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MEMS Courses in Spring 2005
ARH 4200: Early Medieval and Byzantine Art and Architecture
A lecture course that covers the art and architecture of late Imperial Rome, the Early Christian period, Byzantine art, and the art of the early middle ages in the West, namely, Carolingian and Ottonian, up to the millennium.
ARH 6918: Graduate Seminar: Chinese Art: the Archaeology of Writing
Using a comparative framework, this graduate seminar will consider the origins, functions, and artistic development of early writing in China as well as other ancient civilizations. Related issues include the nature and misconceptions about the Chinese writing system, the decipherment of ancient scripts, the relationship between art and writing, the social and political function of recording, he materiality and means of writing, the spread of literacy and its impact on social and political structure, and the religious implication of calligraphy. Comparative materials will be drawn from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, and ancient Mediterranean civilizations.
ENG 4133 The Schlock of Medievalism: The Middle Ages Go to the Movies
Course Description: References to the Middle Ages abound in films as varied as Pulp Fiction, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Hellboy, Seven, National Treasure, Garden State, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Conan the Barbarian, and the last decade has seen a resurgence of films about the Middle Ages (consider Mel Gibson's Braveheart, Brian Helgeland's A Knight's Tale, John McTiernan's 13th Warrior, Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur, Paul McGuigan's The Reckoning, and Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven ). What does it mean to get medieval on film ? Rather than cordon off high serious films about the Middle Ages from low, schlocky, popular films that reference the medieval, this course will address this question by examining the intertextual links between these serious films and more lowbrow, "schmedieval" films and film genres such as the epic and the B-picture. We will use the film parody of the King Arthur story, Monty Python's Holy Grail (and related Monty Python films by co-directors Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam) and the neodetective film The Name of the Rose (along with criticism about the Middle Ages by Umberto Eco) as competing ways of examining the cinematic "schlock of the medieval": high films often draw on low films and contemporary music (the soundtrack of Bertrand Tavernier's Passion of Beatrice was composed by jazz bassist Stanley Clarke) while low films often draw on high culture (John Boorman's Excalibur uses well-known music from Richard Wagner's Nibelungun cycle). The parodic Monty Python's Holy Grail and the serious The Name of the Rose will serve as two poles for conceptualizing and discussing the ways serious films about the Middle Ages are informed by parodic, schmedieval films, namely, the paratext and the palimpsest.
ENL 4220: Erotic Politics of Renaissance Culture
In this course, we will examine the varied relations between eros and power as they emerge in Renaissance culture, beginning with the key Italian figures Aretino and Guilio Romano, and then move more widely into a consideration of Italian courtesans and literary culture (the poetry of Veronica Franco) and Italian and Northern Renaissance painting and models (Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentilescchi, Titian, Vermeer, and Cranach). From there, we’ll go to the English Renaissance poetry of Thomas Nashe and the drama of Christopher Marlowe (Edward II and Doctor Faustus), Thomas Middleton (The Revenger’s Tragedy and The Changeling). We will also examine a number of related films, including Caravaggio, Dangerous Beauty, Artemisia, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Edward II, The Changeling ,The Revenger’s Tragedy, and Hotel (a film about the making of a film of The Duchess of Malfi). Requirements: discussion questions, a film clip assignment, two papers, and two presentations in class.
ENL 4221: Milton, Major Works
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the major poems and some of the important prose of Milton in such a way as to help them understand the significance of such a poet’s quest for a “fit audience... though few” (Paradise Lost 7.31).
ENL 4311: Chaucer
This course will familiarize students with the major narrative poetry of Chaucer. We will devote most of our study to several of The Canterbury Tales and to Chaucer’s great romance, Troilus and Criseyde. We will also examine at least one of Chaucer’s long allegorical poems, The House of Fame, along with Latin and Italian source materials included in our main textbook. Students will learn to read Chaucer’s Middle English (the form of the English language from about 1100-1500 C. E.), and they will be introduced to the principal methodological issues constitutive of contemporary Chaucer studies. That is, they will investigate how Chaucer studies incorporate modern critical theory – especially involving issues of narrative complexity, figurative discourse, and the poetic representation of gender. Particular focus will fall upon the issue of subjectivity, since Chaucer – often seen as the forerunner of modern novelistic art – lays claim to being the first major author in English to cultivate the poetics of the subjective, the personal, and the psychologically realistic. Class meetings will include lectures, discussion, and, especially early in the term, recitation and spot translation of Middle English.
ENL 4333: Shakespeare
We will be reading some 18 plays by Shakespeare at a rate of a play every 2 or 3 days. Students who do not enjoy reading ought not take this course. There will be quizzes to ensure that students stay up-to-date with assignments, and a take-home, essay-type, midterm and final exam. We will not perform the plays, we will not watch films of the plays, and we will not discuss Shakespeare’s political, economic, social, and gender shortcomings. We will talk about art, ideas, form, beauty, truth, and even, I give fair warning, about poetry. The fundamental theoretical framework of the course argues that students should read a great deal of good literature before being introduced to a plethora of bad criticism and worse theory. The course is, therefore, a theory-free zone – which is, of course, a theory worth contemplating.
ENL 4333: Shakespeare
This course will focus on themes of love and sexuality in plays and poems by Shakespeare from different phases of his career. Works to be read will include All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, Two Gentlemen of Verona, the Sonnets, Macbeth, and The Tempest, among others. (We will read one play or other comparable assignment per week.) The emphasis will be on developing skills of close reading, rather than on literary theory, but the instructor’s approach will be primarily psychoanalytic and feminist.
