Spring 2009 Undergraduate Courses

(as of 11-13-08)

MI 20001 -- The World of the Middle Ages
Noble, Thomas F.X.
M W - 10:40A - 11:30P

The Middle Ages have been praised and reviled, romanticized and fantasized. The spectacular popularity of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Narnia have brought a revival of interest in and curiosity about the Middle Ages. But what were they like, these ten centuries between Rome and the Renaissance? In this course, we will explore major themes and issues in medieval civilization in an attempt to offer some basic answers to that question. We will have in view three kinds of people: rulers, lovers, and believers. But we will also study carefully those who wrote about those kinds of people. We will constantly ask how can we know about the Middle Ages, and what kinds of things can we know? We will consider major literary texts as both works of art and historical documents. We will explore various kinds of religious literature. We will try to understand the limits, boundaries, and achievements of philosophy and theology. Some lectures will incorporate medieval art so as to add a visual dimension to our explorations. This course will constitute an extended introduction to the dynamic and fascinating world of the Middle Ages.

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MI 20476 -- The Monastic Way in the History of Christianity
Young, Robin Darling
M W - 3:00P - 4:15P

In the history of the eastern and western churches, male and female monastics have composed a long and elaborate tradition of their collective life based on the imitation of Christ. A selection of the written sources attesting to the variety of the forms of monastic life and prayer, and theology and mysticism will form the syllabus for this class. It will explore the modes of life of the solitary monastic as well as those of monastic communities, from earliest Christianity through the present, by reading works from and about this form of life. It will discuss, among other themes, those of discipline, the meaning of the body and its labor, penance, suffering, humility, study and learning, the love of human beings, the love of God, union with God, and participation in the life of God within the limits that the monastic life imposes.

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MI 20490 -- From Bernard to Bernadette
Astell, Ann
T R - 2:00P - 3:15 P

On February 11, 2008, the Church observed the 150th anniversary of the apparition of our Lady in Lourdes, France. To Saint Bernadette, the "beautiful lady" declared, "I am the Immaculate Conception," thus confirming the dogma promulgated shortly before by Pope Pius IX in 1854. This Marian dogma deserves serious study from multiple perspectives: its historical development as a contested belief, its relation to other dogmas (Original Sin, the Virgin Birth, Redemption, the Assumption), its liturgical expressions, its crucial link to the understanding of Christian marriage as a sacrament, its representations in visual art and poetry, its special significance for women, and its general importance to Christian anthropology, as well as its particular connection to Lourdes. The syllabus will include readings from all these perspectives, film sessions, and a class trip to the Lourdes grotto on Notre Dame's campus.

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MI 20609 -- Reading and Writing Latin Prose
Mazurek, Tadeusz
M W F - 1:55P - 2:45P

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 20661 -- Islam: Religion and Culture
Afsaruddin, Asma
T R - 11:00A - 12:15 P

This course will discuss the rise of Islam in the Arabian peninsula in the seventh century of the Common Era and its subsequent establishment as a major world religion and civilization. Lectures and readings will deal with the life of the Prophet Muhammad, the Qur'an and its role in worship and society, early Islamic history, community formation, law and religious practices, theology, mysticism, and literature. Emphasis will be on the core beliefs and institutions of Islam and on its religious and political thought from its formative period until our own time. The latter part of the course will deal with resurgent trends within Islam, both in their reformist and extremist forms, and contemporary Muslim engagements with modernity. We will also discuss the spread of Islam to the West and increasing attention focused on "political Islam" or "Islamism" today. All readings are in English translation.

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MI 20671 -- Celtic Heroic Literature
Fogarty, Hugh
T R - 9:30A - 10:45A

An exciting introduction to Celtic literature and culture, this course introduces the thrilling sagas, breathtaking legends, and prose tales of Ireland and Wales. Readings include battles, heroic deeds, feats of strength and daring, and dilemmas faced by the warrior heroes of the Celts. Celtic Heroic Literature, which requires no previous knowledge of Irish or Welsh, studies the ideology, belief system, and concerns of the ancient Celtic peoples as revealed in their saga literature. By examining the hero's function in society, students investigate the ideological concerns of a society undergoing profound social transformation and religious conversion to Christianity and the hero's role as a conduit for emotional and social distress. Among the heroes to be studied in depth are: Cu Chulainn, Lug, St. Patrick, and the king-heroes. Wisdom literature, archeological, and historical evidence will also be considered in this course. No prior knowledge of Irish required. All texts provided in English.

