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Previous Semesters

Fall 2015

MEMS Graduate Courses Fall 2015

English 627: Theories of Metaphor / Porter

If poetry is a distillation of what we mean by the literary, metaphor is a distillation of what we mean by the poetic.  Literally understood, metaphor is a carrying over of one meaning onto another.  At its most banal, it is the stuff the most ordinary speech is made of:  language, as Emerson said, is fossilized poetry.  While still fresh and vital, metaphor's compressed juxtapositions have a remarkable power to surprise, illuminate, transform, and transcend.  Philosophers traditionally despised it for its capacity to seduce and deceive.  Poets--along with lovers and madmen--found its capacity to bend our thoughts beyond the straight and narrow passageways of common sense or logical reason an essential source not only of rhetorical power but of renewal, solace, and insight.  In this course, we will explore the workings of metaphor in considerable depth and from a variety of complementary perspectives drawn from literary theory, philosophy, cognitive psychology, and anthropology.  We will examine the ways in which an understanding of metaphor, in turn, can cast new light on problems in comparative poetics, theories of translation, and theories of mind.  We will consider metaphor alongside the three other so-called master tropes--metonymy, synecdoche, and irony--and poke and prod at evocative exemplars of the device from selected works of English poetry of the past four centuries that retain, thanks largely to their metaphorical genius, the ability to take the tops of our heads off.  No prior experience with literary or rhetorical theory is required or presumed, just a bit of imagination and a lively curiosity concerning the intricate workings of language.

 

English 630: Literature of Race and Early Modernity in the Atlantic World / Santamarina

While the legacy of Saids' Orientalism has profoundly shaped the study of intercultural relations in colonial and post-colonial contexts, it has also informed scholarly perspectives on early modern encounters, real and imagined, that conform less neatly to colonial or even proto-colonial paradigms. Recognizing the potential hazards of Eurocentrism and anachronism attendant upon such readings, this seminar will explore a variety of alternative, post-Saidian models for thinking about Englands' place in an increasingly globalized early modern world, and, in particular, their implications for reconsidering the literary history of the period. We will interrogate a number of contemporary English authors — Shakespeare, Behn, Defoe, Pope, Montagu, Addison, Cook, and others — who grapple with these questions, while at the same time surveying relevant recent scholarship from the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, world history, and East-West studies. We will consider questions of influence, reception, and imaginative geography, but will also explore methodological problems raised by more explicitly comparative approaches, including questions of commensurability and meta-historical modeling. Specific topics to be addressed include early modern travel writing, race and enlightenment, captivity narratives, the anxiety of empire, material culture history, and historical cosmopolitanism.

 

English 641:  Chaucer: Major Works / Taylor

The late fourteenth century was a signal moment in the inception of an English literary tradition. Geoffrey Chaucer was not only present at the scene, but also helped to shape the linkages between English readers and the prestigious classical tradition; before the death of the author, he was indeed instrumental in shaping the very notion of what it meant to be an author and a poet.  We will read Chaucer's major works, focusing especially on the incomparable classical romance Troilus and Criseyde and the joys of variety in the Canterbury Tales.  A few of the shorter poems--The Book of the Duchess and The House of Fame., e.g.--will also help us get a sense of Chaucer's poetic career as French, classical, and Italian materials were melded together into something altogether new:  serious, ambitious literature written in English, which, for all its ambition, is not just delicate, beautiful, and moral, but also challenging, funny, and occasionally filthy.  The course welcomes those with little or no previous exposure to Chaucer or Middle English, provided you bring your sense of humor and appreciation of irony. We will work on language enough so that you can read the poetry (and prose) with comprehension and pleasure, and so that you can teach Chaucer in surveys and more specialized courses with panache, but language will always be subordinate to literary and narrative issues.  Classes will balance lecture and discussion; I will provide historical, social, and literary backgrounds, and we will devote collaborative attention to the insights (and blindnesses) opened up by various approaches to Chaucer’s works.

 

Englisher 841: Phenomenologies of Conversion in Early Modern England / Mullaney

The late fifteenth- and sixteenth centuries mark the period of the Reformation. It was also a time when many other forms of conversion, extending far beyond the sphere of religion, emerged to change the physical, economic, political, and affective geographies of England, France, Spain, and a number of other European states. In this seminar, we will develop an historical understanding of “conversion” that will clarify certain aspects of the early modern period and hopefully enlighten modern debates about corporeal, sexual, psychological, political and spiritual kinds of transformation. Working with poetry, theater, prose narrative, and personal as well as official documents, we will seek, in a collective and collaborative fashion, to develop new ways to identify, analyze, and theorize how—and why—early modern Europeans changed their confessional, social, political, gender, and sexual identities. Students specializing in late medieval, early modern, and later seventeenth and eighteenth century literatures are welcome. We will have guest speakers selected from the wide range of international scholars who belong to the inter-disciplinary, five-year project called “Early Modern Conversions: Religions, Cultures, Cognitive Ecologies.” Valerie Traub and I are Co-Participants in the project, and George Hoffman (French) and Hussein Fancy (History) are also participating members. In addition, we are joined by approximately fifteen UM graduate students from a number of disciplines, who participate as Graduate Student Associates.

 

History 622 History of Atlantic Economies / Bleakley

This course will cover the evolution of economic institutions and the role of these institutions in the economic growth of Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Topics include: The divergence of Asian and European growth rates between 1500 and 1800. The creation of modern fiscal and monetary institutions. The role of stock markets, banking systems and exchange rate regimes in historical economic development. Particular attention will be paid to the Great Depression and historical banking panics, stock market crashes and exchange rate devaluations. The course will explore the historical costs and benefits of the different monetary and fiscal institutions adopted by Europe, Argentina, Brazil, China, Japan, The United States, and Canada.

 

History of Art 666 Problems of 17th Century Art & Visual Culture: Perspectives on Perspective / Brusati

By the seventeenth century perspective had come to encompass a wide range of practices and divergent aims, yet twentieth century concepts and metaphors of perspective that have shaped both the modern history and practice of art have drawn on fairly reductive models of what perspective is. Recent scholarship has begun to complicate these accounts by reassessing primary sources, reframing the historical relations between perspective and experimental optics, and considering materials from non-European pictorial and textual traditions. The seminar explores various disjunctions between pictorial practice and ideas about perspective, and their implications are for our use of perspective as a category of analysis. We will be discussing key texts on perspective from the early modern and modern periods, including those by Panofsky, Ivins, Damisch, Elkins, Kemp, Belting, Massey, and Dupré and others in order to examine and query perspective’s persistent identification with particular theories of vision, concepts of space and historical distance, the ‘Western’ scientific gaze, and modern subjectivity itself. Alongside our reading of key texts we will be examining ways that perspective served as a means of rationalizing pictorial space, but also as a technology for looking at the contingencies and paradoxes of vision itself. Visual material will include paintings and drawings, as well as anamorphic art, maps, prints, trompe l’oeil images, optical devices, manuscript illustrations, Chinese and Japanese folding screens and hand-scrolls. Our aim will be to discover what aspects of pictorial practice have been illuminated, marginalized, and/or eclipsed in the discourse of perspective, and to explore how we might use it more profitably in the analysis of pictures and visuality. Class discussions will focus on early modern European case studies, but participants may choose paper topics from their own areas of interest and research provided that they engage substantively with the issues addressed in our readings and discussions.

