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Graduate Course Offerings for Fall 2009

MVGA 0910             Maintenance-Medieval      0 Credits                               (Staff)                                     Call # 12530                          
MVGA 8500             Independent Research       2 Credits                                (Staff)                                     Call # 13063
MVGA 8501             Independent Research       1 Credit                                  (Staff)                                     Call # 13068

ENGA 5211 (3)   Introduction to Old English                                                  (Chase)                                                  T 5:30-7:30
This course will introduce students to Old English (Anglo-Saxon) language and literature, as well as palaeography and codicology of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.

ENGA 6230 (3) Poems of the Pearl Manuscript                                               (Erler)                                                     R 5:30-7:30
We will read in Middle English the four important poems which this unique manuscript contains:
Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Products of a movement called the Alliterative Revival, they share a strong interest in complex poetic forms and in visual decoration. Certain themes recur: all of them meditate on the range of possible responses to change. We will  set the poems in their social context (the north west region of England) and will speculate about their audience and their author.

ENGA 6235 (3) Medieval Travel Narrative                                                        (Yeager)                                                 R 3:30-5:30
In a project which brought together the greatest minds and resources of the western world, the crusading movements inspired subsequent generations of English and western European writers to create some of the most beautiful and, at times, most brutal romances and histories ever written.  This course will focus on a range of traditions, including the romance, Richard, Coeur de Lion in light of contemporary chronicler, Roger of Howden’s, Chronica.  Pilgrim and merchant narratives, from Egeria to Margery Kempe, and Mandeville to Marco Polo, will provide a contrast to romance and chronicle modes.  We will be especially concerned with the ways in which chivalric quest came to influence the romance and chronicle genres.  This course is designed to contextualize travel within the medieval world as we read and discuss these texts with a specific set of concerns: salvation, conquest, race, and identity.
HSGA 6072 (4)  Medieval Law & Society                                                         (Mueller)                                                 F 4:45-7:15
The medieval period consisted of a prolonged “Age without Jurists”, which lasted from about 500 AD to the 1100s. Subsequently, the West witnessed a rapid “Revival of Jurisprudence”, in the sense the term is generally understood today.   Medieval people resorted to ordeals, duels, and judicial torture to determine guilt and innocence, but also invented the modern notions of due process, inalienable individual rights, and trial by jury. Through the study of recent scholarly literature, the course will explore the diversity of medieval legal institutions, discuss historical causes of fundamental legal change, and investigate the interplay between societal acceptance and actual implementation of medieval norms.

HSGA 6152 (4) Medieval Women & Family                                                    (Kowaleski)                                           M 2:00-4:30
This course surveys recent historiography on the roles and status of women in medieval society, as well as the structures and dynamics of medieval families.  Among the debates to be explored are the effect on medieval society of the Christian Church’s teachings on virginity, sex, and marriage, and the influence of geography (northern vs Mediterranean Europe), environment (village, town, and convent), and status (noble, bourgeois, or peasant) on the work, family role, and authority of women. Chronologically the course will range from the early Christian period to the Renaissance. Recent scholarly work on nuns, mystics, and beguines will be examined, and readings will also cover different approaches to the study of women and family, including the methodologies of literary scholars, demographers, feminists, and legal historians.

HSGA 7025 (4) PSM:Medieval Religious Cultures                                        (Gyug)                                                    T  2:00-4:30
The proseminar provides an introduction to significant issues in the area and the basic tools for research. Students who continue in the linked seminar in the spring 2010, HSGA 8025, will write research papers on selected topics in the area. In the fall course, major topics and debates in the study of medieval religious cultures will be considered through works on the cult of saints, popular religion, devotional practices, religious identities, and questions of dissent. In addition to introductions to sub-disciplines such as hagiography and liturgy, research methods and problems will be considered through the close reading of selected primary sources. Most classes will include Latin translation exercises.

LATN 5220 (3) Pagans and Christians in Latin Imperial Texts                 (Sogno)                                                  R 4:15-6:15 (LC)  
This course offers an overview of Imperial Latin prose texts from the third to the fifth century and aims at exploring two main related questions, namely how the texts of this period depict the complex relationship between Christians and the so-called “Pagans”, and what the relationship of Christian literature is to traditional Roman literature. The material will be organized chronologically and thematically. Among the texts and genres that we will examine are martyr literature (the Passio Perpetuae), Christian apology (Tertullian), classical and Christian historiography (Ammianus, Lactantius, Jerome), biography (the Historia Augusta, the Life of Antony), autobiography (Augustine’s Confessions), and the erudite dialogue (Macrobius). All primary sources will be read in Latin; any other arrangements must be discussed with the instructor.

