Fall 2009 Undergraduate Courses

(as of 4-13-09)

MI 20276 - Introduction to Islamic Civilization
Guo, Li

This course is designed to introduce students to Islamic civilization and Muslim culture and societies. The course will cover the foundations of Islamic belief, worship, and institutions, along with the evolution of sacred law (al-shari`a) and theology, as well as various aspects of intellectual activities. The Koran and the life of the Prophet Muhammad will be examined in detail. Both Sunni and Shi`i perspectives will be considered. Major Sufi personalities will be discussed to illuminate the mystical, and popular, tradition in Islam. Topics on arts, architecture, literary culture, and sciences will be covered. Although the course is concerned more with the history of ideas than with modern Islam as such, it has great relevance for understanding contemporary Muslim attitudes and political, social, and cultural trends in the Muslim world today.

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MI 20406 – 01
The Mass of the Roman Rite
Roy, Neil

An examination of the Catholic Eucharist as celebrated according to the Roman rite. Students explore the earliest witnesses of the Eucharist in Scripture and tradition, then trace the emergence and development of the eucharistic rite in Rome itself and in areas influenced by Rome. Attention is paid to the origins and formation of liturgical texts, and their compilation into various books; vestments and vessels; and the arrangement of church architecture over the centuries. The course follows the Roman liturgy from the Eternal City (ca. 700) over the Alps into the Frankish realms and even into southern England in the early Middle Ages; then traces its reintroduction to the City in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, through the pontificate of Innocent III (1198-1216), and its reform after the Council of Trent. The course finally examines the Liturgical Movement of the twentieth century and developments after Vatican II. Due consideration is given to the role of Joseph Ratzinger-Pope Benedict XVI in the new liturgical movement with particular focus on his liturgical legislation (Summorum pontificum, 7-7-2007), the ars celebrandi, and “the hermeneutic of continuity.”

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MI 20473 – 01
RE: The Islamic Challenge to Christian Theology
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, and 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 – 01
Saints in Art and Icons
Roy, Neil

A diachronic exploration of the lives and legends of the saints as depicted in art and iconography. Students will explore early records and 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 (1230-1298). 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 20493 – 01
On Conversion
Daley, Brian

For all believing people, faith is a journey: a lifelong movement of growth in understanding of the divine Mystery in whose presence we live, and of commitment to serving God. Christian faith begins in Jesus’ call to each person to follow him as a disciple; and while the general shape of that journey of companionship is modeled in the Gospels, it takes on very different concrete features in each particular life. In this course, we will reflect on the theological importance of conversion and spiritual growth for the life of faith, and will consider the stories of several well-known Christians (Augustine of Hippo, Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, John Woolman, Dorothy Day, C. S. Lewis) that reveal the long-term implications of conversion to faith. We will also reflect on loss of faith as a kind of anti-conversion peculiar to modern culture.

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MI 20609 - Reading and Writing Latin Prose
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 20752 - Art of the Medieval Codex
Joyner, Danielle

In classical times text and image were applied to papyri and scrolls, in the mid-15th century movable type and woodcuts printed text and images into paper books. During the intervening millennium text and images written drawn, and painted by multiple hands onto the bound parchment of medieval codices. As an introduction to the study of medieval manuscripts, this class will begin with an overview of codicological methods and then move through a series of thematic questions as they relate to specific manuscripts made in Western Europe between the 5th and 15th centuries. We will consider production methods, text-image relationships, issues of patronage and use, and many other questions as we examine the central role manuscripts played in the evolution of medieval European culture.

