Fall 2008 Undergraduate Courses

(as of 8-5-08)

MI 20185 –  Arthurian Literature
T R 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Frese, Dolores

An exploration of the fascinating world of Arthurian legend.

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MI 20473 –  Regarding the Challenge of Islam to Christianity
M W F 10:40 – 11:30 AM
Reynolds, Gabriel

While many Christians have described Islam as a Christian heresy, many Muslims consider Christianity to be an Islamic heresy. Jesus, they maintain, was a Muslim prophet. Like Adam and Abraham before him, like Muhammad after him, he was sent to preach Islam. In this view Islam is the natural religion--eternal, universal, and unchanging. Other religions, including Christianity, arose only when people went astray. Therefore Muslims have long challenged the legitimacy of Christian doctrines that differ from Islam, including the Trinity, the incarnation, the cross, the new covenant and the church. In this course we will examine Islamic writings, from the Qur’an to contemporary texts, in which these doctrines are challenged. We will then examine the history of Christian responses to these challenges and consider, as theologians, how Christians might approach them today.

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MI 20482 –  Saints in Art and Icons
M W 3:00 – 4:15 P
Roy, Neil

A diachronic exploration of the lives and legends of the saints as depicted in art and iconography. Students will explore lives of the saints in select vitae as well as the most influential hagiographical collection of the Middle Ages, The Golden Legend of Dominican bishop James of Voragine. Due attention is paid to the arrangement of the sanctoral cycle, the compilation of calendars and martyrologies, and the theological underpinnings of classic iconography. Primary focus on identifying saints by iconographical attributes and conventions in both western and eastern iconography.

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MI 20609 –  Reading and Writing Latin Prose
M W F 10:40 - 11:30 AM
Krostenko, Brian

This second-year language course continues the review of grammar begun in CLLA 20003 and introduces students to stylistic analysis through close readings of Latin prose authors such as Cicero and the younger Pliny. A special feature of the course is that students learn to write classical Latin for themselves.

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MI 20772 –  Medieval and Renaissance Music-History I
T R 2:00 - 3:15 PM
Blachly, Alexander

A survey of music. The study of the major forms and styles in Western history. Required of music majors and minors, but open to students with sufficient musical background.

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MI 30214 –  The Italian Renaissance
M W F 10:40 - 11:30 AM
Meserve, Margaret

This course examines the political, cultural, social, and religious history of Italy from about 1350 to 1550. Starting with an extended study of Florence, its economic foundations, social and political structures, artistic monuments, and key personalities, the course then examines how the culture of the Florentine Renaissance spread to the rest of Italy, especially to the papal court of Rome and the princely courts of northern Italy, and, finally, to the new nation-states of northern Europe. Key topics will include: the growth of the Italian city-state; the appearance of new, Renaissance “characters” (the merchant, the prince, the courtier, the mercenary, the learned lady, the self-made man); Renaissance humanism and the classical revival; the relationship between art and politics; and Renaissance ideas of liberty, virtue, historical change, and the individual’s relationship to God. The course will not tell a story of steady progress from medieval to modern institutions, societies, and modes of thinking; rather, we will consider the Renaissance as a period in flux, in which established traditions thrived alongside creative innovations and vigorous challenges to authority. Students will write one long paper and take a midterm and a final exam.

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MI 30221 –  The Reformation
M W F 9:35 - 10:25 AM
Gregory, Brad

A narrative history of Christianity in Western Europe from c. 1500-c. 1650, which takes an international and comparative perspective, including Catholicism, Protestantism, and radical Protestantism. Topics covered include Christianity on the eve of the Reformation, Christian humanism, Luther and the German Reformation, the Peasants’ War and Anabaptism, the English Reformation, Calvin and Calvinism, Catholic Reform and the Council of Trent, the French Wars of Religion, confessionalization, the Thirty Years War, and the English Revolution. Major themes include matters of religious content (doctrinal positions and devotional sensibilities), the relationship between different Christian groups and political regimes, the impact of religious changes across the population, and the definitive emergence of Christian pluralism. Lectures plus discussion.A narrative history of Christianity in Western Europe from c. 1500-c. 1650, which takes an international and comparative perspective, including Catholicism, Protestantism, and radical Protestantism. Topics covered include Christianity on the eve of the Reformation, Christian humanism, Luther and the German Reformation, the Peasants’ War and Anabaptism, the English Reformation, Calvin and Calvinism, Catholic Reform and the Council of Trent, the French Wars of Religion, confessionalization, the Thirty Years War, and the English Revolution. Major themes include matters of religious content (doctrinal positions and devotional sensibilities), the relationship between different Christian groups and political regimes, the impact of religious changes across the population, and the definitive emergence of Christian pluralism. Lectures plus discussion.

