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Course Offerings for Fall 2004


MVGA 0910 Maintenance-Medieval
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 11403)
MVGA 8500 Independent Research
2 Credits (Staff) (Call # 12855)
MVGA 8501 Independent Research
1 Credit (Staff) (Call # 12856)

MVGA 5049 Inventing Christian Art
4 Credits (Bowes) (Call # 12875) Thursdays 4:45-7:15
This course surveys the origins of Christian visual culture and its historiography, from the 2nd c. through the 6th centuries AD. It will inquire how Christians crafted their own visual and material culture from classical traditions, addressing questions such as the use of imperial iconography, the changing nature of Roman viewing, the problem of late antique ‘style,’ and the creation of a Christian architecture and urbanism. We will examine the ways in which visual culture shaped a new idea of Christian “community,” even as it maintained a constant dialogue with a still-largely non-Christian world. The course will also critically examine the various theoretical models used to understand these problems, and the ways in which scholars have themselves ‘invented’ Christian art as part of larger historiographic projects.

ENGA 5202 Anglo-Saxon Identities
3 Credits(Wogan-Browne)(Call # 12863)Mondays 5:30-7:30
This single-semester course enables you to study literary and cultural issues while actively learning enough Old English to read in the original with pleasure. We will look at selected texts from among the magnificent poetry and prose composed in England before the Norman conquest and consider such issues as: who are the Anglo-Saxons, what models of human conduct and achievement are valued in Old English texts, what ethical and religious dilemmas are engaged, what modes of literary composition, delivery and reception prevail. Longer texts will be read partly in translation, partly in Old English. The course is open to final year undergraduates and graduate students wishing to begin study of Old English.

ENGA 5264 Chaucer
3 Credits(Little)(Call # 12864)Wednesdays 5:30-7:30
This seminar will address the range of Chaucer’s poetic work, from his shorter occasional verse and selected dream poems to most of The Canterbury Tales; depending on student interest and experience, it may include portions of Troilus and Criseyde as well. Recent trends in Chaucer criticism will provide the framework for a close, collaborative study of what makes this poetry so pivotal in the development of English authorship and so influential in the evolution of reading and critical practices. A chief goal, thus, will be for us to situate Chaucer’s texts against the circumstances and agenda through which he is read, understood as an historical process itself. For example, we will ask whether (how?) the social contextualization of Chaucer in current studies reshapes our appreciation of his poetry and sense of his authorial identity. While I do not presume any prior experience with Middle English, we will work to become comfortable (and even enjoy!) reading the poetry in its original form. Assignments will include two essays and a class presentation, plus responsibility for formulating discussion questions and responding to criticism.

HSGA 6024 Medieval Chronicles
4 Credits(Gyug)(Call # 12851)Mondays 4:30-7:00
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.

HSGA 6153 Medieval Economy and Society
4 Credits(Kowaleski)(Call # 12852)Tuesdays 2:30-5:00
This course explores major themes in the social and economic history of medieval Europe, including the impact of the “barbarian” migrations, technology and social change, agriculture and rural life, the commercial revolution, the Black Death, social revolts, craft guilds and the textile industry, and changing notions of poverty and charity, among other topics. The different methodological approaches to these issues will also be highlighted in examining not only “schools” of history (such as the Annales school, the Toronto school, prosopography, and feminist analysis) but also the contributions of other disciplinary approaches, including archaeology, demography, environmental science, historical geography, and numismatics.

HSGA 7055 PROSEM: Medieval France
4 Credits(Smail)(Call # 12853)Wednesdays 4:45-7:15
This is the first half of a year-long proseminar-seminar sequence that will result in a seminar paper/M.A. thesis based on research in primary sources. The proseminar is designed to introduce students to a range of sources available from medieval France. The course, therefore, is not about medieval France per se, since the sources can lead students in directions that have little to do with anything that one might care to call the history of medieval France. Particular attention will be paid to the published primary sources that can serve as the basis for a seminar paper to be written in the spring of 2005, though students who take the proseminar are not required to take the seminar. A guided visit to the New York Public Library in late September will introduce students to some manuscript sources, and students will also be encouraged to explore manuscript collections in the New York area and elsewhere. Several weeks will also be devoted to microfilms of southern French materials in my own collection. Coverage of the early middle ages is not a major goal of this proseminar, though students who wish to work on the period before 1100 will have the opportunity to do so. The chronological focus will instead be on the high and later middle ages.

LAGA 5542 Medieval Latin Literature
3 Credits(Clark)(Call # 12817)Thursdays 2:30-4:30
Antiquity will serve as the starting point for an examination of the history and development of the Latin language from Biblical, Christian, and Patristic, through Late, to Medieval Latin in its various guises. Readings are based on representative selections taken from the broad and varied corpus of the religious and secular literature of the Middle Ages. A reading knowledge of Latin is, of course, essential, but it is assumed that facility with the language will vary widely from student to student.

PHGA 7045 Aquinas: Being and Essence
3 Credits(Klima)(Call # 12891)Fridays 2:00-4:00
This course provides a survey of Aquinas’ metaphysics, based on a close reading of his “On Being and Essence” together with Cajetan’s commentary (both available in English). Readings will also include Anthony Kenny’s recent book “Aquinas on Being” and further selections from the modern literature. Main discussion topics will include the analogy of being, essence and existence in substances and in accidents, the problem of universals, the principle of individuation, unity of substantial form, the immateriality of the intellect, immaterial beings as subsistent forms, the real distinction of essence and existence in creatures, divine simplicity. The course will be designed to help students prepare for the medieval comprehensive exam.

PHGA 5003 Natural Law Ethics
3 Credits (Koterski)(Call # 12858)Wednesdays 11:30-1:20
A study of the principles of natural law ethics and its applications to selected current moral problems. The course includes a treatment of the historical origins of the theory of natural law, with special emphasis on the relevant texts of Thomas Aquinas from the Summa Theologiae. Among the topics treated will be the relation of morality to positive law and to divine law, the nature and limits of authority, the common good, the nature of the human person, virtue and vice, and such principles as subsidiarity, double effect, and finality.

RSGA 8290 History/Theology of the New Testament Canon
3 Credits(Lienhard)(Call # 12889)Thursdays 2:30-4:30
This seminar treats the canon of the New Testament both in its historical development and in its interpretation within Christian theology. The historical development is studied in detail up to A.D. 200 and the writings of Irenaeus, and then selectively to the emergence of a definitive canon of 27 books in West and East. Topics treated are: the canon of the Old Testament; the Septuagint; dating the New Testament books; the apocryphal New Testament books; the authority for truth in the Apostolic Fathers and in the Apologists, particularly Justin Martyr; Marcion and the four-fold gospel; the collection of Pauline letters; Montanism; the Muratorian Fragment; Irenaeus and the Rule of Faith; later canon lists. The theological meaning of the canon is studied in the thought of Catholic and Protestant authors of the 20th century.

Last modified: April 2, 2004
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