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MI 20772 - Medieval and Renaissance Music-History I
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 30203 - Middle Ages I
Perett, Marcela

This course will examine the history of the Roman world from the time of the first incursions of barbarians into the Roman Empire in the third century to the time of the final invasions in the 10th. It will concentrate first on the crises of the third century, and on the consequent transformation of the relatively unified, urbanized, tolerant, polytheistic Roman Empire of Late Antiquity into the two distinct, deurbanized, intolerant, monotheistic, and politically divided civilizations of Latin or Catholic Christendom and Greek or Orthodox Christendom. Next, it will briefly examine the emergence in the seventh century of the new monotheistic religion of Islam and of the new civilization and empire centered on it, which quickly conquered not only the old Persian empire but most of the Asian and all of the African provinces of the continuing Roman empire, and in 711-18 conquered most of Spain as well. The remainder of the course will concentrate on the history of Latin Christendom and its pagan barbarian neighbors to the north and east between the beginning of the Germanic conquests of the western provinces ca. 400 and the final conversion of the peoples of central and northern Europe to Christianity and the simultaneous emergence of a new sociopolitical order in the older kingdoms around 1000. There will be two short papers, two tests, and a final examination.

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MI 30222 - Tudor England: Politics and Honor
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
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 30251 - Medieval Cities
Constable, Olivia Remie

This course will cover the structure and development of urban centers in Europe and the Mediterranean World from the Late Antique period until the 14th century. The course will begin with a general discussion of modern urban theory together with ancient and medieval conceptions of what makes a “city.” From this point, we will track the history of urban life in medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World, with lectures devoted to urban geography, architecture, society, economy, and demography. We will also look in depth at medieval life in individual cities, including London, Paris, Cairo, and Constantinople, in order to consider variations in urban society and institutions in different regions.

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MI 30275 - Castles and Courts in Medieval Europe
Boulton, D’Arcy

The expanded title of this course is Castles, Castellanies, and Courts in Latin Europe, 900-1650. This course will examine the high period in the history of the castle--a combination of fort and residence--of the castellany or district subjected to the domination of a castle, and of the household and court of the kings, princes, and barons who built such residences and organized their lives and their activities within their various structures. It will first consider the castle as a form of fortification, review briefly the history of fortifications before 900, and examine the ways in which lords and their builders steadily improved their defensive capabilities in response to new knowledge and to new methods and tools of siegecraft. It will then examine the relationship of the castle to the contemporary forms of non-fortified or semi-fortified house, and finally its relationship to the lordly household (the body of servants organized into numerous departments associated with particular rooms or wings of the castle) and with the court (or body of soldiers, officers, allies, students, and temporary guests) who filled the castle when the lord was present. The course will conclude with an examination of the history of the castellany as a form of jurisdiction. The course will concentrate on the castles of the British Isles and France, but will examine the great variety of types found throughout Latin Europe.

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MI 30301 - Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Dumont, Stephen

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 30411 - Christian Theological Tradition I
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 30411 - 02
Christian Theological Tradition I
Wawrykow, Joseph

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
Juarez-Almendros, Encarnacion

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
Perry, Catherine

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 and Culture
Moevs, Christian

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 30680 - Medieval German Literature
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 Bohmen, 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 30758 - Kingdom, Empire, and Devotion
Joyner, Danielle

Although the Anglo-Saxon kingdom and Ottonian Empire overlap in time during the 10th and 11th centuries, the images and objects produced by both cultures manifest the different political, social, and religious identities being deliberately constructed. By the mid-11th century, the Normans had invaded England, the Salian emperors had succeeded the Ottonians, and European art is more cohesively and problematically labeled as Romanesque. This class will examine Anglo-Saxon and Ottonian art as individual visual traditions and trace their impact on images, objects, and monuments of the more loosely defined Romanesque era.

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MI 40003 - Introduction to Christian Latin
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 40212 – 01
Old English
Hall, Tom

Training in reading the Old English language and study of the literature written in Old English.