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MI 20703 -- Early Christian/Byzantine Art
Barber, Charles
M W - 3:00P - 4:15P

This course will introduce students to the visual arts of the period ca. AD 200 to ca. AD 1600. Our work will take us from the first fashioning of an identifiable Christian art through to the remarkable poetics of Late Byzantine painting. In so doing, the student will be introduced to the full array of issues that arise around the question of there being a Christian art. Working from individual objects and texts, we will construct a variety of narratives that will reveal a vital, complex, and rich culture that, in a continuing tradition, has done so much to shape the visual imagination of Christianity.

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MI 22001 -- World of Middle Ages: Tutorial
Noble, Thomas
F - 11:45A - 12:35 P

Discussion section accompanying MI 20001.

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MI 30234 -- Early Modern Ireland
Rapple, Rory
T R - 12:30P - 1:45P

This course offers new perspectives on the struggle for mastery in Ireland from 1470 to 1660. Though keeping in mind the traditional view of the "English reconquest" (decades of rebellion, dispossession, and plantation until, in the aftermath of Cromwell, all Ireland was finally subjected to English rule) this course will take a different approach. By investigating a range of primary sources from the period, students will explore the interactions between the three different models of conquest: (1) descendants of the old Norman colonists (e.g., Fitzgeralds and Butlers) seeking to finish the job; (2) Tudor reform (inspired by Renaissance optimism), by which the English attempted to establish rule by means of legal, social, and cultural assimilation; and (3) unabashed exploitation by English private entrepreneurs on the make. The most important effect of these "contending conquests" was the way they shaped the diverse responses of the native Irish, ranging from accommodation and assimilation to outright rebellion and national war.

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MI 30290 -- Violence in Late Medieval Europe
Rapple, Rory
T R - 3:30P - 4:45P

Violence was a dominant feature of life in late medieval and Renaissance Europe, and students in this course will explore that violence in all its manifestations -- political, economic, military, cultural, and social.

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MI 30292 -- Women, Marriag, and Sex in Medieval Europe
Handy, Amber
T R - 2:00P - 3:15P

In this course we will explore the medieval roots of our modern ideas about marriage, gender roles, and sexuality. The period to be studied ranges from the early Christian period up until the fifteenth century. We will first examine the spread of Christian influence on the practices of marriage, divorce, and child-bearing through legal and theological records. Once armed with the basic concepts of how marriage functioned, we will move on to more varied topics, including parenthood, contraception, rape/abduction, prostitution, as well as a look at how women's daily lives changed over the course of the medieval period.

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

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 30301 -- Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Freddoso, Alfred
M W - 1:30P - 2:45P

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 30477 -- Reading the Qur'an
Reynolds, Gabriel
M W - 3:00P - 4:15P

To Muslims the Qur'an is the uncreated, eternal Word of God. As Jesus Christ is to Christians, the Qur'an to Muslims is the fullest expression of God's mercy and concern for humanity. It is both the source of complete spiritual wisdom and the constitution for a more perfect society. In the present course we will encounter this revered text with the following goals: to examine the history of the Qur'an's composition and reception; to explore the major themes of the Qur'an; to discuss new theories on and debates over the Qur'an, and, finally, to research the Qur'an's statements on issues of contemporary interest, especially sex, politics, and war.

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MI 30500 -- Survey of Spanish Literature I
Ward, Scott
M W F - 9:35A - 10:25A

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
Boulton, Maureen
M W - 3:00P - 4:15P

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 30700 -- Introduction to Medieval Art
Joyner, Danielle
M W - 11:45A - 1:00P

This course will introduce the visual arts of the period ca. A.D. 300 to ca. A.D. 1300. In the course of the semester, we shall devote much time to considering the possibility of a history of medieval art, as the objects and practices of the Middle Ages will be shown to make our assumptions about the nature of art history problematic. Working from individual objects and texts we will construct a series of narratives that will attend to the varieties of artistic practices available to the Middle Ages. From these, it will be shown that art was a vital, complex, lucid, and formative element in the societies and cultures, both secular and sacred, that shaped this period.