Judaic 417/ 517  Jewish Thinkers in Islamic Spain: Sefarad and Andalus / Stroumsa

The period known as the "Golden Age" in Islamic Spain is associated with some of the most famous names in Jewish thought. The great philosopher Maimonides, for example, and the poet Judah Halevi, are identified with this era even though they both left Spain. Through readings of individual thinkers in their cultural context, this course will study the emergence of Jewish thought in Islamic Spain (al-Andalus), and its development within and beyond its borders.

 

MEMS proseminar. History 698 / NES ?? Premodern Empires: Comparative Studies / Bonner (NES), Van Dam (History)
This seminar is a survey of empires in the premodern period, especially the two millennia from 500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.  Most early states were empires of some sort, ruled by kings or emperors with dynastic connections, dominated by great landowning aristocrats, supported through the exploitation of peasants, made plausible by a religious ideology, and usually aggressive toward neighboring peoples or states.  Different combinations of these variables made for different empires.  Some survived for centuries, others were transitory. Aspects of empire, emperorship, and imperial rule have long been important topics in modern scholarship.  The readings for this seminar will include important modern books and articles about premodern empires.  The focus will be on the ancient Mediterranean and the adjacent regions (e.g. the Athenian empire, the Roman empire), post-Roman Europe (e.g. the Carolingian empire), and the Near East and Middle East (e.g. the Caliphate).  Readings will also include comparative studies from around the world.  Topics to be discussed will include administration, rulership, imperialism and frontier societies, cities and countryside, economy, culture, religion.

 

Musicology 513 Topics in the History of Opera to 1800 / Stein

It is devoted to the study of opera in the first two centuries of its existence, from its beginnings just before 1600 to nearly the end of the 18th century. Opera is to be studied critically as music, as theater, as spectacle, as performance medium, and as cultural expression. Special aspects of this course include a focus on the singers of baroque opera, opera's arrival in the Americas, and the financing and staging of

opera. While some of the lectures and listening assignments will be organized around excerpts, others will be designed to focus on whole operas, their music and musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and reception in performance. Composers to be studied include Peri, Caccini, Da Gagliano, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Hidalgo, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Rameau, Gluck, Salieri, Sarti, Piccinni, and Mozart. Open to singers, musicians, and scholars interested in early-modern musical culture, whether they are based in the SMTD, in LSA, or in other units.

 

Musicology 621 History of Music Theory / Borders
History of Music Theory I, will examine key issues that Western music theorists addressed from Antiquity through the late Renaissance. We will observe how certain subjects weave like threads through the rough fabric of history—here thickly, there thinly—and note how and when new issues arise, in part due to changes in musical style. Toward the end of the semester, for example, we will see how the history of theory comes nearly full circle with the rediscovery of important Greek texts. We will note similarities and differences among the theorists’ ideas and approaches, along with modern scholarly understandings of them. Whenever feasible, we will also discuss how issued raised in earlier music theory may relate to our contemporary situation. More often, we will consider the relevance of theory to practice and composition by examining examples of medieval and Renaissance music. Because you may not be as current with these repertoires as you once were, supplementary reading and listening assignments from the latest editions of textbooks will be suggested; the ability to read Western musical notation will be assumed.

 

Spanish 459 Don Quijote / Garcia Santo-Tomas

Estudiaremos la obra maestra cervantina desde una perspectiva contemporánea, centrándonos en su contexto socio-político, histórico y literario, e incorporando acercamientos críticos que se adapten a nuestra sensibilidad moderna. Prestaremos particular atención a la imbricación de géneros en el texto, analizando igualmente sus reverberaciones míticas y simbólicas. Nos enfocaremos en la construcción de los personajes más significativos, haciendo parada en temas como el de la ley y la violencia, la vida marginal, los espacios urbanos y rurales, la sexualidad latente o abierta, y los usos y significados de la violencia y el cuerpo. La clase será en español.

 

Spanish 460 The Spanish Comedia / Garcia Santo-Tomas

How did the early modern stage work? How did actors live in the Spain of 1600? What were the tastes of the public? Why was theater such an important pastime? This survey will cover a number of different genres--tragedies, comedies, brief pieces, dances--as practiced by some of the most important playwrights in Spanish history: Lope de Vega, Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Miguel de Cervantes.

 

Spanish 473: Spanish Colonialism and the Invention of Race

“The idea of race, in its modern meaning,” writes Peruvian sociologist Aníbal Quijano, “does not have a known history before the colonization of America.” Sometimes it’s useful to return to the beginning. This class will explore the colonial invention of race and racism in Latin America as a key component of a system of domination that has endured for over five centuries. We will work through the following questions: What are race and racism and what do they do? What is the relationship between colonialism and race? How have notions of race and the operations of racism changed from the colonial period to the present day? Why are race and racism so powerful and so successful at persisting over time? Organized around the construction of several key categories (including “the Jew,” “the Indian,” “the Black,” and “the White”), the course will attempt to highlight the commonalities and divergences across these differential processes of racialization—all of which are linked by the project of Spanish colonialism. Readings will include both primary and secondary sources, that is, texts written during the colonial period as well as contemporary critical or analytical texts about the colonial period.

 

Spanish 487 History of the Spanish Lexicon / Dworkin

From an historical perspective the Spanish lexicon has three sources: (1) words inherited directly from spoken Latin, the source of all the Romance languages, (2) words borrowed and adapted from other languages with which Spanish has come into contact over its long history, and (3) words created internally through such derivational processes as prefixation, suffixation, and composition. Within such a framework, this course, taught in Spanish, will examine the growth and evolution of the Spanish lexicon. It will also discuss the loss of words in the recorded history of Spanish, and lexical variation in the Spanish-speaking world.

 

Spanish 650 The Origins of Authorship / Szpiech

This graduate seminar will consider the evolution of the first-person authorial voice in a number of fourteenth-century Castilian and Catalan authors, possibly including Ramon Llull, Juan Ruiz, Don Juan Manuel, Alfonso of Valladolid, Sem Tob de Carrión, Pero Lózez de Ayala, and Profiat Duran. We will consider the intersection of notions of authority with authorship and the place of autobiographical and and confessional writing, textual commentary, and literary style in the formation of authorial voice. 

Winter 2015

Asian 527 History of Buddhist Studies. Lopez

The focus of this graduate seminar will be the biography of the historical Buddha. The course will begin with the evolution of the biography in India before going on to explore various versions of the biography and the purposes that it served in a number of Buddhist cultures. The seminar will conclude by examining some of the more influential biographies of the Buddha produced in the West during the colonial and post-colonial periods.