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MI 40151 - Censorship and Freedom of Expression
Kerby-Fulton, Kathryn

Late medieval writers operated in a world distressed by social injustice, political oppression, and church controversy. Although this period saw the rise of modern English literature itself, it was also a time when starving peasants rebelled against their overlords, knights rode off on crusade amidst anti-war critique, English translations of the Bible were suppressed, women mystics struggled to be heard amidst gender prejudice, and the king Chaucer worked for was deposed and murdered. This course will examine how the major writers of late medieval England negotiated these troubled waters, writing sometimes candidly and sometimes secretly about dangerous or disturbing matters. Authors to be studied will include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, the Wakefield Master playwright, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, and Marguerite Porete (the only medieval woman author to have been burned at the stake for her writings). The aim is to help illuminate how literary writers sought to defend or enlarge their religious or political orthodoxies in response to the challenges of the time.

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MI 40362 - Hermeneutics, Deconstruction, and Medieval Thought
Gersh, Stephen

The aims of this course are both methodological and historical. The methodological part will consist of an introduction to hermeneutics (in a broad sense) as theorized and/or practiced in certain areas of modern continental philosophy. After a brief look at the crucial innovations of Husserl, we shall study carefully chosen extracts (in English translation) of Heidegger: Being and Time and What is Called Thinking, Gadamer: Truth and Method, and Derrida: Of Grammatology, Writing and Difference, Dissemination in order to illuminate the different (even opposing) ways in which the idea of “hermeneutics” can develop. This general discussion will be combined with specific consideration of the themes of allegory and negativity. The historical part of the course will concentrate on late ancient, patristic, and early medieval readings (Origen: On First Principles, Augustine: On Christian Teaching, Literal Interpretation of Genesis, Proclus: Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus). Here, we shall attempt to advance our comprehension of ancient literature by 1. looking for parallels with modern hermeneutic techniques, 2. applying the modern techniques in test cases. The course is intended to be relatively open-ended, i.e., students will be expected to think about the way in which these discussions are internally coherent and also relate to their own areas of interest (which may be elsewhere in philosophy, theology, or literature (Latin or vernacular)). Requirement: one final essay of ca. 20 pp.

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MI 40369 - Medieval Negative Theology
Gersh, Stephen

The course will begin by examining the historical background in ancient and later ancient philosophy (Plato, the Neopythagoreans, the Neoplatonists) of the theological and philosophical method which later became known as “negative theology.” Having extracted a kind of definition from the historical survey, we will look at four major figures of the early Christian and medieval periods in greater detail, reading selected works or parts of works in English translation but also paying attention to the original Latin (or Greek). The authors and works will be: 1. Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (On Divine Names, On Mystical Theology, On the Celestial Hierarchy), 2. Iohannes Scottus Eriugena Periphyseon, books I-III), 3. Meister Eckhart (Parisian Questions, selections from biblical commentaries, selected German and Latin sermons), 4. Nicholas of Cusa (On Learned Ignorance, books I-II, On the Vision of God). The last part of the course will consist of a brief survey of the many other medieval writers who used the negative method, and also some notes on its influence in the Renaissance and later times. Knowledge of Latin will be useful but not necessary for the course. Written requirement: one final paper of ca. 20 pp.

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MI 40407 – 01
Introduction to the Early Church
Cavadini, John

This course offers a basic introduction to the theology and life of the early Church from the second to the fifth centuries. Special emphasis is given to the development of doctrine, the development of a spiritual theology, and the shape of the lives of Christians both ordinary and extraordinary.

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MI 40491 - The Holy Land
Reynolds, Gabriel

This course will investigate the manner in which Christians and Muslims through the centuries have understood the religious dimension of Palestine, and of Jerusalem in particular. In the first section of the course we will analyze classical religious texts, including: the New Testament prophecies of Jerusalem’s destruction; the narratives surrounding Saint Helen’s recovery of the true Cross and sacred relics; the traditions of Muhammad's night journey to Jerusalem, and Muslim narratives on the conquest of Palestine and the construction of the Dome of the Rock. In the second section of the course we will turn to the memories and visions of individual believers, such as the descriptions of medieval Muslim geographers, the travelogues of European Christian pilgrims, the writings of Eastern Orthodox monks of the Palestinian desert, and the popular religious pamphlets and web sites of the Muslim and Christian faithful today.

