120 or permission of the instructor. 

Distributions: LL- Language and Literature; ARS -Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

 

ENG 316:  Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Dead Poetry Society

Instructor: Lynch

W – 2:30 – 5:10 PM

This Calderwood seminar in public writing will show that there is no such thing as dead poetry. In a series of weekly writing and editing exercises ranging from movie reviews to op-eds, we will explore the many ways that the great poetry of centuries past speaks directly to modern experience. We will be taught both by the poets themselves (whose eloquence will rub off on us) and each other, as each student will pick a poet whose writing she will become expert at relaying to a lay audience. By the end of the semester, not only will you be able to persuade a newspaper reader that blank verse matters as much as Twitter; you will also learn how to articulate the value of your English major to a prospective employer--and how to transmit your excitement about the latest discoveries in your field to friends and parents.

Prerequisites: Two literature courses, at least one of which at 200-level, or by permission of instructor

Distributions: LL - Language and Literature

 

 

HISTORY COURSES

HIST 213: Conquest & Crusade in the Medieval Mediterranean

Instructor: Ramseyer

MR – 9:55 AM – 11:10 AM

This course examines life in the Mediterranean from the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries through the Latin Crusades of the Holy Land in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Readings will focus on the various wars and conflicts in the region as well as the political, religious, and social structures of the great Christian and Muslim kingdoms, including the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic caliphates of the Fertile Crescent and North Africa, the Turkish emirates of Egypt and the Near East, and the Latin Crusader States. Attention will also be paid to the cultural and religious diversity of the medieval Mediterranean and the intellectual, literary, and artistic achievements of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities.

Prerequisites: None

Distributions: HS - Historical Studies

 

HIST 222: The Barbarian Kingdoms of Early Medieval Europe

Instructor: Ramseyer

MR  – 11:20 AM – 12:35 PM

This course examines the Barbarian successor states established in the fifth and sixth centuries after the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the West. It will focus primarily on the Frankish kingdom of Gaul, but will also make forays into Lombard Italy, Visigothic Spain, and Vandal North Africa. In particular, the course will look in depth at the Carolingian empire established c. 800 by Charlemagne, who is often seen as the founder of Europe, and whose empire is often regarded as the precursor of today's European Union. Political, cultural, religious, and economic developments will be given equal time.

Prerequisites: None

Distributions: HS - Historical Studies

 

MUSIC / RELIGION COURSES

 

MUS 224 | REL 224: Hildegard of Bingen

Instructors: Fontijn / Elkins

MR  2:20 PM – 3:35 PM

Please join us to explore the life and work of the 12th-century visionary of the Rhine. In addition to designing and running her own monastery on the banks of the Rhine River, Hildegard was a musician, composer, poet, linguist, theologian, preacher, herbalist, healer, linguist, architect, visual artist, and, since 2012, Saint and Doctor of the Church.   

Prerequisites: None

DistributionsARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video; REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

 

PHILOSOPHY COURSES

PHIL 221: The History of Modern Philosophy

Instructor: Walsh

MR – 11:20 AM – 12:35 PM

A study of central themes in seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy. We will look at Western European thinkers, as well as their critics, including several heretofore under-studied women philosophers of the period. We will also look to regions outside of Europe to see how thinkers elsewhere were, or were not, preoccupied by similar questions. We will engage with questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and morals. Among the topics: the nature of substance, the relationship between mind and body, the limits of reason, determinism and freedom, the relationship between gender and knowledge, and whether philosophy can help us live the good life.

Prerequisites: None

Distributions: EC - Epistemology and Cognition; HS – Historical Studies

 

SPANISH COURSES

SPAN 252: The Making of Spain: Christians, Jews and Muslins

Instructor: Ramos

TF – 11:20 AM – 12:35 PM

A study of selected works, creators and historical events that shaped Spain's multiethnic and linguistically diverse identity from the 10th to the 17th centuries. Authors and topics explored in this class include El Cantar de Mío Cid, Alfonso X el Sabio and the Spain of the "three cultures", the poetry of Hebrew and Arabic Spain, the Reconquista, and the writing of American Chronicles, as well as some examples of the work of Garcilaso de la Vega, Fray Luis de León, Santa Teresa, San Juan de la Cruz, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca.

Prerequisites: SPAN 241 or SPAN 242 or equivalent (AP 5) or by permission of the instructor.

Distributions: LL: Language and Literature

 

SPAN 302. Cervantes

Instructor: Arraiza-Rivera

R – 9:55 AM – 12:35 PM

A close reading of the Quixote with particular emphasis on Cervantes' invention of the novel form: creation of character, comic genius, hero versus anti-hero, levels of reality and fantasy, and history versus fiction.

Prerequisites: Open to senior and junior majors or by permission of the instructor.

Distributions: Foreign Language;  LL: Language and Literature