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Graduate Course Offerings for Fall 2010

MVST 0910 Maintenance 0 credits (Staff)
MVST 8500 Independent Research 2 Credits (Staff)
MVST 8501 Independent Research 1 Credit Call # 11672 (Staff)

MVST 5070 (4) Manuscript Culture Call # 11673 (Hafner) T 4:45-7:15
This course will examine manuscript culture from the third through the fifteenth centuries, with particular attention to questions of textual transmission and illuminated adornment. Issues examined will include: the principles, materials, and study of medieval manuscripts and primary documents; the problems of evaluation of the cultural contexts of their production and use; manuscript illumination; the resources of codicology and palaeography; the preparation and evaluation of modern editions; the assessment of readership and patronage; philology and the materialism of the Middle Ages; or the development of libraries. The course will include visits to local manuscript libraries, such as Special Collections at Walsh Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts at Columbia University, the Rare Book Collection of the NY Public Library, and the Morgan Library. Students will have the opportunity to do hands-on work with primary sources. Their final projects will be tailored to their research areas and expertise and must be based on the study of an original manuscript.

ENGL 5208 (3) The English Language 1154-1776 Call # 13259 (Chase) T 1:30-3:30
This course will deal with the linguistics and sociolinguistics of Middle English and Early Modern English. The beginning date, 1154, is the year of the last entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the year Henry II, the first Angevin king, acceded to the throne. It is as good a date as any to mark the demise of Old English and the beginning of the Middle English period. 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence, marks another turning point, when Early Modern English began to become the English(es) of the present day. This course, which should be of special interest to students of medieval and early modern literature, will examine the ways in which the language developed from the twelfth through the eighteenth centuries. Topics will include dialects and standardization, lexicon, grammar and syntax, phonological change (The Great Vowel Shift), stress and prosody, palaeography and codicology of Middle English manuscripts, and early printing, all with an aim to better understanding and appreciating the literature of these periods.

ENGA 6231 3) Late Medieval Women: Reading, Texts, Audiences Call # TBD (Erler) R 3:30-5:30
The course will study women as producers and consumers of literature, that is as writers and readers. Instead of examining women as subjects of literary representation, we will use non-literary disciplines--social history, bibliography, iconography--to recover elements of women's lives in order to understand their involvement with reading. Like much current medieval scholarship, the class will employ cultural perspectives in which literature, history, and visual materials illuminate each other.

ENGL 5264 (3) Chaucer Call # 14481 (Little) R 2:30-4:30
This course is an introduction to Chaucer's poetry as well as to trends in medieval literary criticism. The goal is not coverage by any means, but to touch on some of the concerns that have animated Chaucer studies: Chaucer's representation of the social world, religion, gender, and the self. Any analysis of Chaucer's writing implicitly or explicitly raises a question about the most responsible approach to texts that are now over 600 years old. Indeed, this question has remained constant since the beginning of Chaucer studies. We will, therefore, be very interested in what it has meant and what it means now to read Chaucer historically. The course will begin with a discussion of what constitutes historical criticism, and then will turn to the subtleties of the texts themselves. No prior knowledge of Middle English or medieval history is assumed, but it is recommended that those who are unfamiliar with this period look at Maurice Keen's English Society in the Later Middle Ages or May McKisack's The Fourteenth Century before the class begins.

HIST 6024 (4) Medieval Chronicles Call # 13501 (Gyug) M 2:30-5:00
Medieval historical narratives have often provided the framework for periodization or the evidence from which medieval attitudes and values have been reconstructed. In the course, a close reading of several medieval narratives and related secondary literature will contribute to an understanding of the genre's development, the influence of chronicles on the writing of history, and the uses of such sources. Classes will include translation from Latin

HIST 6132 (4) Medieval Law and the Family Call # 12777 (Mueller) F 2:30-5:00
Medieval popes, bishops, and priests exercised spiritual and juridical powers over a wide array of matters relating to family life. Church laws insisted on the sanctity of unborn and newborn offspring, the sacramental importance of baptism and marriage, and a privileged role for legitimate birth in questions of inheritance, eligibility to office and legal remedy. Moreover, in establishing rules that defined, promoted, and implemented the principles of proper Christian conduct, ecclesiastical authorities often found themselves in conflict with the customs of traditional lay society. The course is designed to focus on the legal dimensions of this struggle by examining canonical theory as well as judicial and confessional practice.

