Spring 2018


Digital Humanities for Medieval Studies

Course/Section: English 203/Medieval Studies 250.001
: 210 Wheeler
: TTh 2-4 pm
: Nolan, Maura

This course serves as an introduction to the practice of digital humanities in the field of Medieval Studies.
The goals of the course are threefold: 

  • to explore the conceptual terrain of digital humanities and to become familiar with debates about digital humanities; 
  • To learn a series of basic skills in digital humanities practice, including tools for digitizing manuscripts (XML and TEI); text analysis and statistics (Voyant, Wordhoard, and others); text analysis in Python; stylometry; topic modeling; network analysis and visualization; 3D modeling; and resources for publishing and presenting research 
  • to explore the extensive world of digital humanities projects in Medieval Studies, in a range of fields from literature to history to art history to musicology to manuscript studies and more.

Students are welcome to work on their own projects as their work for the course – i.e., if someone is already working on a research area that could benefit from the digital humanities tools presented in the course, she or he could develop a project based on that research. No background in digital humanities is required; all are welcome, regardless of experience.  


Material Cultures 500-1500 CE

Course/Section: Medieval Studies 250.002 
: 6220 Dwinelle 
: W 2-4 pm
: Miller, Maureen

This seminar is designed to support graduate student research on material artifacts or sources from anywhere in the world created in the millennium usually called "medieval" (500-1500 CE).  While students fulfilling requirement 4 of the concurrent PhD in Medieval Studies (working knowledge of the material sources of medieval culture) may find it most appropriate, those concentrating their studies outside of Europe are also strongly encouraged to enroll.  The seminar will meet weekly for the first half of the term, beginning with a series of short theoretical and methodological readings, continuing with presentations of work on independently defined projects in progress, and culminating in a symposium with visiting medievalists Chris Wickham (Chichele Professor of Medieval History emeritus, University of Oxford) and Leslie Brubaker (Professor of Byzantine Art emerita, University of Birmingham) on Wednesday March 14, 2018.  Students taking the course for 2 credits must attend and participate in at least eight regular meetings of the seminar, making at least one presentation, and attend either the Wickham (Monday March 12, 2018 @ 5 pm) or Brubaker (Tuesday March 13, 2018 @ 5 pm); those taking it for 4 credits must complete the requirements for 2 credits and turn in a c. 25-page essay based on original research by May 4, 2018.



Literature and History: History as Literature

Course/Section: English 170 
: 130 Wheeler 
: TTh 3:30-5
: Thornbury, Emily V.

Are the events of the world and human lives meaningful? And if they are, how do we discern the meaning?

History, as a form of narrative literature, seeks to answer these questions. In this class we will read a range of historical texts, with the goal of understanding the philosophies that helped their authors find meaning, and the literary techniques that allowed them to present their narratives as meaningful. Many of the issues we will address—the construction of authority and of identity; fictionality; realism as a literary effect—remain key questions in the study of narrative literature, whose contours were shaped by the creativity and skill of the histories we will read.

We will be reading two major histories in full: Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain. Both drew on ancient and long-established genres; both were, in their way, radically experimental literary works which reshaped British literature. We will also consider excerpts from other writers ranging from Suetonius to Gibbon, and engage with intersecting genres like satire, polemic, biography, and hagiography. By the end of the course, students will have a better sense of how history has been created. 




Old High German

Course/Section: German 276 
: 282 Dwinelle 
: Tues 11-1
: Rauch, Irmengard

Reading of poetic and prose texts in Old High German; passages selected to represent a broad scope of chronology, geography, and genre in eighth- to eleventh-century German. Cultural dynamics of the Old High German period. The synchronic and diachronic study of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics; linguistic method. Particular emphasis is placed on the structure of the several principal dialects of Old High German. No prerequisites. 




History of Christianity to 1250

Course/Section: History 185A.001 
: 200 Wheeler 
: TTh 9:30-10:59pm
: Elm, Susanna

The course deals with the origins of Christianity and the first eleven centuries of its expansion into a major institutional, social, and intellectual force shaping Western Europe. The central themes are the mechanisms and conditions shaping this expansion, rather than a chronological account in order to present this process as a model of institutionalization of religious movements. The emphasis will be on patterns of crisis and reform; i.e., on conflicts arising within the church itself and as a result of its dealings with the "outside" world, and how these crises were resolved. The course is based on the study of primary sources and will include problems of historical method.


Medieval Europe from the Investiture Conflict to the 15th Century

Course/Section: History 155B 
: 120 Wheeler 
: TTh 2-3:30 pm
: Koziol, Geoffrey

This course will examine the profound economic, social, and spiritual changes that occurred in Western Europe during the High and Late Middle Ages. The themes to be explored include the Crusades (the 7th Crusade of Louis IX and perhaps the 4th Crusade, which ended not in the Holy Land but with the conquest of Constantinople), inquisitions and heresy (the Cathars), the radicalization of the Franciscans, the quality of the papacy's religious leadership, law courts and justice, the acceleration of commercial activity, the transformation of lay piety, and above all the polarization of understandings of “gender.” Readings are largely from primary sources. The format is mostly discussion woven into informal lectures, along with a formal weekly discussion section. Requirements are a midterm, a final, and regular reader-response exercises. Depending on enrollment, one or two short (3-5 pp.) papers may be required; if so, then one or both exams will be shortened, the papers effectively replacing one of the exam questions. If papers are assigned, they will require an in-depth analysis of one of the primary sources read.