Asian / HART 577  Bodies and Buildings. Chanchani

Indian temples are among the great architectural traditions of the world. Erected by Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains since the early centuries CE, they display an extraordinary array of sophisticated forms, layouts, and functions. This seminar initially traces the formal, social, and symbolic origins of the important traditions of temple architecture. It then maps their regional expressions and their dispersion. In doing so, it emphasizes some of the remarkable ways in which humans and temples have shaped and reflected one another. Encounters between temples and human communities have ranged from a patron’s limb providing the unit of measure for a shrine, to the design of the temple as the dwelling and body of a gendered, juridical, and permeable being. Thereafter, the seminar graphs pivotal moments in lives of individual temples — their conception, construction, the infusion of prana (vital energy) into them, their mutilation, restoration, total destruction, and eventually re-creation — alongside rituals and festivals performed around them. Course opportunities include visits to museums and special collections.

Asian 582 / HART 505  Himalayan Aesthetics. Chanchani

The Himalayas are the world’s longest and loftiest mountain range. This course will commence with a review of influential Indic and Western perceptions of the Himalayas. Thereafter, we will proceed to glean some of the many ways in which the shaping of objects and the crafting of identities are linked in this region today. Subsequently we shall embark on a series of armchair expeditions to recover interconnections between ‘art’ and ‘life’ in the Himalayas in centuries past. Traveling in arcs stretching from the Brahmaputra valley in the east up to the upper reaches of the Indus in the west and in along axes extending from the sub-montane Terai in the south to the frosty Tibetan plateau in the north, we will repeatedly cross China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Resting at sites sought out by explorers, traders, conquerors, and Hindu and Buddhist pilgrims we will query the distinctive forms, layouts, and functions of temples, monasteries, palaces, necropoles, water-structures, and the medley of objects found in them including sculptures, paintings, silk embroideries, ritual objects, and fountains.

Arch 633 / History of Art 689 Vision and Mathematics in Baroque Architecture. Soo

This seminar examines the curvilinear forms and theatrical spaces of Baroque architecture in terms of vision—formal, aesthetic, and symbolic goals driven by certain cultural values, and mathematics—the geometrical methods, carried out using simply a straight edge and compass, by which these goals were achieved.  We will focus on Bernini and Borromini and their followers in and outside of Italy, considering the cultural context in which they worked (political, social, religious) as well as the technical means available to them (drawing techniques, materials, construction methods).  In order to create a foundation for understanding the phenomenon of Baroque form, during the first half of the course we will investigate the ways in which mathematics drove the creation of architecture during the classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods:  how proportion and geometry were understood and how they were applied in design.  Throughout the course, architecture students will be encouraged to draw parallels between the mathematical basis of form creation in past architecture, including the Baroque, and the methods for creating complex geometries in today’s architecture.

English 642 Renaissance Pleasures and Pains. Schoenfeldt

Renaissance literature begins in pain, with Petrarch’s artful account of the agonies of unfulfilled longing. And it lingers in agony for most of the period. In this class, we will ask why the formal articulation of pain and erotic frustration became such a popular mode of expression. And by what means does pleasure enter the vocabulary of lyric and epic? We will explore some profound historical and cultural changes in the medical explanation and ethical status of pain and pleasure. We will spend some time on the splayed and tortured bodies of tragedy, but we will be even more interested in the internal agonies of unrequited desire and quotidian disease. The goal of this class, then, is to track some of the eruptions of the bodily sensations of pleasure and pain into the fabric of early modern poetry. We will read a wide variety of poetry, largely lyric, narrative, and epic, beginning with Wyatt’s importation of Petrarch in the early sixteenth century, and extending through Spenser, Donne, Herbert, Wroth, Lanyer, Milton, Rochester, and Philips. We will spend a good amount of time on Shakespeare, whose unflinching account of pain and pleasure in the sonnets and narrative poems is sometimes overshadowed by his dramatic works. We will work to situate poems amid the careers and the historical situations of their authors, but we will also aspire to keep questions of form and genre well in our sights, interrogating the range of possible motives for putting into fastidiously patterned language the ineffable and unruly sensations of pleasure and pain. Reading poetry amid the continuing philosophical dispute between the respective claims of pain and pleasure in the formation of an ethical self, we will look at how poets in early modern England created models and vocabularies for articulating and manipulating inner sensation. Requirements include attendance, participation, two short papers (one on a critical work, and one on a poem), and one longer research paper.

English 842 When God Becomes a Prop: The Reformation of Medieval Drama. Tinkle

When God enters a fifteenth-century English play to speak his Word, he authorizes a particular interpretation and in theory precludes questions about what he means. His meaning is motivated and explained by the context. These plays continue to be performed and circulated into the late sixteenth century. At the same time, Protestant reformers re-invent medieval dramatic genres. They create biblical drama and saints’ plays that discount medieval legends and rely wholly on authoritative biblical texts. These are not always successful innovations: a play meant to illustrate Calvinist predestination lacks a certain dramatic tension, and a saint drawn entirely from Scripture has little substance. Protestant morality plays are usually more successful and become extraordinarily popular by the mid-sixteenth century. In keeping with Reformation iconophobia, these plays remove God from the stage. God becomes a prop: the Bible. As a silent prop, the Word provokes irresolvable hermeneutic questions and ambiguities. At times, characters’ references to the Bible disclose an acute epistemological crisis. This course tracks the development of medieval and early modern genres in order to reveal the doctrinal and representational controversies, epistemological uncertainties, and hermeneutic difficulties that surface in the late Middle Ages and Reformation. We will examine plays in their manuscript, print, and performance contexts. We will analyze the life of props and study staging conventions. We will above all cultivate seminar participants’ own interests. Texts will likely include the York Corpus Christi cycle, samples of other cycles and individual biblical plays (the Digby Killing of the Children, Jacob and Esau, selections from John Bale), the Digby Mary Magdalene, Lewis Wager’s Life and Repentaunce of Mary Magdalene, Mankind, Mundus et Infans, Nice Wanton, and Lusty Juventus. Secondary literature will sketch out recent conversations in the field and hopefully inspire new research questions. Course requirements will be tailored to students’ interests and training. PhD students will likely work on projects such as writing a book review, putting together a grant application, writing a research essay, and writing a course description for a teaching portfolio. MFA students might prefer to work on analyses of craft, poetics, staging, and narrative strategies.

