ARH 4251: Romanesque and Gothic Art and Architecture
ARH 4304: Italian Renaissance Architecture (1400 to 1530)
ARH 4312: Late Renaissance Art in Italy
Italian art and architecture from 1460 to 1590. Emphasis on painting and sculpture.
Note: If there is space in the class, Professor Ross
will consider admitting students who are not art history majors or
minors or who do not have the stated prerequisites, if they have
completed other MEMs courses. Please email her to discuss this
ARH 4331: Renaissance Art in Northern Europe
course offers an introduction to the art of Northern Europe during the
two centuries of transition from the Middle Ages to the early modern
era. We will focus on painting and the graphic arts in the Low
Countries and Germany with particular attention to the work of Jan
van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer,
and Pieter Bruegel. The course will consider the different social and
religious contexts in which artists worked (courtly, urban,
scholarly, popular, monastic) as well the profound impact of the
Reformation on artistic practice and on the role of images in Western
culture. We will examine Italian patronage of Northern art as well as the influence of Italian Classicism on Northern artists. Northern
art of this era maintained strong continuities with the Middle Ages
while also laying the groundwork for many of the institutions,
conventions, and preoccupations of the modern Western tradition. Two
important shifts in the history of media set the stage for modern
developments. The framed painting-the format par excellence of Western
art-began its ascendancy over sculpture, as the medium of oil-on-panel
inspired a new, luminous painted realism. And the invention of
printing spawned a communications revolution by enabling the mechanical
reproduction and mass distribution of images (and texts). Two new
genres arose in this period-the portrait likeness and the independent
landscape-as well as some of the first princely and scholarly
collections of art and artifacts. Powerful pictorial statements of the
artist as creator declare the changing status of artists, while the
growth of a marketplace for the circulation of works of art as
commodities outside court and church also brought about change in the
economic and social conditions of art-making.
If there is space in the class, Professor Ross will consider admitting
students who are not art history majors or minors or who do not have
the stated prerequisites, if they have completed other MEMs courses. Please email her to discuss this possibility
ENG 6075: Indexing Medieval and Early Modern History in Film and Media:
From Manuscript and Print to Cinematic and New Media Paratexts
In this seminar, we will examine a variety of historical films that
make some claim to being historical. We will initally examine a variety
of critical models that question the notion that a film should be
historically accurate or faithful to its historical sources, and move
on to reformulations of history and film in terms of the ontological
indexicality of film, the conversion of documentary realism to diegetic
reality effect, the role of the academic historian as film consultant,
and especially the cinematic paratext, notably in DVD editions, and the
development of the index in books and notecards, an early version of
hyptext links, and the links between hands and books both in books and
film. The course will engage film in relation to new digital media as
well as old visual and print media while examining several functions
and meanings of the index: the referential (the film documents reality
/ the profilmic mis-en-scene); the textual apparatus at the back of the
book; the index as hand (as a visual icon in books; and the index
finger links the hand to the book and to the digital--bookmarks,
post-its, and so on, are prosthetic fingers). Course website
ENL 3210: Medieval English Literature
R. A. Shoaf
In this course, we will read, in their entirety, Beowulf, Sir
Orfeo, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl,
Patience, the Alliterative Morte Arthure, and Robert
Henryson's The Testament of Cresseid. We will read selections, some substantial, from the Ancrene Wisse,
Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love, The Book
of Marjorie Kempe and Thomas Malory's Morte d'Arthur. In preparation for reading these medieval texts, we will spend the beginning
of the term reading major Latin authors who are known to have been directly
and powerfully influential on medieval English writers, including (but
not necessarily limited to) Virgil, Ovid, St. Augustine, and Boethius.
Students will take one examination in class and write two short essays
(5-7 pages), the first due at midterm and the second at the end of term.
There will be no final examination. Extensive use will be made of resources available on the WWW, and students
will be introduced early to a number of major sites containing texts and
ENL 4221: Donne to Milton
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.
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
ENL 4333: Shakespeare
ENL 6226: Renaissance Literartue
FOW 3380: Castles and Cloisters
See MEM 3380
GET 3200: The Literature of Knighthood
Readings from the great German works of chivalry in translation: the
Hildebrandslied and Nibelungenlied, the poetry of the
Minnesanger, Gottfried von Strassburg's Parzival, and romances
by Hartman von Aue and Wolfram von Eschenbach.
