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Course Offerings for Fall 2005


MVGA 0910 Maintenance-Medieval
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 10667)
MVGA 8500 Independent Research
2 Credits (Staff) (Call # 13050)
MVGA 8501 Independent Research
1 Credit (Staff) (Call # 13051)

MVGA 5070 Manuscript Culture
4 Credits (Rowe) (Call # 12947) Wednesdays 4:45-7:15
In the age before print, every book was a unique production, hand-crafted to suit the needs and expectations of its audience. Beyond the texts therein, the scripts, images and material qualities of the medieval manuscript provide a window on to the social and cultural history of the Middle Ages. In this course we will examine manuscript culture from the second through the fifteenth centuries, with particular attention to illuminated manuscripts. Issues examined will include: the transition from roll to codex format in the early Christian period; the place of illuminated manuscripts in monastic culture and Christian missionizing; the enthusiasm for secular romances in the twelfth century and later; the development of the Book of Hours and its role in lay devotion in the fifteenth century; the place of reading in female religious and social life. The course will include visits to local manuscript libraries including the New York Public Library and the Rare Book and Manuscript Collection of Columbia University. A special unit will also explore the manuscripts of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Bohemia in conjunction with the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Prague, the Crown of Bohemia, 1347-1437.”

ENGA 5101 History of the English Language
3 Credits (Chase) (Call # 12972) Mondays 5:30-7:30
Our language has changed dramatically in the twelve hundred years of its recorded history. We would not recognize speech (Old English) of the first Germanic peoples who migrated to post-Roman Britain in the fifth century; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Middle English) might seem to be written in a foreign language; even Shakespeare’s (Early Modern) English requires special efforts. Today, in different parts of the world, of our country, even of the city, we encounter surprisingly different varieties of English. In this course we will look at the English of these earlier periods as well as the English of our own time with a twofold goal: to gain an understanding of the sounds, words, and structure of English, and to consider the phenomenon of how and why a language changes (or doesn’t). This course will introduce students into the study of language and linguistics; no previous knowledge if presumed. The course fulfills the New York State requirement for English teaching certification.

ENGA 6233 Romance and Reform: Crossing Boundaries Medieval to Early Modern
3 Credits (Little) (Call # 13081) Tuesdays 3:30-5:30
This course will bring together two medieval literary traditions and two historical periods that are typically studied quite separately: romance and reformist writings and the medieval and early modern periods. The question motivating this course will be how are these traditions, which at first glance have nothing in common, brought together and rearranged in the disruption of the Reformation? The course will begin with a solid grounding in medieval romance (and its attendant concerns of love, honor, knighthood, the court), beginning with the French romances of Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France, and then investigating its continuation in Middle English in such texts as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. We will also consider theories of romance Northrop Frye, Jan Radway, Fredric Jameson). Then, we will turn to medieval reformist writings (and their concerns with the social world and utopian visions), in both poetry and drama, Piers Plowman and the Second Shepherds' Play, respectively. As we negotiate the Reformation, we will turn to Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, which is, of course, indebted to both traditions. And, finally, we will look to the future of these traditions in Shakespeare's romances.

HSGA 6075 Medieval Conquest and Civilization
4 Credits (Smail) (Call # 13046) Tuesdays 4:45-7:15
Colonialism may have come of age in the 18th and 19th centuries, but western Europe began its long apprenticeship in colonialism centuries earlier, in the crucible of the Viking, Moslem, and Magyar invasions. As the land rebounded in the year 1000 or so, adventurers from the European heartland in northern France, England, and the Rhineland exploded across the face of modern Europe and the Mediterranean, colonizing or recolonizing the Iberian peninsula, Sicily, Palestine, eastern Europe, the Baltic lands, and Ireland. In studying this great expansion we will explore the Crusades, the Christian reconquest of Spain, the Ostsiedlung, and other colonizing movements, including the resettlement of Europe's own empty spaces, paying close attention to the social, political, and ideological (including gender) dimensions of the expansionary drive and its effects at home. We will also explore, through the study of maps and literature, how Europe imagined itself in relation to its margins.

HSGA 6132 Medieval Law and the Family
4 Credits (Mueller) (Call # 13047) Thursdays 4:45-7:15

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.


HSGA 7025 PROSEM: Medieval Religious Cultures
4 Credits (Gyug) (Call # 13132) Mondays 4:45-7:15
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 2006, HSGA 8025, will write research papers on selected topics in the area. 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.

PHGA 7040 Aquinas on Mind (at CUNY Grad Center)
3 Credits (Klima/Simpson) (Call # 13059) Tuedays 4:30-6:30
This course will provide a survey of some major issues in Aquinas’ philosophy of mind, exploring the intriguing theoretical alternative Aquinas’ position seems to offer “between” dualism and materialism, based on his hylomorphist metaphysics.

PHGA 7227 Maritain and Neothomism
3 Credits (Koterski) (Call # 13071) Mondays 7:00-9:00
This course will take up one of the most important books of the Thomistic revival of the Twentieth Century, Jacques Maritain’s 1932 Distinguer pour unir, ou Les degrés du savoir. We will consider this volume for its own contribution to epistemology and its crucial role in the development of Neothomism. The course will also involve considerable study of the medieval texts that were crucial to Maritain’s project, and especially works by Aquinas and John of St. Thomas.

RSGA 6450 High Scholastic Theology
3 Credits (Pearson) (Call # 13090) Thursdays 3:15-5:15
An introduction to the literature of Medieval Christianity through close reading and discussion of the major works of five theologians of the High Middle Ages – Anslem of Canterbury, Peter Abelard, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. A major objective of the course will be to define the movement that is called Scholasticism. To what extent can these five authors be grouped among the “Scholastic theologians”? Our attention will especially be drawn to the variety of theological concerns and methodological approaches represented in this diverse group of authors.

FRGA 5090 French for Reading
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 13001) Tuesdays 4:15-6:45
GEGA 5001 German for Reading
0 Credits (Ray) (Call # 13002) Mondays, Wednesdays 11:30-12:45

Summer Courses 2005

FRGA 5090 German for Reading
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 10156) Session I: TTh 1:00-4:00
FRGA 5090 French for Reading
0 Credits (Staff) (Call # 10155) Session I: MW 6:00-9:00
LAGA 5090 Latin for Reading
0 Credits (Owesny) (Call # 10145) Session I: MW 6:00-9:00

LAGA 5093 Ecclesiastical Latin: An Introduction
3 credits (Clark) (Summer Session II) MW 6:00-9:00

Students may expect to study the basic shape, grammatical structure, form, and vocabulary of Church Latin: the Latin of the Bible, the liturgy, the Church Fathers, and medieval thinkers. Textbook will be A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin by John Collins. Prerequisite: LAGA 5090: Latin for Reading, or its equivalent.

Last modified: March 29, 2005
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