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MI 40142 -- The Canterbury Tales
Frese, Dolores
T R - 9:30A - 10:45P

The Canterbury Tales are read in the original Middle English, with the twin goals of obtaining a deepened knowledge of the text-world contained within it along with how applications of contemporary critical practices can be used to produce new insights into the work.

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MI 40163 -- Dante
Werge, Thomas
M W F - 10:40A - 11:30A

A study of The Divine Comedy, in translation with facing Italian text, with special attention to the history of ideas, the nature of mimesis and allegory, and Dante's sacramental vision of life. We will also consider the influence of Augustine's Confessions on Dante's imagination and experience and read selections from the Fioretti, or Little Flowers of St. Francis, and from such later figures as Teresa of Avila as well as modern writers-- including T. S. Eliot--for whom Dante constitutes a powerful presence. Readings: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, trans. John D. Sinclair (Oxford); St. Augustine, Confessions.

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MI 40252 -- Medieval Nobilities
Boulton, D'Arcy
M W - 3:00P - 4:15 P

This course will introduce students to one of the major areas of historical investigation in Europe since 1945: the evolution and function of the hereditary élites now generally called "nobilities." Although alien to the culture and legal system of the United States, an élite social category of this general type dominated the economic, political, social, and cultural life of every major European people and state throughout and often somewhat beyond the agricultural or pre-industrial era of its history - most commonly to about 1918 - and may be seen as a characteristic feature of polities on the levels of chiefdom and agricultural state throughout the world. Thus some understanding of the phenomenon of nobility and its many variant forms is essential to an understanding of the history not only of Europe, but of the civilized world in general before the twentieth century. The course will begin with an examination of both medieval and modern ideas of "nobility" (which designated at once an inherent condition, a legal status, and a social category), the words employed to express those ideas, the ways in which noble status could be acquired and lost, the attributes that might be used to express it (including heraldic emblems), and the approaches taken to the whole phenomenon by social, political, constitutional, and cultural historians of various schools. It will then examine the history of a few of the numerous different nobilities that developed in the countries of Catholic Europe between 400 and 1500, and finally examine what is currently known about such themes as noble privilege, power, wealth, and influence.

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MI 40300 -- Early Medieval Philosophy
Gersh, Stephen
T R - 12:30P - 1:45P

The course will provide an introduction to philosophy in the period before the translation movement of the twelfth century and the rise of Aristotelianism in the Universities (including the contributions of such major figures as Augustine, Boethius, Eriugena, and the "School of Chartres"). The arrangement will be predominantly thematic rather than chronological. We will consider such topics as: 1. the legacy of ancient philosophy, 2. the relation between theology and philosophy, 3. the relations between the trivium, quadrivium, and philosophy, 4. the genres of philosophical writing (treatise, dialogue, letter, etc.), 5. the influence of earlier medieval philosophical doctrines in the later Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Knowledge of Latin will be useful but not absolutely necessary, since many of the texts are also available in translation. Requirement: one final paper of ca. 20 pp.

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MI 40325 -- Anselm and His Biographer
Gersh, Stephen
T R - 11:00A - 12:15P

The course will be of a philosophical-theological, historical, and literary-philological nature. It will also have two more specific aims: 1. to introduce the philosophical work of Anselm of Canterbury, and investigate some of its sources and influences during the Middle Ages, and 2. to pursue Latin readings in works by Anselm himself, and in works by other medieval writers about Anselm. One session of each week will be devoted to Latin reading. Students will be required to prepare a Latin text for oral translation and be prepared to comment on philological issues. Texts will be distributed in advance by the instructor. The second session of the week will be devoted to lectures on Anselm and his milieu by the instructor, although students will be required to make a short oral presentation on a topic of their choice but approved by the instructor towards the end of the semester. Requirement: competence in Classical Latin (intermediate or advanced level).

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MI 40541 -- Music and Lyrics of the French Renaissance
Della Neva, Jo Ann
M W - 11:45A - 1:00P

This course constitutes a survey of French Renaissance poetry on various topics: love, religion, politics, social satire, etc. Special attention is given to poetry that was set to music at that time.