HIST 450.001 Japan to 1700: From Origin Myths to the Shogun Dynasty

“Samurai,” “bushido,” “geisha,” “uniqueness,” “seclusion,” and “homogeneity”—these

are popular words that often describe Japan’s premodern past (ca.300BCE-1700CE). In

this class, we question the simplistic and often mistaken notions represented by these terms and gain a critical understanding of the history of the Japanese archipelago from prehistoric times through the age of the samurai. The course highlights the significance of the sea lanes that shaped the history of the Japanese archipelago, the ancient rise of the (still reigning) imperial family; the arrival of the age of violence and changing meanings of warfare, the power of aesthetics and material culture, and shifting gender relations. We analyze primary sources and evaluate scholarly (sometimes conflicting) interpretations of significant events, and appreciate select modern historical figures and situations in films and TV documentaries.

HIST 642 Premodern European History. French

History 642 will be a readings course designed to help graduate students in European history prepare for prelims. This course explores the ways that the recent turn toward global perspectives in historical research and pedagogy have changed the way we think of "pre-modern European" history. In the past few decades, the conventional narratives that long served to connect the broader strands of medieval and Early Modern European history--“dark ages,” "feudalism," "rise of the Western Church" “overseas expansion,” “Renaissance” and “Reformation”--have come under sustained criticism.  In the process, Europe's place in world history has evolved, and many historians no longer think of Europe as the cradle of a universal history, but rather as one global region among others. What do these developments mean for how we teach pre-modern European history?  Should we look for new narratives to replace those that no longer seem as relevant?  How does a more nuanced vision of pre-modern of Europe's complicated past change what we think of Europe and the challenges that it faces in the present? Readings will explore key moments in the evolution of these historiographical debates, ranging broadly over fundamental works of medieval and Early Modern European history written since the end of WW2 to the present. The class is intended for graduate students in all disciplines who intend to prepare a field or a research project dealing with some aspect of European culture or history.

HIST 673 Pre-Modern Japanese Historiography. Tonomura

This course introduces major English-language works on Japan's premodern history (before 1700). Readings are selected to promote our familiarity and critical appreciation of the key themes and trends which have shaped the historiography. We evaluate individual works in terms of their approach, methodology, sources used, and argumentation as well as the actual historical "knowledge" or “content.” By discussing these works, we hope to understand their merits, limitations and relative significance to the way the field has developed. We also consider unexplored issues and problems as well as possible alternate approaches and methods which might be employed to conduct historical inquiry in this field. The course may serve as the first stage of preparation for taking the Ph.D. prelim examination and for teaching Japanese history at a college level.

HIST 698.003 Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia. Lieberman

This course will examine critical problems in the history of Southeast Asia, one of the world's most original, culturally diverse, and exciting areas, from earliest times to c. 1850. It seeks to understand both developments internal to Southeast Asia and the region's relation to the wider world of Europe and Asia. The course assumes no specialized knowledge, but seeks to familiarize students with different approaches to history and with the merits of various interpretations.

HART 689 / MEMS Prosem Knowledge and Visuality in Early Modern Europe. Brusati, Nelson

Four of the nine prestigious Kavli prizes awarded in 2014 went to scientists focusing on techniques of visualization. The critical importance of visual technologies to scientific inquiry has long been recognized, but in the past few decades historians of art and of science have put visuality at the heart of a major rethinking of the foundations of modern scientific knowledge in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Recent science studies have shifted focus from theory and idea-driven narratives of scientific “firsts” to accounts of the collaborative exchanges and material practices in which changing understandings of the natural world took shape. This work has underscored how pictorial and visual technologies function not simply as mimetic aids to communicating existing knowledge, but also as transformative and translational processes that actively participate in the production of new knowledge and epistemologies. This course looks at the early modern study of nature through the lens of its visual forms—from painting, prints, drawings, and book illustrations to diagrams, maps, globes, charts, measuring instruments, and optical devices. How did the making and use of these artifacts uniquely integrate technical know-how, artisanal knowledge, and text-based learning in natural philosophy, medicine, cosmology, geography, and other (proto)scientific fields? How can we compare the ways people visualized knowledge in the overlapping worlds of the workshop, the collection, and scholar’s study? Drawing on university collections, we will especially attend to the role of print media in enabling a greater degree of standardization and sharing of visual information, prompting new forms of visual argument, and generating debates on the authority and evidentiary status of images. In conjunction with our shared survey of canonical case studies, each participant will contribute new scholarship concerning what visual knowledge looked like and how it functioned during the strange and exciting emergence of so-called modern science in Europe.

HART 750 History of the History of Art. Sears

The “image” became an object of rigorous academic study, historical and philosophical, only in the later nineteenth century, first in Germany and Austria. In the earlier 20th century some of the discipline’s most sophisticated work was conducted, certain of the texts regularly referred to in our present. This is a seminar about classic problems and solutions, about standing critiques and counter-critiques. We will come to know the work of a number of key figures in the development of “looking” as an investigative act (Wölfflin, Goldschmidt) and devote time to considering the strategies developed by members of the first and second Vienna schools (Riegl to Pächt) and the Hamburg art history seminar (Warburg, Panofsky, Wind), and other significant thinkers. We will study networks of art historical exchange, the place of religious confession and gender, the role of institutions, and correlations between art history and artistic production, and also think about the application of “European” method to non-European art. Students, as they choose their research topics will be encouraged to focus on the work of a thinker or thinkers whose thought informs their own work.  The seminar is open to students in any discipline who are incorporating a visual component into their study and would like to add depth to their analyses.

Latin 507 Late Latin. Markus

The purpose of the course is to read a representative selection of post-classical texts (200 AD and later) and to teach you to appreciate the language, style and the rhetorical techniques of Late Latin authors. While solidifying your control over the essentials of Classical Latin grammar, the course will highlight the differences between Classical and Late Latin. We will read selections from the New Testament in Latin and other early Christian texts (Augustine, Jerome, Ambrose, the Latin translations of Athanasius’ Life of Antony and the Anonymous Navigatio St Brandani). Grading in the course is based upon short quizzes, two projects and a final exam. For more information, contact Donka Markus at markusdd@umich.edu.

Musicol 507 Late Renaissance Motet. Mengozzi

The course explores the genre of the motet in the late-16th century from a variety of perspectives that range from religious and social function (liturgical, devotional, ceremonial), to strictly musical (harmony, texture, rhetoric, text/music relationships, etc.). Although we will concentrate primarily on the motets by Palestrina, Victoria, and Lasso, our analyses will occasionally involve the works of other authors from that period, as well as other musical genres. The increasing number of available recordings of this repertory will enable participants to engage in fruitful discussions of issues of musical performance. A course pack containing a representative sample of motet scores will be made available at the beginning of the term. The course is open to all seniors and graduate students in SMTD. Renaissance Music (578) is not a pre-requisite for the course.

Musicol 577  Medieval Music. Borders

This course surveys medieval European sacred and secular repertories of monophony and polyphony from the advent of Gregorian Chant through late fourteenth-century motets and chansons. It is organized around five important sites of medieval musical activity—the monastery, the cathedral, the castle, the urban square, and the palace. Students who complete this course successfully will gain knowledge of representative examples of medieval music, basic familiarity with medieval musical notation and music theory, and an understanding of medieval compositional techniques. The ability to read standard Western musical notation is required. 