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MI 40502 - Renaissance and Baroque Poetry of Spain
Juarez-Almendros, Encarnacion

A close reading of traditional and Italianate poetry that includes villancicos, romances, and the works of Garcilaso de la Vega, Fray Luis de Leon, San Juan de la Cruz, Gongora, Quevedo, and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

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MI 40533 - Life, Love, and Literature: Renaissance Lyons
Della Neva, Jo Ann

The city of Lyons was a cultural center of Renaissance France. This course will focus on the literature that arose from that location, most especially (but not exclusively) the love poetry of three French Renaissance lyricists: Maurice Scève’s Délie, the Rymes of Pernette Du Guillet, and the Oeuvres Poétiques of Louise Labé. Excerpts from other authors associated with Lyons, including Rabelais, Marot, and Du Bellay will also be treated. This course will take a “cultural studies” approach, and students will be expected to work on topics such as the presence of Italians, royal pageantry and celebrations, the presence of the court, industry, fairs, banking and trade, architecture, art and music, intellectual circles, and the Reformation in the city of Lyons. Special attention will be given to the role of women in Lyonnais society and the Querelle des Amyes generated in that city. This course will be taught in French. ROFR 30310 (Textual Analysis) or prior experience with textual analysis highly recommended. NOTE: If there is sufficient interest, it may be possible to arrange a “field trip” to Lyons over spring break. Please contact the professor immediately if you have an interest in pursuing this possibility.

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MI 40552 - Dante I
Cachey, Theodore

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 43201 - Seminar: The Pearl Poet
Frese, Dolores

Close readings of the Arthurian romance of Gawain, Patience (the whimsical, pre-Pinnochio-and-Gepetto paraphrase of the story of Jonah and the whale), Cleanness (a series of homiletic reflections of great power, beauty, grim wit, and compassionate insight centered on varying conceptions of “purity”), and Pearl (the elegiac dream-vision that begins with the mourning father who has lost a young daughter, then moves with amazing grace from the garden where he grieves into a richly envisioned earthly paradise where he is astonished to re-encounter his lost “Pearl,” who then leads him to the vision of a New Jerusalem whose post-apocalyptic landscape is populated exclusively by throngs of beautiful maidens).

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MI 43323 – 01
Maimonides & Crisis of Faith
Neiman, Alven

A careful reading of Maimonides philosophical classic, A Guide For The Perplexed. Close attention will be paid to its influence on Aquinas.

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MI 43638 - Augustine: Selected Readings
Muller, Hildegund

In this course, we will read select passages from Augustine's earliest extant works, the so-called Cassiciacum dialogues. Augustine spent the winter between his conversion (386) and his baptism (Easter 387) at a friend’s villa in Cassiciacum near Milan, where he wrote four philosophical works, Contra Academicos, De Beata Vita, De Ordine and Soliloquia. In choosing the form of the philosophical dialogue, he paid homage to his pagan predecessors, above all Cicero. The influence of pagan philosophy, especially Neoplatonism, is present throughout the dialogues, as is the interest in classical literature and in the Liberal Arts. The dialogues represent Augustine's first attempt to express and structure his new-found belief (as well as the experience of his conversion), and the views and sentiment expressed in them sometimes widely differ from his later works; yet it is unmistakably Augustine who is speaking. We will discuss the position of the dialogues in the course of Augustine’s intellectual development by comparing them to selections from later works (above all, Confessions) and from pagan philosophers (Cicero, Plotinus). Prerequisite: 3 years of college Latin or by permission of the instructor.

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MI 46020 - Directed Readings-Undergraduate
Constable, Olivia Remie

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
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 honors track majors in Medieval Studies.

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MI 58001 - Senior Honors Thesis I-Research
Constable, Olivia Remie

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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