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MI 40553 -- Dante II
TBA
T R - 12:30P - 1:45 P

An in-depth study, over two semesters, of the entire Comedy, in its historical, philosophical and literary context, with selected readings 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 40601 -- Ovid
Bloomer, W. Martin
M W - 1:30P - 2:45P

This advanced course provides an introduction to the poetry of the prolific author Ovid. It explores the creative history of the one writer who can truly be called a poet of the Augustan Age through close reading of passages from his love poetry (the Amores and the Ars Amatoria, a handbook on seduction), his great mythological poem, the Metamorphoses, and the poems written after Ovid was exiled by Augustus to a remote spot on the shores of the Black Sea (the Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto). Special attention is paid to the contexts in which Ovid composed his works, and current and traditional interpretations of his poetry are considered.

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MI 40632 -- Medieval Latin Survey
Muller, Hildegund
M W - 11:45A - 1:00P

The aim of this course is to experience a broad spectrum of medieval Latin texts. Readings representative of a variety of genres (literary and subliterary), eras, and regions will be selected. Students planning to enroll in this course should be completing "Introduction to Christian Latin Texts" or they must secure the permission of the instructor. Those with interests in particular text types should inform the instructor well in advance so they can try to be accommodated.

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MI 43001 -- Weaving an East-West Theodicy
Major, Linda
M W - 11:45A - 1:00P

Required for a major in Medieval Studies, the advanced seminar presents students with an issue of multidisciplinary significance to scholars of the Middle Ages and asks them to analyze the topic from a variety of viewpoints. The analysis requires extensive primary source readings as well as a review of secondary source literature. Thoughtful class discussion encourages more detailed individual exploration in the form of a substantial research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor. The goal of the seminar is to engage students in thinking critically and knowledgeably across the boundaries of traditional disciplines while maintaining a focus on a particular time, place, or issue.

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MI 43326 -- Anselm
Flint, Thomas
T R - 9:30A - 10:45A

An examination of the major philosophical and theological writings of St. Anselm. His Monologion, Proslogion, and Cur Deus Homo will be of central concern, but several lesser known texts will also be read. Topics discussed in these writings include arguments for the existence of God, the divine nature, the Trinity, the Incarnation, freedom (and its compatibility with divine foreknowledge), and truth.

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MI 43583 -- King Arthur in European Literature
Boulton, Maureen
M W - 1:30P - 2:45 P

We will read representative works chosen from the major medieval European literary traditions, including, for example Latin (Geoffrey of Monmouth), English (Lawman, Malory), French (Chrétien de Troyes, the Vulgate Cycle), Spanish (La Tragédia de Lançalot, Tristán), German (Hartmann von Aue, Gottfried von Strassburg), and Italian (La Tavola Ritonda, Tristan Panciatichiano).

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MI 43611 -- Constantine and Julian
Bradley, Keith
T R - 5:00P - 6:15P

This advanced seminar in ancient history and literature examines the lives and reigns of the fourth-century Roman emperors Constantine and Julian. Constantine was a pivotal figure in world history, the founder of a new dynasty of rulers in a centuries-old empire facing many challenges, and the first Roman emperor to embrace and promote Christianity. His rule changed the complexion of the ancient world. His descendant Julian reigned only for a short time, but he is remembered above all for the concerted effort he made to return Rome to its traditional religious orientation. He failed in his attempt, in part because of his premature death, but as the last pagan emperor of Rome he remains a figure of almost mythological status. The course investigates the principal features of the history of these two rulers, political, military, socio-economic and religious. A principal theme is the question of how historical experience can be recovered. Readings from original sources (in English translation) are studied in conjunction with documentary and iconographic evidence. The course also considers how modern historians, biographers and novelists have recreated these compelling figures.

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MI 46020 -- Directed Readings-Undergrad
Constable, Olivia
TBA

Offers advanced undergraduate students a possibility to work closely with a professor in preparing a topic mutually agreed upon.

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MI 58002 -- Sr. Honors Thesis II-Writing
Constable, Olivia
TBA

This course is part of a two-semester sequence open only to seniors in the Medieval Studies honors program who have completed MI 58001 successfully. Guided by a faculty adviser, students will use the research completed in the fall to write drafts and a final version of their senior honors thesis. Specific deadlines and requirements for the written stages of the thesis are available from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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