MVGA 5214 (4) Literature and Politics in Medieval France                       (Dudash)                                               M 5:00-7:30           
In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will explore the intersection of literature, politics, and literary polemics in strife-ridden, medieval France.  Thematic strands may include the debate over the role and meaning of literature, the Hundred Year's War, and French civil war.  Close readings of a variety of different literary genres (epistle, prose, poetry, etc.) will be informed by contemporary scholarship and analyses of the cultural, historical, and socio-political contexts in which these works were written and with which they sought to contend.

PHGA 7041 (3) The Nominalism of John Buridan                                         (Klima)                                                   R 2:15-4:15
This course examines what is most intriguing to contemporary readers in Buridan's medieval philosophical system: his nominalist account of the relationship between language, thought and reality. The main focus of the discussion is Buridan's deployment of the Ockhamist conception of a "mental language" for mapping the complex structures of written and spoken human
languages onto a parsimoniously construed reality[, comparing his conception with that of other nominalists, such as William Ockham, Albert of Saxony, Nicholas d’Oresme, Gabriel Biel, and Peter of Ailly, and realists, such as Peter of Spain, William of Sherwood, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, Walter Burley, and others]. The discussion will be based on my recently
published monograph on John Buridan (Oxford, 2009), along with selected primary and secondary sources.

RSGA 5300 (3) History of Christianity I                                                           (Harkins)                                               T 5:15-7:45
This course will provide an introduction to the major historical and theological developments that shaped ancient and medieval Christianity.  Topics and figures to be treated include early Christian practice and ministry, Roman persecution and martyrdom, ancient apologetics and heresy, relations with Jews and Judaism, the Trinitarian and Christological controversies and early doctrinal formulation, the Cappadocian Fathers, Augustine of Hippo, medieval Scholasticism and the rise of the university, Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Lombard, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham.   

RSGA 6370 (3) St Maximus the Confessor                                                          (Behr)                                                  W 9-11:30
St Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662) stands at the highpoint of the Greek patristic tradition, summing up the earlier strands of theological reflection - the exegetical tradition of the Alexandrians, the Christology of Chalcedon and the neo-Chalcedonians, the apophaticism and cosmic vision of Dionysius, and the spiritual writings of Evagrius, Macarius and Diadochus - into a remarkable synthesis, unsurpassed in later Byzantine theology, and only beginning to be appreciated again in recent decades. After an introduction to his background, each week will be devoted to a different text of Maximus, covering a variety of genres and topics. The class will be held in Seminar format, with each student expected to lead discussions, to write a book review of a major study of Maximus, and a research paper on a topic of interest. A knowledge of Greek is desirable, but not essential (texts will be read in translation).


Summer 2009 Courses

MVGA 5800 (4) Women in Medieval Religious Life                                      (Oliva)                                                    I, TTh 1-4:30
This course surveys the religious lives of women in western Europe during the Middle Ages (c.600-1500) by focusing on both the formal, traditional paths of spirituality open to women, as well as the less formal, more ambiguous options which women carved out for themselves. Because developments in early Christianity so influenced the later medieval Church, this class will start by examining early Christian writers and women, and then proceed in a generally chronological way.

LAGA 5093 (3) Ecclesiastical Latin                                                                  (Clark)                                                    II, MW, 6-9
Study of the grammatical structure, form and vocabulary of Church Latin, focusing on the Bible, the Church Fathers, and medieval thinkers. (Prereq: Latin for Reading or instructor permission)

FRGA 5090   French for Reading                                                                   (Staff)                                                     I, MW 1-4
ITGA 5090   Italian for Reading                                                                     (Staff)                                                     I, TTH 6-9
LAGA 5090   Latin for Reading  (AT LC)                                                     (Owesny)                                                I, MW 6-9
SPGA 5090   Spanish for Reading                                                                  (Hoar)                                                     I, MW 6-9

Last modified: April 13, 2010
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