Musicol 643  Studies in Baroque Music: Operas, Singers, Patrons, Institutions. Production, Collaboration, and the Marketplace c. 1700. Stein

This seminar is devoted to exploring the intersections between the history of singing, the history of musical theater, and the early modern economics of production.  The seminar investigates both the influence and activity of those producing and financing opera (institutions and patrons), and the ways in which singers shaped the production and composition of opera around 1700.  We will study the operatic market place (in baroque Rome, Naples, London and other sites to be determined by student interest), the development of the "star" system, the da capo aria, the travels of opera, and how singers collaborated in the production process during this formative period for both serious and comic genres. The seminar will include work with primary sources as well as modern editions and readings from books and articles on reserve or on C-Tools.  Students will be introduced to various kinds of primary sources---archival documents, printed libretti, manuscript musical scores, and so on. The repertory will include (but not be limited to) operas and arias by Alessandro Scarlatti and other late seventeenth-century composers, as well as operas of G. F. Handel. The work of the course will involve reading, listening, score study (for those in music), class presentations, papers (whose length and character will be determined in class), and possible performance projects.  Attendance and class participation are required.  The course is open to scholars, performers, composers, etc.  Some reading ability in foreign languages (Italian, Spanish, German) will be useful.

MEMS 898 Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium. de Pee

This workshop provides advanced students in Medieval and Early Modern periods with the opportunity to present work in an interdisciplinary context bringing together participants from all disciplines that engage with pre-modern materials. The colloquium supports students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work. It addresses three needs: 1) to help you to frame and to convey the larger significance of your research with the help of a supportive group from a wider range of methodological points of view than would normally appear on a dissertation committee; 2) to provide you with practice in articulating your ideas in an oral format; and 3) to explore how interdisciplinary dialogue can enrich our research. The MEMS colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS, but students do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The course will meet regularly on a schedule to be determined by the needs of the group; you may register for 1-3 credit by permission of the instructor (graded S/U).

Philosophy 610 Spinoza’s Ethics. Schmaltz

We will critically examine Spinoza's philosophical system, as presented in his masterwork, the Ethics. We will pay particular attention to the controversial interpretations of Spinoza in Jonathan Bennett's Study of Spinoza's Ethics. We will discuss, for instance, Bennett's claim that Spinoza adopted a "field metaphysic" account of extended substance, that he is a "causal rationalist," that he radically resisted all teleological explanations, and that his argument for the eternity of the mind "has nothing to teach us and is pretty certainly worthless." Along the way we will consider Spinoza's views concerning substance monism, causal determinism, parallelism, psychological egoist, virtue ethics, and the intellectual love of God.

Polish 525 Early Polish Literature. Paloff

This course considers how Polish culture’s response to statelessness, solidified with the country’s Third Partition in 1795, evolved throughout a turbulent nineteenth century. Reading major works of Romanticism and Positivism, we also examine Poland’s deep interconnection with European culture, as well as enduring questions about ideology, activism, and the author’s role in society. Texts include works by Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki, Bolesław Prus, Henryk Sienkiewicz, and others.

Russian 551 Old Russian Literature. Makin

This course provides an introduction to the culture of the Eastern Slavs from the ninth century until the seventeenth, and looks at the employment of elements of that culture in Russia from the nineteenth century until the present day. It requires no special historical or linguistic knowledge and is intended to be of interest to anyone curious about medieval and early-modern culture. While the primary emphasis will be on Old Russian literature, the course will also examine art, architecture, folklore, and other cultural forms. The course will help students to develop the analytical skills required for the examination of medieval and early-modern cultures (including basic tools of textual criticism and instrumentation to read symbolic languages very different from ours) and to develop an understanding of cultural premises radically different from those on which post-Enlightenment Europe has relied. The course will look at the East Slavs of Rus’ and Muscovy in comparison with the peoples around them and will also look at how post-Petrine Russia has turned again and again to “Old Russia” and, indeed, has, in some areas, shown remarkable continuity with that Old Russian past. Students will also develop skills in analytical writing, in treating both very specific, materials-based topics and broader, conceptual issues.

Spanish 456  Golden Age of Literature. Garcia Santo-Tomas

El presente curso estudiará una serie de textos canónicos desde una perspectiva contemporánea, enfatizando su contextualización socio-política, histórica y literaria, además de nuevos acercamientos que se adapten a la sensibilidad moderna. Se analizará poesía, teatro y narrativa, en un diseño que prestará atención cuestiones como el 'yo' poético en su transición del Renacimiento al Barroco, la creación de una dramaturgia nacional de sabor autóctono, y la inauguración de nuevos modos narrativos como la picaresca o la novela corta. Los autores a estudiar serán Garcilaso de la Vega, Luis de León, Teresa de Jesús, San Juan de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Luis de Góngora, Francisco de Quevedo y María de Zayas. El curso se completará con proyecciones audiovisuales sobre Velázquez, la Inquisición, Don Quijote y Fuenteovejuna. La clase será en español.

Spanish 460  The Spanish Comedia. Morillo

Readings in the Spanish drama of the late 16th and 17th centuries.

Spanish 822 Religion and Culture: Mediterranean Empires. Green-Mercado

The early modern period saw the rise of two great empires in the Mediterranean (the Ottomans and the Habsburgs), whose competition for the territorial and commercial control of the Mediterranean was bolstered by universalist claims that were often formulated in religious and messianic discourses. Yet amidst this intense imperial competition (and perhaps propelled by it), a different set of actors — Moriscos, Sephardic Jews and Conversos, interpreters, spies, corsairs, merchants, renegades, and captives — negotiated spaces for interaction and exchange and played just an important role in the formation of imperial identities. What picture of the sea do we get when we center on these “other” actors? This graduate seminar will study the lives of diaspora communities and trans-imperial subjects who were caught between the imperial competition in the Mediterranean. Through a close reading of literary texts, travel narratives, soldiers’ tales, ambassadors’ reports, captivity stories, as well as biographies of merchants and go-betweens, this course will examine the politics of identity in the eastern, southern, western, and northern shores of the Mediterranean in the ‘Age of Empires.’

Fall 2014

Fall 2014 MEMS Graduate Courses

English 470 Colonial and Revolutionary Literature of North America / Ellison

This course will introduce you to the key transformations and texts produced in North America and the Caribbean from the era of European contact, or conquest, through the U.S. War of Independence. We will look at the Spanish and English and Anglo-African narratives that emerged in the plantation zone from Virginia to Surinam; writing and material culture in New England, especially during King Philip’s War (c.1676) and the Salem witch trials (c.1692); colonial elite self-fashioning within an imperial Atlantic world; revolutionary political thought and artistic anxiety. We will move at a brisk pace through the first half of the term, covering ground quickly; during this time you will write a brief paper, a 1-page response to a piece of criticism, and then take a midterm. Much of the second half of the term you will be working — alone, in small groups, and in consultation with me — on a 12-15pp research paper. We will explore the Clements Library, and its extensive collection of early Americana, as well as virtual archives (like the “Early American Imprints” collection) so that you can find a topic that compels you, learn about archival research, read scholarship and historiography associated with your topic, and write (and revise) an original analytical paper. For seniors, I see this as one of the capstone experiences of your concentration. For graduate students, especially Americanists seeking a longer historical view or Early Modern specialists curious about the wider Atlantic and imperial world, this course will provide an excellent introduction to the material, and help you expand your teaching repertoire.

