Spring 2013 Courses

 The following is a list of courses relating to the Concurrent Degree in Medieval Studies.  Please see the online schedule of classes for updated information. 


Medieval Studies

Introduction to Research Materials and Methods

Course/Section: Medieval Studies 200
Location: 211 Dwinelle
Time:  Monday, 4-7
Instructor:  O’Brien O’Keeffe, Katherine

Medieval Studies 200 is a theme-oriented pro-seminar which introduces students pursuing the concurrent Ph.D. to problems in interdisciplinary research, contemporary approaches to cross-disciplinary thinking, bibliographical resources within and crossing traditional disciplines, and styles of argumentation in medieval studies. The theme for MS 200 in spring 2013 will be “Whose Middle Ages?”  This theme is designed to allow wide interpretation to address the specifics of disciplinary work for individual students and the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies. The semester project will be adapted to the individual: students in their first year of graduate work will be expected to work on a publishable article; students in the second year of graduate work will be working on their field statement (see the website for the revised requirements for the concurrent degree). I am delighted that the proseminar will have two distinguished guest seminar-leaders. Professor John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of Medieval History, University of Notre Dame, and Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art and Culture, Harvard University,  who will present their most recent research as it illustrates the conduct of medieval studies.

Readings will be available on b-Space.

 

French

Seminar in Medieval French Literature: The Romance of the Rose and the Tradition of Medieval Allegory

Course: French 210
Location: 4226 Dwinelle
Time: Monday, 1-4
Instructor: Hult, David
 
This course will combine a detailed reading of the Roman de la Rose and its critical heritage with a study of the medieval tradition of allegorical writing.  Annex texts will include those written by some of the great predecessors of Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, including selections from Saint Augustine, Macrobius, Boethius and Alain de Lille.  The latter few weeks of the course will concentrate on extended passages from the fourteenth-century Ovide moralisé, which not only illustrates the move to translation in the later Middle Ages, but also exemplifies a type of exegetical reading, issuing from the theological tradition, applied to a manifestly secular (and frankly immoral) text, Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  Additional topics will include the rhetorical mode of personification, verbal and visual modes of allegorical representation, Biblical exegesis, and symbol vs. allegory.  Work for the course will include a class presentation and a substantial research paper or alternate written assignment.  Class will be conducted in English and no knowledge of medieval French is presupposed, though reading knowledge of modern French will be helpful, as the Rose will be read in a dual-language edition, with facing page Old French and modern French translation.  Since the class will center on close readings, a certain amount of class time will be reserved for discussion of linguistic and translation issues. 

 

German

Old Saxon

Course: German 282
Location: 282 Dwinelle
Time: Tuesday, 1-3
Instructor: Rauch, Irmengard

Introduction to a heterogeneous language which is one of the most provocative of the major Germanic dialects in terms of language identification and language origin. Reading of the Latin prose and verse prefaces that serve as the keystone to the literary and ethnographic setting of the "Heliand" and "Genesis" manuscripts including the 2006 Leipzig find. Study of the isogrammar shared by Old Saxon with Old English and Old Frisian to the North and with Old High German to the South. No prerequisites.

The Sacred: Images, Texts, Theories

Course: German 205/ Comparative Literature 212/ History of Art 258
Location: 425 Doe Library
Time: Tuesday, 2-5
Instructors: Largier, Niklaus, and Beate Fricke

The Sacred has become a key term in recent debates in a number of disciplines. However, what is at its core is often astonishingly undefined, open and ambivalent. Important theories of the Sacred have been articulated in the 20th century by Otto, Eliade, Caillois, Benjamin, Bataille, Auerbach, Feigel, Girard, Ricoeur, Smith, Agamben. In this course we will discuss a range of medieval and early modern images and texts in order to understand the notion of the sacred – in the past and today. Starting with medieval concepts of the sacred we will also explore modern theories of the sacred. Crossing the threshold between pre-modern and modern examples will help us to understand the premises for the visual culture involving sacred images, and more generally the sacred in medieval and modern texts. Topics that will be touched on in the course will include medieval visual culture, medieval spirituality, mysticism, visual exegesis, icons and their meanings, as well as the material, visual and theoretical aspects of sacred places, images and texts.

 

History

The Middle Ages

Course:  History 275
Location: TBA
Time: Monday, 10-12
Instructor:  Miller, Maureen C.

An introduction to the history and historiography of Europe and the Mediterranean c. 300 – c,1500, emphasizing broad patterns of change and key interpretive debates. Themes include the end of the ancient world and the character of early medieval societies; political transformations east and west over the central Middle Ages; economic expansion and urban development; changes in ecclesiastical institutions and religious cultures.  Students should expect to read and analyze c. 500 pages of monographic writing per week, preparing cogent notes and argument summaries.  Requirements also include active, mature, and courteous participation in discussion; several presentations across the term; and two short essays akin to those expected of medieval history students in their screening examination.