The Christianization of Early Medieval Europe

Course/Section: History 280B/285B 
: 2303 Dwinelle 
: Tues 9-12
: Koziol, Geoffrey

This class will begin by focusing on four specific complexes of problems surrounding the Chrisitianization of early medieval Europe. The basic exposition of these problems should take six to eight weeks, after which we will turn to issues of more specific interest to students sparked by our discussions of these four problems. The first problem concerns Boniface’s precise role in the Christianization of continental Europe and the development of the Carolingian reform. The second examines “bracteates,” approximately 1¼ inch gold medallions from late 5th through early 7th-century southern Scandinavia (and Kent), usually depicting Odin but often depicting stories from Nordic mythology otherwise textually attested only centuries later. The third addressess the pastoral mission of bishops and priests locally in the late 8th and 9th centuries, concentrating on episcopal capitularies and Carine van Rhin’s important Shepherds of the Lord (2007). The fourth will present recent research on the sacralization of Christian space in the late 10th and early 11th centuries: that is, the bounding of cemeteries, dioceses and parishes, and the nucleation and identification of settlements around churches — a process that Michel Lauwers has called inecclesiamento (to contrast with Giovanni Tabbaco’s incastellamento). Primary source readings will be almost entirely in Latin — fairly basic Latin, but Latin nonetheless. Secondary sources will be in English, French, and German. A final paper is required, emphasizing untranslated primary sources if the class is taken as a 285, emphasizing multiple-language secondary sources if taken as a 280.


Mary: A Global Icon

Course/Section: History 280U 
: Dwinelle 2303 
: W 9-12
: Angelova, Diliana

Description: The objective of this graduate seminar (undergraduates are welcome) is to offer a global view of the Virgin Mary that cuts across periods and faiths as well as national and geographic divides. The first part of the seminar traces the iconography and veneration of the Virgin Mary from theological and historical perspectives. The Byzantine, Western medieval, and the Islamic traditions are to be examined. The second part considers the later history of Marian images and veneration through case studies from around the world: the Black Madonna, the Virgin of Guadalupe, icons of Mary in Ethiopia, and the miraculous statue of the Virgin in the Philippines. Class participation, oral presentation, and a research paper are required.



Dante (in English)

Course/Section: Italian Studies 30 
: 102 Wheeler 
: MW 1-2 (plus Friday discussion section)
: Botterill, Steven


This course aims to introduce students to the work of the greatest poet of the European Middle Ages.  As well as a close analytical reading of his masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, it will include intensive study of other works by Dante that throw light on his great poem:  the autobiographical prose and lyric poetry of Vita nuova [New Life], and the linguistic and poetic theory of De vulgari eloquentia [On Eloquence in the Vernacular].  Discussion of these texts will be integrated with a general introduction to the literary and intellectual culture of Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  All readings will be in English.

There will be lectures each Monday and Wednesday, and a mandatory discussion section each Friday.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

Workload: Four short (3-5 pp.) term papers; final exam

Required texts:

Dante Alighieri, Inferno (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-0872209176

Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-1624664915

Dante Alighieri, Paradiso (trans. Stanley Lombardo), ISBN 978-1624665905

Dante, Vita nuova (trans. Mark Musa), ISBN 978-0199540655

Dante, De vulgari eloquentia (trans. Steven Botterill), ISBN 978-0521409230



The Italian Romance Epic: Boiardo, Ariosto, Tasso

Course/Section: Italian Studies 215
: 130 Wheeler 
: M 2-5
: Ascoli, Albert Russell (Visiting Instructors: Jennifer MacKenzie, Katherine Driscoll)

This course will offer an advanced introduction to the 15th and 16th century Italian Romance-Epic tradition, focusing principally on the “Ferrarese” tradition extending from Matteo Maria Boiardo through Ludovico Ariosto to Torquato Tasso.  The focus of the course will be on the place each of the poems assumes in key literary and political-cultural histories.  In addition to selections from the poems themselves we will spend some time on the early theoretical works devoted to the generic identity of the Italian long poem, including Giambattista Pigna, I romanzi; Tasso’s Discorsi sopra l’arte poetica; and the Ariosto vs. Tasso debate, as well as on the late 16th century chivalric epic, Floridoro, of Moderata Fonte. Students whose interests focus on English, Spanish, French or other traditions that respond to the Italians may find the course useful and would be encouraged to present and write on such responses.

Taught in English, reading knowledge of Italian and/or Latin very useful but not indispensable (check with the instructor!)