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MI 30222 –  Tudor England: Politics and Honor
T R 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Rapple, Rory

The period from 1485 to 1603, often feted as something of a ‘Golden Age’ for England, saw that country undergo serious changes that challenged the traditional ways in which the nation conceived of itself. These included the break from Rome, the loss of England’s foothold in France, and the unprecedented experience of monarchical rule by women. Each of these challenges demanded creative political responses and apologetic strategies harnessing intellectual resources from classical, Biblical, legal, chivalric and ecclesiastical sources. This course will examine these developments. It will also look at how the English, emerging from under the shadow of the internecine dynastic warfare of the fifteenth century, sought to preserve political stability and ensure a balance between continuity and change, and, furthermore, how individuals could use these unique circumstances to their own advantage.

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MI 30233 –  Early Medieval Ireland
T R 3:30 – 4:45 PM
Rapple, Rory

Consideration of the period between 950 and 1400 is of crucial importance in understanding Irish history. This course not only covers the range of continuities and radical discontinuities that marked Ireland’s development during this time, but charts the attempted conquest of the entire country by the English Crown. The lecture series also seeks to answer a number of questions. Why did the Papacy give the English Crown sovereignty over Ireland? Why did a country like Ireland, on the verge of attaining political and economic centralization, not organize better resistance to English attempts to subdue it? Why did the English colony fail to prove more successful in exerting its will over indigenous Irish potentates? Culturally the period also witnessed the growing assimilation of English invaders to the norms of Gaelic Irish politics and society. Lastly, events in Ireland had a serious influence on developments in England, Wales and Scotland, provoking, amongst other things, the fall of the Plantagenet dynasty and an attempted invasion by King Robert I of Scotland.

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MI 30278 –  King Arthur in History and Literature
T R 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Boulton, D’Arcy Jonathan Dacre
Boulton, Maureen

This course, intended to introduce undergraduates to one of the major themes as well as to the interdisciplinary approaches characteristic of medieval studies, is a team-taught examination of the development and influence of the legend of Arthur, King of Britain, both in history and in literature.

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MI 30289 Blessed are the Poor? Poverty and Charity, 100 BC-1600 AD
T R 11:00 - 12:15 PM
Shuler, Eric T.

Debates rage back and forth today in politics and religion about social justice, poverty, and charity. And, indeed, poverty is a serious problem, but we are not the first generation to grapple with it. From the slaves of the ancient world to homeless beggars and cripples at the beginning of modernity, from voluntarily poor monks to exploited women to revolting peasants, the many faces of the poor have haunted history. Society's responses have spanned the spectrum from heroic altruism to disdain and violence. In the one and a half millennia from the rise of a Christianity preaching charity to the birth of early modern reforms, the poor have always been with us. Did anything fundamentally change? What effect did all the efforts of society and religion have? Why have men and women approached poverty in so many ways, and what lessons about structures, causes and solutions does history offer? We answer these questions by looking at Christian Europe alongside glances at neighboring Jewish, Muslim, and pagan traditions of charity. Students interested in social justice, poverty issues, and religion's impact on the world are especially welcome.

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MI 30301 –  01 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
T R 5:00 - 6:15 PM
Dumont, Stephen

MI 30301 – 02 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
M W 1:30 - 2:45 PM
Freddoso, Alfred

This course will concentrate on major figures and persistent themes. A balance will be sought between scope and depth, the latter ensured by a close reading of selected texts.

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MI 30405 –  History of Catholicism
M W 11:45 - 1:00 PM
Sullivan, Robert
Course explores the evolution of Catholicism from 300 to 1500.