History of Art

The Sacred: Images, Texts, Theories

Course: German 205/ Comparative Literature 212/ History of Art 258
Location: 425 Doe Library
Time: Tuesday, 2-5
Instructors: Largier, Niklaus, and Beate Fricke

The Sacred has become a key term in recent debates in a number of disciplines. However, what is at its core is often astonishingly undefined, open and ambivalent. Important theories of the Sacred have been articulated in the 20th century by Otto, Eliade, Caillois, Benjamin, Bataille, Auerbach, Feigel, Girard, Ricoeur, Smith, Agamben. In this course we will discuss a range of medieval and early modern images and texts in order to understand the notion of the sacred – in the past and today. Starting with medieval concepts of the sacred we will also explore modern theories of the sacred. Crossing the threshold between pre-modern and modern examples will help us to understand the premises for the visual culture involving sacred images, and more generally the sacred in medieval and modern texts. Topics that will be touched on in the course will include medieval visual culture, medieval spirituality, mysticism, visual exegesis, icons and their meanings, as well as the material, visual and theoretical aspects of sacred places, images and texts.

 

Italian Studies

Dante

Course:  Italian Studies 212
Location: 6331 Dwinelle
Time:  Wednesday, 2-5
Instructor:  Botterill, Steven

This course is the second half of a two-semester sequence that studies Dante’s "Commedia" in the context formed by his other works and by some, at least, of the most significant historical and cultural forces operative in early fourteenth-century Italy.

We will begin with a brief recapitulation (taking up no more than two class meetings) of last fall's materials ('Vita n[u]ova," "De vulgari eloquentia," "Inferno"), and go on to read "Purgatorio," "Paradiso," and the "Monarchia," glancing along the way at the "Convivio," the "Epistole," the "Egloghe." and the "Questio de situ et forma aque et terre."

Course requirements: A reading knowledge of Italian is required, and a modicum of familiarity with Latin would be useful.  Students will, of course, be expected to attend and participate regularly.  Those taking the course for two credits will do the reading, and report on it in class as required; those taking the course for four credits will likewise read and report, and will also write a research paper of 6000-7500 words (25-30 pages).

Prerequisites:  Graduate standing; consent of instructor.

Texts:
Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio and Paradiso (any post-1965 edition with the Italian text)
Dante Alighieri, Monarchia (ed. Ricci [1965] or Shaw [1996 or 2009])

 

Scandinavian Studies

Norse Literature

Course: Scandinavian 201b (4 units)
Location:
6415 Dwinelle
Time:
Thursday, 1-4
Instructor:
Wellendorf, Jonas 

An introduction to Old Norse literature, comprising reading and discussion of representative sagas of Icelanders and selections from the Eddas.
 

Texts: Gísla saga, Eyrbyggja saga, Snorra Edda (Gylfaginning and Skáldskaparmál), Hymiskviða and Atlakviða.

Prerequisite: Scandinavian 201a or equivalent. 

 

Also of Interest:

 

Celtic Studies

Celtic Christianity

Course: Celtic Studies 173
Location:
TBA
Time
: Tuesday/Thursday, 2-3:30
Instructor
: Rejhon, Annalee

The course will examine the early reception and development of Christianity in Ireland and Britain. Particular attention will be paid to the role that insular pre-Christian Celtic religious systems played in this reception and the conversion to Christian belief.  Lectures and primary works that will be read (complete or in extract) to elucidate this issue will be drawn from wisdom texts, secular and canon law texts, ecclesiastical legislation, penitentials and monastic rules, apocrypha and lyric poetry.  A selection of saints' lives, both Irish and Welsh, with a French connection via St. Martin of Tours, will round out the course.

All texts will be available in English translation and the majority of them available in a Course Reader.  These will include:  the Irish wisdom text, Audacht Morainn [The Testimony of Moran]; Cáin Adamnáin [the law of Adomnan], Cáin Domnaig [the law of Sunday] and Cáin Darí [the law of Dari]; The Irish Penitentials, the "Monastery of Tallaght"; the "Martyrology of Oengus" and the Old Irish poems of Blathmac; The Voyage of St. Brendan, and extracts from the following saints' lives:  Adomnan's Life of Columba, Muirchú's Life of St. Patrick, Cogitosus's Life of St. Brigid, Rhigyfarch's Life of St. David, Lifris's Life of St. Cadog, and Sulpicius's Life of St. Martin.

Course requirements include a midterm and final examination.

No prerequisites.

Welsh: Welsh and Arthurian Literature of the Middle Ages

Course: Celtic Studies 119A
Location:
TBA
Time
: Tuesday/Thursday, 11-12:30
Instructor
: Rejhon, Annalee

A selective study of major works of Welsh prose and poetry of the Middle Ages, with special attention to traditional and innovative views on the genesis and development of the legendary history of King Arthur in Europe.  The works read will include the Four Branches of the Mabinogi; Culhwch and Olwen and The Dream of Rhonabwy, two native Welsh tales of King Arthur; the early Arthurian poems, "What Man the Gatekeeper" and "The Spoils of Annwn"; a selection of the poetry of Taliesin, Myrddin (= Merlin), Llywarch Hen, and Aneirin, as well as from the Poets of the Princes; Armes Prydein [the Prophecy of Britain]; the Arthurian section of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain; and finally, the Welsh romances of Owein and Gereint and their French counterparts, Yvain or the Knight of the Lion and Erec and Enide

All texts will be available in English translation.

Course requirements include a midterm and final examination.

No prerequisites.