Requirements: in-class presentations; either one short and one longer paper or three shorter papers as suits the student’s level of preparation and their curricular needs (to be determined in discussion with the instructor)


Reading Dante's Paradiso as Theology

Course/Section: Italian Studies 212
: 6331 Dwinelle 
: T 2-5
: Botterill, Steven

Taking its title — with one obvious but crucial alteration — from Vittorio Montemaggi's remarkable recent book Reading Dante's Commedia as Theology (2016), this seminar will inquire into both the long history of theologically-grounded reading of the third cantica and the most recent innovations in that tradition proposed (especially) by currently-active Anglophone scholars.  We will begin by reading Paradiso in light of fourteenth-century debates (Guido da Pisa, Pietro Alighieri, Benvenuto da Imola) about the text's ontological status as visio, fictio, or something else entirely; move on to a brief review of (especially twentieth-century) attempts to understand the relationship it appears to embody between theology and poetry (Croce, T. S. Eliot); and arrive at a consideration of the recent and ongoing related debates among Dante specialists (Montemaggi himself, Treherne, Franke, Kirkpatrick, Moevs, perhaps even my own work on mysticism) and theorists of the articulation of theological concepts in linguistic/literary terms (Levinas, Milbank, Pickstock, Denys Turner).

Course conducted in English.

Course requirements:

A reading knowledge of Italian is required, at least for adequate engagement with the text of Paradiso.  Latin would be useful for the C14 commentators but is not required.  Critical readings, with a very few inescapable exceptions, will be in English.  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 or consent of instructor.

Texts: Dante Alighieri, Paradiso, ed. Anna Maria Chiavacci Leonardi (Mondadori; ISBN 978-8804546528



Maimonides, Aquinas, Spinoza

Course/Section: HSHR 4506
: Hedco Seminar Room at 2465 Le Conte Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703 
: Tues 12:40-3:30
: Aranoff, Deena and Inese Radzins

Jewish and Christian thought took a philosophical turn in the medieval period that shaped all subsequent expressions of both religious cultures. Join us for a close study of this philosophical turn, its relationship to classical Greek philosophy, its origins in the Islamic philosophical tradition, and its early-modern reverberations. Some general questions that will inform our studies include: What is the definition of Jewish philosophy? Christian philosophy? What kinds of questions occupied Jewish and Christian philosophers in the medieval period? How did the philosophical trajectories of each religion relate to one another? Course requirements include seminar participation and research paper.

Meeting Information for 18/SP:        

Bldg Room     Days      Start/End Time

GTU:HDCO      T          12:40PM-03:30PM



Scandinavian Myth and Religion

Course/Section: Scandinavian 160
: MWF 10-11
: Wellendorf, Jonas

Who were the Norse gods? Why did they have to die? And how do we know? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity (eleventh century), as illustrated in narrative and, to a lesser extent, archaeological materials. The approach will be primarily source-critical, with some use of comparative materials from other mythologies. By the end of the course, students should know the sources well, have an understanding of the major problems involved in this study, and be aware of the more important scholarly trends in the field. Three hours of lecture and discussion per week.


Edda by Snorri Sturluson, trans. Anthony Faulkes, ISBN-13: 978-0460876162

The Poetic Edda (second edition), trans. Carolyne Larrington, ISBN-13: 978-0199675340

Norse Mythology, by John Lindow, ISBN-13: 978-0195153828

A number of additional readings which will be available in a course reader

Prerequisites: None, although some background in folklore and mythology, religious studies, medieval literature and history, or Scandinavian culture is likely to prove helpful.


The Sagas of Möðruvallabók

Course/Section: Scandinavian 220
: TBA 
: M 1-4
: Wellendorf, Jonas

The manuscript Möðruvallabók (AM 132 fol., 1330–70) contains eleven sagas of Icelanders and is arguably the most important compilation of such sagas. The eleven sagas will be read as they are preserved in the manuscript and considered as individual texts and as parts of the larger compilation. Comparison with standard editions of the various sagas will allow for considerations concerning manuscript variation, textual criticism, new philology, and editorial choices. Readings from the new Routledge Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas will highlight current trends in saga scholarship.

Texts: The sagas of Möðruvallabók (Njáls saga, Egils saga, Finnboga saga, Bandamanna saga, Kormáks saga, Víga-Glúms saga, Droplaugarsona saga, Ǫlkofra saga, Hallfreðar saga, Laxdœla saga and Fóstbrœðra saga) will be read in Old Norse. Secondary readings in will be in English, German, Icelandic and Modern Scandinavian Languages and include the new Routledge Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (ed. Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson 2017).

Prerequisites: At least two semesters of Old Norse language studies (or equivalent).




Course/SectionMusic 170
LocationMorrison 242
TimeTu/Th 9:30-11
InstructorZazulia, Emily

As the pre-eminent composer in Western Europe in the decades around 1500, Josquin des Prez was among the first composers to achieve international fame. He was also one of the first composers to benefit from newly developed techniques for printing music. This course focuses on three aspects of Josquin’s music: comparison of stylistic techniques between his sacred and secular music; his role in ideas surrounding "composer-genius" in both the 16th and 20th centuries; and the changing history of scholarship on Josquin in particular and the historiography of Renaissance music more generally.