(Probable) Course Texts: A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, Thomas Harriot (1588); A True and Exact History of Barbados, Richard Ligon (1657); The Narrative of the Captivity, Mary Rowlandson (1682); Oroonoko, or, The Royal Slave, Aphra Behn (1688); Unchained Voices: An Anthology of Black Authors in the English-Speaking World of the 18th Century, ed. Vincent Carretta; The Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin (1771-1790); A Short Narrative of My Life, Samson Occom (1768); The Coquette, or, The History of Eliza Wharton, Hannah Webster Foster (1797); Wieland, or, The Transformation, Charles Brockden Brown (1798).

English 541 Medieval Romance: Genre, History, Theory  / Sanok

This class surveys the medieval genre of romance, stories of chivalric and erotic adventure that constitute the most important body of secular imaginative literature in the Middle Ages and a founding genre of English literary history. Read by elite and non-elite audiences, male and female, romance served as a forum for cultural, historical, and religious difference; competing modes of desire, affect, and affiliation; the status of the body in the context of warfare and the sacred; and the possibility of human agency in the face of social constraint, random chance, and pre-ordained fate. It also served as a forum for reflection on the status of literature itself: metaliterary reflections on the the role of poet, patron and audience, the conventions of the genre, and its material and social forms are in evidence from some of its earliest examples. After a consideration of the earliest romance in English, the Old English Apollonius of Tyre and some foundational French romances, we will read important English examples of “literary” and popular romance, including Havelock the Dane, Sir Orfeo, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Alliterative Morte Darthur, Siege of Jerusalem, Story of Asneth, and Wars of Alexander, with attention to their formal features, historical contexts, and audiences. At the end of the term, we briefly explore how romances' own metaliterary reflections find an afterlife in modern critical theory, including Frye’s formalism, Lacans' psychoanalysis, and Jamesons' historicism.

 

History 496 Monasticism: Byzantine East and Latin West / Poteet

Before there was a New World to be imagined and explored, before the age of revolutions when people acted upon their visions for a transformed social order, before the back-to-the-land movement and Woodstock, and before gravity-defying space travel became scientifically feasible, men and women created other worlds in the most inhospitable of terrains: in deserts, on mountain tops, in caves, in forests, and on islands lacking all the amenities of a resort or vacation spot.  This course addresses the phenomenon of men and women who chose to leave the world to achieve spiritual perfection and yet in doing so redrew social and physical landscapes in such a way that their settlements became centers of learning, economic production, the arts, controversy, and reform, as well as of spirituality and introspection.  We will consider in what ways monastic experiments in the Greek East and the Latin West diverged, even as they shared common goals.  We will follow the lives of those who dared to break with social conventions while often (not always) being held up as exemplars of order and stability.  And we will try to understand how the “world” entered into the monastery and the monastery into the world, between, roughly, the fourth and fourteenth centuries AD.  Our readings will include monastic rules and documents for monastic foundations, lives of saints and of those who never made it to sainthood, historical and fictional accounts of monastic ventures, and related sources that will enable us to situate this movement and these individuals in their historical settings.  There will be opportunity to consider what has been preserved of monastic traditions in our own times.

History 537  Crusades  / Emberling, Mallette

The broadly accepted story of the Crusades goes like this: From 1095 to 1291, Popes and European rulers appealed to Christian piety, mobilizing elites and the broader population alike to besiege and conquer the Holy Land — particularly Jerusalem — which had fallen into the hands of “infidel” Muslims. Muslim rulers, on the other hand, invoked Muslim piety by declaring jihad against the “unbelievers” in order to drive them from their land. The simplified story of the Crusades retains its power to agitate public opinion, and is still used by both Christians (like Samuel Huntington, who imagined a “clash of civilizations” based on cultural and religious difference) and Muslims (Al Qaeda continues to call western states “Crusaders”) in attempts to raise support and win hearts and minds. Yet almost nothing about the Crusades story is as it seems. In this class we will explore the complex realities beneath the seemingly clear surface of this story. We will focus on four topics in particular: the historical, economic and ideological factors that motivated both Crusaders and Jihadists; the intricate history of competition and cooperation in the Christian and Muslim settlements in the Holy Land during the era of the Crusades; the cultural exchange that occurred during the Crusades — in particular, new cultural practices that Crusaders took back from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe; and the afterlife of the Crusades in the modern European and Arab imagination.

 

History 698   History and Historiography of the Tang & Song Dynasties / de Pee

History 698 / Italian 660 (MEMS Prosem)  Premodern Cities: Comparative Studies / Van Dam and Squatriti

With a few deviations into Asian and African contexts, this course investigates European urban cultures and history across the very long duration. It takes in ancient, medieval and early modern examples of urban development and un-development, trying to probe the particularities of cities, city life, and urban culture in an array of times and places. One important theme will be the unique characteristics of urban physical plant, especially how urban fabric structured people's existence. We will also look hard at urban representation, in words as well as in bricks and stones. The practicalities of urban "metabolism" and the in- and out-flow of energy from urban communities will be another theme the course addresses. In this seminar most of our readings will be modern books, articles, and chapters on our very various topics.  Classes will consist of discussions of the readings, discussions of students’ reviews of the readings, and presentations of students’ projects.  Requirements include short written reviews, a substantial research project and paper, and participation in all class discussions.

 

Musicology 513 History of Opera to 1800 / Stein

This course is devoted to the study of opera in the first two centuries of its existence, from its beginnings just before 1600 to nearly the end of the 18th century.   Opera is to be studied critically as music, theater, spectacle, performance medium, and cultural expression.  Special aspects of this course include a focus on the singers of baroque opera, opera's arrival in the Americas, and the financing and staging of early opera.  While some of the lectures and listening assignments will be organized around excerpts, others will be designed to focus on whole operas, their music and musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and reception in performance.  Composers to be studied include Peri, Caccini, Da Gagliano, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Hidalgo, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Rameau, Gluck, Salieri, Sarti, Piccinni, Mozart, and Haydn.  The assignments in this course will be primarily listening assignments, supplemented by score study, readings from materials on reserve and on C-Tools, and some in-class performances. Grades will be based on written work and class participation.