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MI 30411 – 01 Christian Theological Tradition I
M W F 10:40 - 11:30 AM
Wawrykow, Joseph

MI 30411 – 02 Christian Theological Tradition I
M W F 9:35 - 10:25 AM
Cunningham, Lawrence

A survey of Christian theology from the end of the New Testament period to the eve of the Reformation. Through the close reading of primary texts, the course focuses on the Christology of such influential thinkers as Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. How do these thinkers understand the person and work of Jesus Christ? What are the Christological problems that they tried to resolve? How do the different Christologies of these thinkers reflect their differing conceptions of the purpose and method of “theology”? Some attention will also be given to non-theological representations of Christ. How does the art of the early and medieval periods manifest changes in the understanding of the significance of Jesus?

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MI 30500 –  Survey of Spanish Literature I
T R 9:30 - 10:45 AM
Juárez-Almendros, Encarnácion

A survey of Spanish literature through 1700. Readings of selected texts in prose, poetry, and theater from the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods.

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MI 30530 –  Survey of French Literature I
M W 11:45 - 1:00 PM
Della Neva, Jo Ann
Reading of selections and complete works of outstanding French authors from major genres and periods. Students are expected to have already taken ROFR 30310.

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MI 30577 –  Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature & Culture
T R 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Sbordoni, Chiara
An introduction to the close reading and textual analysis of respresentative texts from the Duecento through the Renaissance, including Lentini, Guinizzelli, Cavalcanti, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Poliziano, Machiavelli, and Ariosto.

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MI 30610 –  Roman History--Writing
T R 2:00 - 3:15 PM
Bradley, Keith

This third-year course builds on CLLA 20003 and CLLA 20004, and offers close reading of passages from the works of the historical writers Caesar and Sallust. Latin historiography is a sophisticated instrument for narrating past events, for showing how notions of cause and effect and change over time develop in historical thinking, and for indicating the relevance of the past to the present. The political and social conditions of Rome that informed the writings of Caesar and Sallust are discussed, and the compositional techniques of their works are examined.

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MI 30630 –  Introduction to the Latin Vulgate
T R 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Ladouceur, David

Readings in the prose and poetry of the Latin Bible. The peculiarities of its Latin, influenced by Greek and Hebrew, will be analyzed from an historical linguistic perspective and also interpreted according to Christian exegetical tradition. Special stress on the Psalms with accompanying readings in Augustine’s Enarrationes. No knowledge of Hebrew or Greek required.

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MI 30674 -  The Irish Tradition I
T R 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Fogarty, Hugh

Ireland possesses the oldest vernacular literary tradition in Europe, spanning over 1500 years to the present day. This course will provide a survey of the origins and development of that literary tradition through more than a millennium from its beginnings until the seventeenth century, when political circumstances led to the collapse of the highly-developed native system of learning, poetry and patronage. The development of the Irish literary tradition will be traced against this background of political and cultural upheavals from approximately 500 to 1650.

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MI 30680 -  Medieval German Literature
M W 3:00 - 4:15 PM
Wimmer, Albert

This course constitutes a survey of German literature from its beginnings during Germanic times until the sixteenth century. Ideas, issues and topics are discussed in such a way that their continuity can be seen throughout the centuries. Lectures and discussions are in German, but individual students’ language abilities are taken into consideration. Readings include modern German selections from major medieval authors and works such as Hildebrandslied, Rolandslied, Nibelungenlied, Iwein, Parzival, Tristan, courtly lyric poetry, the German mystics, secular and religious medieval drama, Der Ackermann aus Bühmen, and the beast epic Reineke Fuchs. Class discussions and brief presentations in German by students on the selections are intended as an opportunity for stimulating exchange and formal use of German.

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MI 30724 -  Gothic Art and Architecture
T R 3:30 - 4:45 PM
Joyner, Danielle

It was during the Gothic period, stretching approximately from the 12th to the 15th centuries, that artists raised their social status to a higher level and produced a greater quantity of works than ever before seen in the Christian West. The architectural forms that we identify as characterizing the Gothic style, such as pointed arches, flying buttresses, pinnacles, and quatrefoils were applied not only to buildings, but to altarpieces, illuminated manuscripts, liturgical objects, and even to domestic items such as spoons, beds, and chests. This style has a powerful legacy, and has been frequently revived to various purposes in the modern era. In this course we analyze representative examples of Gothic art and architecture in light of their production at a time of great social, intellectual, religious, and political dynamism and upheaval.

