Spring 2019

Medieval Studies

Introduction to Research Materials and Methods

Course/Section: Medieval Studies 200
Location
: 6220 Dwinelle 
Time
: Thursday 5-7
Instructor
: Wellendorf, Jonas

This graduate pro-seminar introduces students pursuing the concurrent Ph.D. in medieval studies to problems in interdisciplinary research, contemporary approaches to cross-disciplinary thinking and bibliographical resources within and crossing traditional disciplines. The general theme which will help us explore these areas will be ‘Ethnogenesis and Cultural Memory in the Middle Ages’. This theme is intended to allow wide interpretation so as to address specifics of disciplinary work for individual students and the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies in general. The semester project will be adapted to the individual: For students expecting to advance to candidacy next year, the final essay should be a complete and polished draft of the field statement required for the concurrent PhD in Medieval Studies. For other students, it should take the form of a term paper facilitating progress towards the field statement. 

Readings will be posted on bCourses.

 

German

Gothic

Course/Section: German 273 (4)
Location
: 282 Dwinelle 
Time
: Tuesday 11-1 
Instructor
: Rauch, Irmengard

Study of the orthography, phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, and pragmatics of the earliest Germanic language with a sizeable corpus. The Indo-European origins of the Gothic language as well as the relationship with North and West Germanic are considered.  The socio-cultural environment in which Bishop Wulfila translated the Scriptures in the fourth century is discussed. Very much alive as a prime research tool, newly discovered documents such as leaf VI of the Skeireins (found in 1955), leaf 188 of the Codex Argenteus in 1970, and the Gothica Bononiensia fragment in 2009, enrich the debate.

 

History

Self and Society in Medieval Europe

Course/Section: History 4B (Undergraduate; CCN 22537)
Location
: 102 Moffitt Library 
Time
: T-Th 11-12:29 
Instructor
: Miller, Maureen

This course offers a broad introduction to the European Middle Ages through both textual and material sources.  Change – as an individual experience and as a social phenomenon – is a central theme.  Why did medieval people make radical changes in their lives?  Why did European political systems, cultural expressions, and religious ideals change so dramatically over the course of the Middle Ages?  The course charts the emergence of a distinctively “medieval” civilization after the demise in the west of the late Roman state and then the transformation of this early medieval civilization after the millennium.  The roles of demographic and economic expansion are explored as motors for the political, religious, and cultural transformation of medieval society from 1000 to 1500.

 

Law, Religion, and Society in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe 

Course/Section: History 280/285
Location
: 6220 Dwinelle
Time
: Tuesday 4-7
Instructor
: Miller, Maureen and Rowan Dorin (Stanford)

This seminar invites students to reflect on the interactions between law, religion, and society in western Europe from c. 1100-c. 1600. In particular, it will explore the emergence of law as a characteristic feature of the medieval church, the impact of this development on European society, and the criticisms and opposition that it provoked. Through readings and coursework, participants will be exposed to a variety of historical sources, as well as the methods and challenges associated with their interpretation.

Designed to foster and support research on a wide variety of topics relating to law and religion in medieval and early modern Europe, the seminar offers an introduction and access to a major new digital resource on European ecclesiastical legislation from 1100 to 1600 that Rowan Dorin has been building at Stanford in collaboration with colleagues at the Centre de Recherche Universitaire Lorrain d'Histoire (CRULH).   The database—CoSyn: Corpus synodalium: Local ecclesiastical legislation of medieval Europe/Législation ecclésiastique médiévale locale—will be made available to enrolled students in advance of its public launch in 2020.  Enrolled students will also have the opportunity to participate in a conference at Stanford April 26-28 with the CRULH faculty and student partners, and the possibility of funding to attend and present at a June 12-15 conference at CRULH (Nancy-Metz).  The seminar will open with a series of meetings both introducing the database of ecclesiastical legislation with its search capabilities and discussing short readings (articles, book chapters) exemplifying different historical approaches to and uses of ecclesiastical legislation.  Seminar participants will then develop their own projects on any topic or theme of their choosing employing searches in the database and/or other relevant sources.  Doctoral students may opt to enroll either for 280 credit (doing some additional secondary readings in Berkeley and a shorter paper) or for 285 credit. 

As the course will be jointly taught with Stanford 414A, some seminar meetings will alternate between the two campuses. It is expected that participants will attend all course meetings in person, but remote participation (via Zoom) will be permitted for those who have unavoidable scheduling constraints. Participants are encouraged to seek advice and feedback from both course instructors, but Prof. Miller will be responsible for the assessment of Berkeley-registered students and Prof. Dorin will be responsible for assessing the work of Stanford-registered students.

A reading knowledge of Latin and either French or German is required. Individual participants may also be assigned additional readings in other languages, depending on their own skills and geographical/thematic interests.