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.
LIT 4930: Comedy: Theory and Practice
LIT 4930: Allegory
LIT 4930: Dante for English Majors
R. A. Shoaf
We will read all of Dante's Commedia and all of the Vita
Nuova; we will also, as occasion warrants, read in others of his
major works, especially the Convivio, De Vulgari Eloquentia,
and Monarchia. Our rhythm will consist in roughly five weeks
per canticle of the Commedia.
As we work with the Commedia, students will also be expected to read
the Vita Nuova and all of Chaucer's Troilus, Milton's
Paradise Lost, and Auden's New Year Letter. The latter
three poems will serve as test cases for evaluating Dante's influence
on English writing. Students are encouraged, however, to read and incorporate
into the seminar other English writers with whom they are familiar who
also witness to Dante's influence — Eliot, Joyce, Beckett, et al.
The writing assignment for the seminar may be discharged in one of two
ways. Each way is valid. Neither is privileged over the other for purposes
of assessing your final grade. You may write three short essays (minimum
of five pages each) or one long essay (minimum of 15 pages). The short
essays are to be one on each of the three canticles of the Commedia (we will work out topics as we go). The long essay, a term-paper research
project, will be due at term's end, but an outline and complete abstract
will be due approximately two weeks in advance of that date for full credit
to be assigned to the essay. Your final grade will be determined, then,
by your performance in seminar meetings and your writing in one of these
two essay options.
In addition, we will make extensive use of the World Wide Web in the
seminar to access the wealth of resources on the WWW for Dante Studies,
including especially the "Princeton Dante Project" http://etcweb.princeton.edu/dante/index.html.
MEM 3003: The Medieval World
Andrea Stark & Nina Caputo A new "gateway" course for prospective MEMS students.
Political hegemony. Globalized economy. Religious fundamentalism. Technological
innovation. Many identify these as qualities of the modern age, but the
tendency towards globalization has characterized religion, politics, economies,
and the arts throughouth history. Though often viewed as ignorant, static,
and provincial, medieval society was creative and dynamic. This class
will recast medieval peoples and cultures in a global context. From Rome
to Baghdad, Seville to the Silk Road, we will take an interdisciplinary
approach to diverse sources from the medieval world.
Satisfies the H and I general education requirements.
MEM 3300: Castles and Cloisters: An Introduction to Medieval Communities
The goal of this course will be to develop a familiarity with some of
the salient characteristics of monastic and courtly-chivalric communities
in the European Middle Ages, by means of a study of the ways in which
they organized their lives temporally and spatially, and of the ways in
which they gave expression to their views about life, love, work, God,
etc. in their art, literature, and music. This course functions as a core
course for the recently developed interdisciplinary minor in Medieval
and early Modern Studies (MEMS).
Satisfies the H and I general education requirements.
Renaissance literature surveys the music from the period roughly 1430-1600,
stressing the major genres of mass, motet, madrigal and chanson, and touching
on less prominent regional practices and instrumental music. The music is
placed into social and historical context. MEMS students welcome!
SPW 3100: Introduction to Spanish Literatures I:
Crossroads (Encrucijada de caminos)
In Spanish. Spain’s
legacy of Moslem, Jewish and Christian interaction enriched by Catalonian,
Galician and New Worldvoices unfolds in
selected readings from the Middle Ages to the “Golden Age.” Texts are
approached critically with attention to literary form and historical position.
Text: Selections from Rodney Rodríguez, Momentos
I) Credits: 3; Prereq: SPN 3300 or SPN 3350, or the equivalent.
SPW 4212: Golden Age Prose: Inscribing Uncertainty (Inscribiendo
In Spanish. Spain’s
Imperial expansion brought with it profound cultural changes. In this “Age of
Uncertainty” (1500-1700), doubts and conflicts found expression in new literary
forms such as the novel and the short story. This year, the course will focus on María de Zayas and Miguel de
Cervantes. Credits: 3; Prereq: One SPW 3000-level course or permission of