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MI 30757 Venetian and Northern Italian Renaissance Art
M W 3:00 - 4:15 PM
Coleman, Robert Randolph

This course focuses on significant artistic developments of the sixteenth century in Venice with brief excursions to Lombardy and Piedmont. Giorgione, Titian, and Palladio, the formulators of the High Renaissance style in Venice, and subsequent artists such as Tintoretto and Veronese are examined. An investigation of the art produced in important provincial and urban centers such as Brescia, Cremona, Milan and Parma also provide insight into the traditions of the local schools and their patronage.

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MI 30800 –  Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
T R 11:00 - 12:15 PM
Keys, Mary

What is the meaning of justice and why should we care about it? Can politics ever perfectly establish justice? Which forms of government are best for human beings to live under, and why? What is the political relevance of religion and philosophy, family and ethnicity, war and peace, nature and freedom, law and right? What are the qualities of a good citizen and political leader? How should relations among diverse political communities be conducted? This course introduces students to theoretical reflection on these and related questions through the study of some of the great works of ancient and medieval political thought. Readings will include writings of authors such as Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Farabi, Maimonides, and Aquinas.

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MI 40003 -  Introduction to Christian Latin
M W 11:45 - 1:00 PM
Bloomer, W. Martin
This course has two goals: to improve the student’s all-around facility in dealing with Latin texts and to introduce the student to the varieties of Christian Latin texts and basic resources that aid in their study. Exposure to texts will be provided through common readings that will advance in the course of the semester from the less to the more demanding and will include Latin versions of Scripture, exegesis, homiletic, texts dealing with religious life, formal theological texts, and Christian Latin poetry. Philological study of these texts will be supplemented by regular exercises in Latin composition.

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MI 40324 -  Plotinus and Proclus
T R 11:00 - 12:15 PM
Gersh, Stephen
This course will provide an introduction to the two most important Greek philosophers of late antiquity and the representatives of the two main tendencies in what is nowadays called “Neoplatonism.” The first half of the semester will consist of textual readings in English translation but always keeping an eye on the original Greek. Students will make a close study of selected treatises in Plotinus’ Enneads and parts of Proclus’ Elements of Theology and commentaries on the Timaeus and Parmenides with a view to understanding their inner consistency and historical background. The second half of the semester will be devoted to a historical survey of the two thinkers’ influence in the medieval Latin, Arabic, and Byzantine spheres. The survey will include some discussion of the MSS. traditions, of the beginnings of the medieval (direct and indirect) transmission proper in Iohannes Scottus Eriugena, al-’Âmirî, and Michael Psellus, and of selected later influences. Knowledge of Greek is desirable but not essential. Requirement: one final paper (ca. 20 pp.).

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MI 40368 -  Allegory and Cosmology
T R 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Gersh, Stephen

During the Middle Ages in the Latin West, the Timaeus was the only work of Plato that achieved wide dissemination (in the translation by Calcidius). Especially when read in conjunction with other works of late antiquity such as Macrobius’ commentary on the Cicero’s Dream of Scipio and Servius’ commentary on Virgil’s Aeneid, this dialogue came to be viewed as “cosmological” with regard to content and as “mythical” or “allegorical” with regard to style. Our course will be devoted to the influence of such a Timaeus in twelfth-century Latin authors. Beginning with some discussion of the philosophical commentaries of Bernard of Chartres and William of Conches, we will engage in a sustained reading of Bernard Silvestris’ Cosmography and Alan of Lille’s On the Complaint of Nature, paying close attention to the themes of the disorder of matter, the harmony of the spheres, and the soul’s celestial journey soul. Knowledge of Latin is desirable but not essential. Requirement: one final paper (ca. 20 pp.).

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MI 40509 -  Spanish Golden Age Short Novel
T R 11:00 - 12:15 PM
Juárez-Almendros, Encarnácion
A close reading of traditional pennisular narratives.