Musicology 578 Renaissance Music / Mengozzi

Musicology 639 Medieval Music: Cantus and the Geography of Latin Christendom  / Borders

This seminar will trace the complex transmission of the Western Christian liturgy and plainchant from medieval through early modern times, paying particular attention to migration and other social patterns including urbanization. The course will begin with the earliest period for which evidence survives, but the chronological scope will be determined by students’ interests and individual research projects. Scholarly readings will be assigned and discussed, and students should also expect to work with modern editions and facsimiles of music and texts (in Latin). A substantive term paper (topics to be developed in consultation with the instructor) preceded by bibliographies, an outline, and a draft will be required. The ability to read Latin and French would be useful. Graduate only.

Winter 2014

Winter 2014 MEMS Graduate Courses

ARCH 518 / HA 460 // Renaissance Architecture / Lydia Soo

The course examines the architecture of the Renaissance--the buildings and cities of the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy, France, and England.  They will be discussed in relationship to contemporary theoretical writings, addressing issues of function, structure, and beauty, as well as in relationship to the cultural context of the Renaissance, including philosophical, religious, political, economic, and environmental factors.

ARCH 633 / HA 689.002 // Vision and Mathematics in Baroque Architecture / Lydia Soo

This seminar examines the curvilinear forms and theatrical spaces of Baroque architecture in terms of vision—formal, aesthetic, and symbolic goals driven by certain cultural values, and mathematics—the geometrical methods, carried out using simply a straight edge and compass, by which these goals were achieved.  Focusing on Bernini and Borromini and their followers in and outside of Italy, we will consider the cultural context in which they worked (political, social, religious) and the technical means available to them (drawing techniques, materials, construction methods).  At the same time the nature of proportion and geometry in architecture, and their primacy in the making of buildings, particularly in classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods, will be investigated as a basis for understanding the phenomenon of Baroque form and the complex geometries found in today’s architecture.

New! ASIAN 494 / HART 495 Ocean of Stories: Telling Tales in the Indian Subcontinent // Chanchani

This course investigates painters' engagements with India's literatures. Beginning with storytelling in contemporary artworks, this course proceeds to examine the emergence, refinement, and dispersion of literary and pictorial conventions in cosmopolitan early India and their transformations in later periods when book arts interacted with vernacularization, performative traditions, and eventually print culture.


 New! 439 / HART 492 Himalayas: An Aesthetic Exploration // Chanchani

Studying Himalayan art and architecture offers an opportunity to embark on expeditions to distant frontiers, acquire critical appreciation of the impact of geography on cultural production and gain deeper understanding of historical processes that have transpired in this region and continue to exert an influence in our own times.

ENGL 503 // Middle English / Tom Toon

 

ENG 541 // Literature of the Medieval Period / Cathy Sanok

This course investigates the categories of the secular and the sacred as they are explored in a wide range of important late medieval literary texts. “Premodern” culture is often defined as a thoroughly “religious,” against the putative secularism of modernity. But medieval writers and their audiences had a rich and complicated idea of the secular, which they understood as a category of time--the time of human history and causality, of individual identity, ethics, and mortality, defined against various notions of sacred timelessness. We will think especially about the role of form in the way that literary texts address these categories: how, for example, does love lyric explore a secular condition of identity and experience of time? We will also seek to chart how emerging ideas of the “literary” and especially claims for its transhistorical status or value respond to a shifting relationship between some forms of secular and religious jurisdiction shift in the early fifteenth century. We will read late medieval lyric, romance, drama, and religious visionary literature, including the Harley lyrics, the lyric poetry of Audelay, Pearl, the morality play Mankind, and writings by major fifteenth century writers such as Hoccleve, Lydgate, Kempe, and Malory. In addition to our exploration of the literary questions provoked by the categories of the sacred and secular, we will think about their definition and deployment in recent methodological and conceptual frameworks: especially criticism that participates in the “religious turn” in literary studies and some of the theoretical texts on which it draws (Agamben, Nancy), and in the active debate around the category of the “secular” (Asad, Taylor, Viswanathan). 

 

ENG 630 // English Literature and Its Global Contexts, 1600-1800 / David Porter

While the legacy of Saids' Orientalism has profoundly shaped the study of intercultural relations in colonial and post-colonial contexts, it has also informed scholarly perspectives on early modern encounters, real and imagined, that conform less neatly to colonial or even proto-colonial paradigms. Recognizing the potential hazards of Eurocentrism and anachronism attendant upon such readings, this seminar will explore a variety of alternative, post-Saidian models for thinking about Englands' place in an increasingly globalized early modern world, and, in particular, their implications for reconsidering the literary history of the period. We will interrogate a number of contemporary English authors — Shakespeare, Behn, Defoe, Pope, Montagu, Addison, Cook, and others — who grapple with these questions, while at the same time surveying relevant recent scholarship from the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies, world history, and East-West studies. We will consider questions of influence, reception, and imaginative geography, but will also explore methodological problems raised by more explicitly comparative approaches, including questions of commensurability and meta-historical modeling. Specific topics to be addressed include early modern travel writing, race and enlightenment, captivity narratives, the anxiety of empire, material culture history, and historical cosmopolitanism.

HART 694 // Visualizing the Art Historical Past in Early Modern China / Martin Powers

 

This is a seminar about the Song period visualization of earlier art historical moments. It is not about the imitation of the past but rather the re-imagination of a foreign art historical past. It is part of a larger project intended ultimately to take shape as a conference and exhibition focused on the art historical art of the Song dynasty. The analysis of visual interpretations of foreign visualities is a powerful method for the study of art history. Song artists had early on conquered the depiction of deep space, light, texture, and scale, so when Song artists and critics looked back to the pre-naturalistic art of the medieval period, they imagined it as more naive but also more imaginative and liberated from rules than the art of their own period, not unlike the way the English Romantics imagined the art of Medieval England. We will read and discuss secondary sources on the evolution of art historical art in Song China, along with readings about comparable phenomena in other times and places (such as the English Romantics), as well as theoretical studies of historical visuality. In addition we will read numerous primary sources in translation, essays and poems in which Song critics analyze the difference between the art of the medieval period and their own time. Topics discussed will include Song theories of naturalism, expression, and art historical citation, as well as modern theories regarding naturalism, visuality, and pastiche.  Students will contribute to the project by writing a paper on a particular painting in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, or the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, as these scrolls can be viewed in fine detail online. In addition to an analytical paper on a scroll painting of their choice, students also will write a catalogue entry for one of the scrolls to be included in the exhibition, in addition to the painting they’ve chosen for their research paper. We will view scroll paintings in the collection at UMMA and, resources permitting, visit the MFA as well. All reading materials will be online.