HIST 7056 (4) PSM: Medieval Political Cultures Call # 12779 (Paul) R 4:45-7:15
This course, the first part of a two-semester proseminar/seminar sequence will introduce students to recent debates and different approaches to cultures of power and political processes in western Europe in the central middle ages. Among the many topics we might consider are: lordship, status and the sources of political authority; the origins and significance of consultative assemblies; the rituals and rhetoric of courtliness and persuasion; the relationship between rulership and sanctity; and the rise of accountability. Through in-class presentations and discussions, students will become familiar with a wide range of source material, from diplomatic and documentary collections to historical narratives and courtly literature. With this solid foundation in the current historiography and available research tools, students will be expected to identity a suitable topic for a sustained research project. Completing this project will be the objective of the seminar course offered in Spring 2011.

PHIL 7041 (3) The Nominalism of John Buridan Call # 11398 (Klima) F 3:00-5:00
John Buridan (c. 1300-1362) worked out perhaps the most comprehensive account of nominalism in the history of Western thought, the philosophical doctrine according to which the only universals in reality are "names" (nomina): the common terms of our language and the common concepts of our minds. This course examines what is most intriguing to contemporary philosophers 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. There will be contrasts and comparisons with relevant ideas of contemporary philosophers as well, such as Fodor (mental language), Kaplan (demonstratives, singular reference), Kripke (essentialism, possible worlds, rigid designators), Quine (ontological commitment, nominalism), and others. The discussion will be based on my recently published monograph on John Buridan, along with selected primary and secondary sources.

THEO 5230 (3) Advanced (Cappadocian) Greek (Dunning) W 5:30- 8:00
This Greek reading course will focus on intermediate- and advanced-level selections from the Cappadocian Fathers. A rapid review of syntax and grammar will be provided. PhD students working in late antiquity are strongly encouraged to take the corresponding course in Cappadocian Theology, which will be offered by Dr. Demacopoulos on the same day. (This is not, however, a requirement for enrolling in the course.) Students should have at least two semesters (or the equivalent) of formal study in ancient Greek as a prerequisite.

THEO 6365 (3) The Cappadocian Fathers (Demacopoulos) W 10:00-12:30
This course is designed to provide a thorough introduction to the writings, interaction, and significance of the Cappadocian fathers. Although we will cover a number of theological, literary, and scholarly themes, we will pay special attention to their writings (and the scholarly debates about their writings) on anthropology, gender, asceticism, philanthropy, and the Nicene cause. Students will provide two in-class presentations about independent reading and an article-length research paper. PhD students working in late antiquity are strongly encouraged to take the corresponding course in Cappadocian Greek, which will be offered by Dr. Dunning later the same day. The two courses have been redeveloped to be taught in conjunction with one another.

THEO 6426 (3) St. Augustine (Lienhard) R 2:30 -5:00
Jaroslav Pelikan adapts Whitehead's remark about philosophy's being a series of footnotes to Plato and wonders whether western theology is a series of footnotes to Augustine. This, at least, can be said: from the fifth century until the introduction of Aristotle into Europe, western theology was a conversation with Augustine. The Reformation can be interpreted as a return to Augustine; and in Jansenism, Catholics met a similar proposal. The "nouvelle théologie," and Vatican II, which it influenced, again encountered Augustine. The goal of this course is a critical understanding and appreciation of the life, writings, and thought of St. Augustine. The means to this goal is a guided reading and analysis of some of his writings and, secondarily, of some modern books about him. The following works will be read in their entirety: the Confessions, Soliloquies, On the Free Choice of the Will, Faith and the Creed, On Christian Doctrine, and On the Spirit and the Letter. The class will also read To Simplician I, selections from On the Trinity, and other texts from Augustine's writings on the questions of grace, free choice, original sin, freedom, and predestination.

FREN 5090 (0) French for Reading Call # 12868 (Harris) T 4:15-6:45

Last modified: November 15, 2011
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