 

History of Christianity to 800

Course/Section: History 185 (Undergraduate)
Location
: 219 Dwinelle
Time
: T-Th 2-3:30
Instructor
: Elm, Susanna

 

Scandinavian

Family and Kinship in Viking and Medieval Scandinavian Textual Culture

Course/Section: Scandinavian 220
Location
: 6415 Dwinelle
Time
: Thursdays 1-4
Instructor
: Heslop, Kate

In this seminar we will investigate the work done by family and kinship in the textual cultures of Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia. Kinship, once an important category for historians and anthropologists, also of the Middle Ages, has fallen a little by the wayside in these fields in recent decades. A new study declares that ‘the fact of the matter is that kinship did not exist in Europe during the Middle Ages’ (Hummer, Visions of Kinship). Notwithstanding this scepticism, essentially anthropological concepts such as in- and out-groups, exogamous marriage, affinity, agnatic vs cognatic descent, and fictive kinship loom large in studies of medieval Scandinavia. Genealogy is taken to be a central plank of Scandinavian memory culture; the family sagas, as their name suggests, are thought to concern family groups; pride in royal descent is argued to be an important motivation for the writing of texts from Nóregs konungatal to Ragnars saga; and the existence of a family of the gods is taken as unquestioned fact. More recently, sociologically and historically-oriented work has explored related specific topics such as the interplay of family and friendship (Jón Viðar Sigurðsson), the role of marriage (Bandlien), and the significance of the ‘maiden king’ (Kalinke).

In this seminar we will read some of these classic studies alongside the Old Norse primary texts where ideas of family and kin come into play, and ask what discourses do these concepts participate in? What kinds of interpersonal relationships are claimed as familial, what is the force of such claims, and how well do they match up with our contemporary, biologically-defined notion of family? We will attempt to answer these questions on the basis of close readings selected from eddic and skaldic poetry, runic inscriptions, ‘family sagas’, the Prose Edda and the translated and indigenous romances.

Primary readings will mainly be in Old Norse; much of the class will consist of close reading and small group discussion of the primary texts. Secondary readings will be in English and in the modern Scandinavian languages. 

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

 

Scandinavian Myth and Religion

Course/Section: Scandinavian 160 (Undergraduate)
Location
: TBD
Time
: MWF 10-11
Instructor
: Wellendorf, Jonas

L&S Breadth: Arts & Literature OR Philosophy & Values

Who were the Norse gods? How do we know? How and why did they meet their end? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity in the eleventh century, as illustrated in textual 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 the study of Scandinavian myth and religion, and be aware of the more important scholarly trends in the field. Three hours of lecture and discussion per week.

Texts:
Edda by Snorri Sturluson, trans. Anthony Faulkes (1987), ISBN: 9780460876162
The Poetic Edda, trans. Carolyne Larrington (2014), 2nd ed., ISBN: 9780199675340
Abram, Christopher (2011): Myths of the Pagan North: The Gods of the Norsemen. ISBN: 9781847252470

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.

 

Comparative Literature

Comparative Mythology: Celtic, Norse, and Greek

Course/Section: Comparative Literature 165 (Undergraduate)
Location
: 255 Dwinelle
Time
: T-Th 2-3:30
Instructor
: Rejhon, Annalee

A study of Indo-European mythology as it is preserved in some of the earliest myth texts in Celtic, Norse, and Greek literatures.  The meaning of myth will be examined and compared from culture to culture to see how this meaning may shed light on the ethos of each society as it is reflected in its literary works.  The role of oral tradition in the preservation of early myth will also be explored.  The Celtic texts that will be read are the Irish Second Battle of Mag Tuired and The Táin, and in Welsh, the tales of Lludd and Llefelys and Math; the Norse texts will include Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, the Ynglinga Saga, and the Poetic Edda; the Greek texts are Hesiod’s Theogony and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.  All texts will be available in English translation.

Course requirements include a midterm and final examination.

No prerequisites.

 

Celtic Studies

Celtic Christianity

Course/Section: Celtic Studies 173 (Undergraduate)
Location
: 109 Dwinelle
Time
: T-Th 11-12:30
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 (extracts), the "Monastery of Tallaght"; the "Martyrology of Oengus" and the “Old Irish Poems of Blathmac”; The Voyage of St. Brendan; and 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.

CS173 may be used to satisfy L&S Breadth Requirements for Historical Studies, Philosophy and Values, and International Studies.

Course requirements include a midterm and final examination.

No prerequisites, although a basic knowledge of Christianity is required.

 

French

The Romance of the Rose and the Tradition of Medieval Allegory

Course/Section: 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.

 

Medieval French Language and Literature

Course/Section: French 112A (Undergraduate)
Location
: 4226 Dwinelle
Time
: M-W 4:10-5:30
Instructor
: Hult, David

The subject of this course is the most creative period of medieval literature, in which the epic still flourished but courtliness and the romance were born. Among the topics will be oral tradition, the chanson de geste, the troubadours of southern France and the rise of courtliness, the women troubadours, the values of courtly society, the invention of romantic love, adultery and faithfulness, the transmission of Celtic themes in the matière de Bretagne, the legends of King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, Tristan and Iseut, as well as medieval manuscripts (including a session viewing manuscripts in the Bancroft Library). Most of the texts will be read in modern French, but instruction in the Old French language will be an important component of the class and key passages will be read in their original linguistic form.