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MI 40531 –  Introduction to Old French
T R 9:30 - 10:45 AM
Boulton, Maureen
This course is designed to be an introduction to the language and dialects of medieval France, including Anglo-Norman. Readings will include texts written between the 12th and the 14th centuries, such as the lais of Marie de France, trouvère poetry, the prose Lancelot, Machaut, and Froissart.

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MI 40552 -  Dante I
M W 3:00 - 4:15 PM
TBA
An in-depth study, over two semesters, of the entire Comedy, in its historical, philosophical, and literary context, with selected reading from the minor works (e.g., Vita Nuova, Convivio, De vulgari eloquentia). Lectures and discussion in English; the text will be read in the original with facing-page translation. Students may take one semester or both, in either order.

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MI 40806 -  Early English Theatre
T R 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Pilkinton, Mark
This course focuses on English theatre during the two-century ‘run’ from c. 1350-1576 of the great civic religious dramas known as cycle plays, which depict the breadth of cosmic and human history from the Creation to Doomsday. The study of drama and theatre of this period will help to establish the context for Shakespeare and his contemporaries by examining not only the surviving plays but also the sources that provide external evidence of drama, secular music, and other communal entertainment and ceremony.

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MI 43341 -  Aquinas’ Philosophical Theology
M W 11:45 - 1:00 PM
O’Callaghan, John
A close examination of the philosophical arguments within the first thirteen questions of Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, including arguments about the distinction between philosophy and Sacred Theology, the existence of a god, divine simplicity, divine perfection, divine goodness, divine infinity, divine immutability, divine eternity, divine unity, how God is known by us, and how God is spoken about by us.

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MI 43343 -  Aquinas on Human Nature
M W 3:00 - 4:15 PM
Freddoso, Alfred
A close study of St. Thomas Aquinas’s philosophical anthropology, based on questions 75-101 of the First Part of the Summa Theologiae. Some topics include: the human soul and its powers, the sentient appetite, higher human cognition and willing, and the production of the first human beings in the state of innocence.

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MI 43750 -  Seminar: Topics in Medieval Art
T R 12:30 - 1:45 PM
Joyner, Danielle
Between 1175 and 1195, Herrad, Abbess of the Augustinian community at Hohenbourg, oversaw the compilation of texts and images into a tremendous manuscript that she named the Hortus Deliciarum, the “Garden of Delights.” Likening herself to a bee collecting nectar from the flowers of various authorities, Herrad combined narrative, diagrammatic, and allegorical imagery with excerpts from over 50 texts to create a history of the world from Creation to Judgement Day. Working through the highlights of this 320-plus folio manuscript, which is reproduced in facsimile version, this course will examine the world according to Herrad as it was vividly captured in Hortus Deliciarum. We will examine how she adopts and adapts different visual traditions to narrate a compelling and memorable history. Using texts in translation and secondary studies, we will consider certain philosophical and theological issues relevant for the Hohenbourg community and for a more general study of the twelfth century. We will explore questions concerning time and history, the relationship of an individual to the universe, and the nature of the group-identity constructed in these pages. Finally, we will examine how this exemplary manuscript increases our understanding of the lives and learnings of women in the twelfth century.

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MI 46020 –  Directed Readings-Undergraduate
TBA
Various instructors
Offers advanced undergraduate students a possibility to work closely with a professor in preparing a topic mutually agreed upon.

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MI 50001 -  Introduction to Medieval Studies
M 5:00 - 5:50 PM
Constable, Olivia Remie
A one-credit-hour course designed to introduce students to the basic bibliographies, handbooks, and research tools in medieval studies. Professors from various disciplines will participate. OPEN ONLY TO UNDERGRADUATE MI MAJORS IN THE HONORS TRACK.

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MI 58001 -  Senior Honors Thesis I—Research
TBA
Various instructors

This course is part of a two-semester sequence OPEN ONLY TO SENIORS IN THE MEDIEVAL STUDIES HONORS PROGRAM. Guided by a faculty adviser, students will research and write a thesis that results in a scholarly examination of a clearly defined topic. In the fall semester, students formalize the choice of a topic initially selected at the end of their junior year and complete the research begun on the project during the preceding summer. Specific deadlines for a thesis proposal and bibliography are available from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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