EUH 3121: Early Middle Ages
Description of the course: "The past is a foreign country." There is perhaps no period in history to which the words of the American historian David Lowenthal may apply better than to the Early Middle Ages. The /early/ part makes it exotic: it is _not_ about gallant knights, courtly love, or crusaders, all of which "happened" much later, after AD 1000. By contrast, /this/ was a world of warriors and missionaries, though the names of Beowulf and Boniface may not be as familiar to you as those of King Arthur and Joan of Arc. Moreover, the study of the Early Middle Ages presents a number of serious challenges, especially the combination of written sources and archaeological evidence. In fact, the lack of written sources explains why some historians refer to the early Middle Ages as the /Dark Ages/. In this course, we will examine some of these problems and attempt to present, if not a definite picture, then at least a survey of the current knowledge on this topic. Our focus will be on social and cultural history, our approach chronological and sometimes thematic. From Huns to Vikings, we will bring some light into the study of the Dark Ages.
ENL 6226: Studies in the Renaissance: Tudor/Stuart Drama
In this course we will concentrate on reading about 25 plays from Elizabeth's reign to the closing of the theaters in 1642. As we do so we will focus on a number of contexts in which to understand them--such contexts as production and casting, illusion/reality, language, rhetoric, and style, the development of techniques and genres, the relationship to society, family, gender, economics, and politics. . . . The class will read along lines of historical development first tragedies, then comedies, and finally tragicomedies. The course should progress from lecture toward discussion, with students gaining independence and proficiency in understanding the period, analyzing critical methods, interpreting plays, and arguing articulately for particular contexts and readings both orally and in writing.
EUH 3323: Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages
The medieval history of Eastern Europe is poorly represented in today's scholarly work published in English. Scholarly interest in Eastern Europe focuses especially on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the period of nationalism. The medieval history of the area is given comparatively less attention, which often amounts to slightly more than total neglect. For most students in medieval studies, Eastern Europe is marginal and East European topics simply /exotica/. One reason for this reticence to engage in serious research in that area may be the uneasiness to treat its medieval history as (Western) European history. When peoples of Eastern Europe come up in works on the medieval history of Europe, they are usually the marginalized, the victims, or the stubborn pagans. To many historians, they appear only as the object of the conquest and colonization that shaped medieval Europe and their role is restricted to that of victims of the "occidentation," the shift towards the ways and norms of Romano-Germanic civilization. The conceptual division of Europe leaves Slavs, Magyars, and Romanians out of the main "core" of European history, though not too far from its advancing frontiers of "progress" and "civilization." Who were those peoples? What made them so difficult to represent by the traditional means of Western historiography? What historical circumstances separate the Western from the Eastern half of the European continent? What social structures and political institutions were responsible for the specific developments in the medieval history of the area? How were ethnicities formed in that region and under what circumstances did the ethnic groups come into being? Above all, this course aims to answer some of these questions. Since it is impossible to get more than a taste of the subject in a semester, we will concentrate on major problems, such as the search for political, economic and religious stability/power, the interaction of secular and religious forces, the influence of the Byzantine, Carolingian, and Ottonian empires in Eastern Europe, the role of the region in the medieval history of the Continent. Following a chronological order, we will look, each week, at the questions and problems raised by the study of this region, and at some of the primary sources from which historians draw their analysis
EUH 3500: Medieval England
EUH 3501: Early Modern England
HIS 3931, #3402: Middle Ages in Film
HIS 3931, #6308:
ITA 3101: Introduction to Italian Literature
Through a combination of readings and writing assignments, this course aims to provide students with an overview of Italian literature, with a specific focus on drama from the Medieval to the Early Modern period. The course will also focus on enhancing the student's grasp of the finer points of Italian syntax with a view to expanding reading skills and improving oral skills such as pronunciation and intonation. Finally, through a variety of in-class discussions , this course aims to provide students with improved critical skills as well as a greater appreciation of Italian culture and Italian drama in particular.
LIN 4930 (4237): Old English and Its Closest Relatives
D. Gary Miller & Jules D. Gliesche
Introduces the basic properties of the core Germanic langugaes (Gothic, Old Norse, Old English, and Old High German), based on a comparative survey of Germanic philology, morphology, and syntax.
LIT 3041: Tudor/Stuart Drama
In LIT 3041 we will read about one non-Shakespearean play per week from the greatest era for English drama, perhaps the greatest era for drama in any language – from the middle of Elizabeth’s reign to the closing of the theaters in 1642. We will focus on understanding these plays in a number of contexts such as stage conditions; illusion/reality/representation; language, rhetoric, and style; the development of techniques and genres; and social, political, and theological conditions.
LIT 4930, #4802: Shakespeare: Rhetoric
This course will examine representative works from the poems (lyric and narrative), the tragedies, the comedies, and the histories to observe and analyze the resources of language – puns and tropes, in particular – that Shakespeare exploits to invent his art.
LIT 6934: Faust Tradition
Ulrich Gaier, Max Kade Visiting Professor
In this course, three main texts about Faust will be studied: The 1587 Faust Book, Christopher Marlowe’s Tragical History of D. Faustus, and Goethe’s Faust, Part One. The aim of the course is to highlight Faust’s modernity and to study how the texts convey it poetically. In the case of the German texts, translations into English will be compared critically. The course will be taught in English. Students will be evaluated on the basis of a class report and a term paper (15–20 pages). For details, contact the instructor, guest professor Ulrich Gaier (University of Konstanz): <Ulrich.Gaier@uni-konstanz.de>.
SPW 6337: Poetry of the Golden Age
Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Will Hasty, 263 Dauer Hall, 273-3780
Mary Watt, 301 Pugh Hall, 392-2422
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Last Updated Monday, 17-Apr-2006 15:56:49 EDT