 

HART / WS 720 MEMS prosem  // Material Culture in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe / Pat Simons w/ Kit French

This course considers historiographic trends and current scholarship that places material culture and visuality at the center of accounts of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Since Burckhardt in 1860, the Renaissance has been associated with naturalism and materialism. Marx and others found explanatory models in capitalism, class difference, and wealth. Using gender analysis, curatorial practice and so-called “thing theory,” how might we reconceive of materiality, in the light of the dynamics of consumption, issues of tangibility, user interaction, and household agency? We will consider practices and spaces such as clothing, domestic interiors and culinary culture. Some attention will be paid to “popular” or “mass” culture, including the carnivalesque, the ephemeral (e.g., graffiti), and the inexpensive. One or two meetings will be held with curators and conservators, especially at the DIA. This course meets the MEMS Proseminar requirement. Cost: $0-50. Co-taught with Prof. Katherine French (History).

HIST 481/594 / French 340/654 // Translating the Enlightenment / Dena Goodman

 ITAL 533 //  Dante’s Divine Comedy / Alison Cornish

Graduate students interested in following the course on Dante's Divine Comedy (Italian 333/MEMS 333) can enroll in 533.  They will attend lectures, participate in discussion and take bluebook exams.  Additional discussion sessions and final projects will be arranged on the basis of students' needs and interests.

LATIN 507 //  Late Latin / Donka Markus

The main goal of the course is acquiring the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to read a wide range of post-classical Latin texts written between AD 400-1300 with comprehension, ease and enjoyment. This is a survey course in which we will attend to the changes in post-classical Latin grammar, syntax, and orthography by reading representative excerpts from a variety of authors and genres, mostly prose, but also some poetry. A prominent theme in the course will be the medieval reception of Vergil and Ovid. After properly situating the texts and their authors within their historical contexts, we will explore the European reception of Greco-Roman antiquity and the surprising ways in which the legacy of the ancient world lived on. While this is not a course in palaeography, students will be exposed to the basic and most common orthographic conventions and abbreviations in the Latin texts of the surveyed period. Students will have the opportunity to explore their own interests within the framework of the course and to gain deeper familiarity with the texts and genres that they are most interested in.

MEMS 898 // Interdisciplinary Writing Colloquium / Alison Cornish

This workshop provides advanced students in Medieval and Early Modern periods with the opportunity to present work in an interdisciplinary context bringing together participants from all disciplines that engage with pre-modern materials. The colloquium supports students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work. It addresses three needs: 1) to help you to frame and to convey the larger significance of your research with the help of a supportive group from a wider range of methodological points of view than would normally appear on a dissertation committee; 2) to provide you with practice in articulating your ideas in an oral format; and 3) to explore how interdisciplinary dialogue can enrich our research. The MEMS colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS, but students do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course.  Types of writing welcomed: Dissertation chapters, conference presentations, articles in draft stages, prospectus drafts, job talks, methodological statements, research statements, project narratives, book reviews, grant proposals

.

MUS 621 //  History of Music Theory I / James Borders

Covers the history of musical thought from Antiquity through about 1600 C.E.

SPAN 859 // Framing Don Quijote / Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas

Don Quixote remains the most popular, sought-after text in Spanish literature classes. Whether in its original or in translation, it is taught in colleges and universities every year to students young and old. It is also a book of enormous appeal to doctoral students and concentrators of English, Classics, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, Music, Opera, Theater, Latino Studies, and History of Art; it is taught in courses of World Literature/Great Books, and its countless visual adaptations are excellent teaching tools in any introductory classes on Hispanic cultures. If you are a student in any of these disciplines, this class is for you. This seminar will attempt to redefine the traditional notion of student participation, since you will not only read the text and discuss it with your peers, but will also teach it as well. In order to get the most out of Cervantes’ masterpiece, I will provide the necessary background and most effective tools in the form of introductory lectures, presentation of key theoretical questions, identification of unresolved difficulties, along with a weekly review of the most exciting bibliography on the subject(s) at stake — including some of the most influential readings of the last century, from Ortega to Foucault — while you will prepare a master class on your topic(s) of choice. By the end of the term, you will have read the text in its entirety, will have taught as many as three sessions (depending on the enrollment), and will possess a thorough understanding of what it means to write on and teach Cervantes — and, for that matter, early modern Spanish literature — in the 21st century.

Fall 2013

Fall 2013 MEMS Graduate Courses

AAPTIS 591.002 Society and Culture in Early Modern Iran // Babayan

In this seminar we will excavate the cultural, social, and religious landscapes of early modern Iran. We will begin our journey into the Safavi world through sixteenth-century courtly circles, exploring their relationship to Turkmen tribes and the urban milieu of mystics, poets, painters, craftsmen, bureaucrats, and scholars. How does the Safavi ruler insert himself within these different spaces? How is his authority portrayed and deployed so as to create a hierarchical order and forge community ties?

 

ARCH 518 / HART 555 Italian Renaissance Architecture // Soo

The course examines the architecture of the Renaissance — the buildings and cities of the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy, France, and England. They will be discussed in relationship to contemporary theoretical writings, addressing issues of function, structure, and beauty, as well as in relationship to the cultural context of the Renaissance, including philosophical, religious, political, economic, and environmental factors.

HISTORY 698.002 Sources of Premodern History // Hughes

This course is intended as an introduction to the sources of medieval and early modern history, of which it hopes to propose not only interpretative strategies, but also ways of enlarging their focus through comparisons between word and image, production and reception, centers and peripheries. We will consider the ways in which these records were produced, the ways they were preserved, and the ways they first came to be accessed as historical materials. At the center of the course will be the ways in which students might shape a new archive of documents - literary, historical, and artistic - to widen and deepen research into cultures that did not clearly make those generic distinctions.

Although my expertise is historical and European, I intend to invite as presenters to the course those in other areas (Asia, America, Africa) and hope that this might stimulate a cross-cultural discussion of source discovery, comparison, and use over a range of geographies and chronologies.

Students will participate in theoretical and historiographical approaches to pre-modern source material within the seminar. But they will then be encouraged to shape this into analyses that suit their own research needs.

 

698.004 Pre-Colonial Southeast Asia // Lieberman

This course examines select problems in the history of both mainland and island Southeast Asia from the start of the first millenium C.E. to the early 19th century, on the eve of colonial rule. Its focus is simultaneously political, cultural, and economic. It seeks to explain why, particularly on the mainland, localized political and economic systems coalesced with increasing speed and success, chiefly from the 15th century, and why similar integrative trends in the island world were less sustained. But at the same time it seeks to explore in open-ended fashion the relation between international and domestic economic stimuli, cultural importation and cultural creativity, institutional demands and patrimonial norms. Principal thematic topics include: Indianization, the rise of the classical states and their chief features, the collapse of the classical states, reintegration on the mainland, the age of commerce thesis, comparisons between Theravada, Neo-Confucian, the Muslim Southeast Asia, the early role of Europeans, the 18th century crises, Southeast Asia on the eve of colonial intervention.

 

826 Historical Sources in Japanese // Tonomura

This course will introduce the pleasure and pain of reading primary sources in the field of premodern Japanese history to students with sufficient linguistic facility. A strong Japanese language background is a prerequisite for taking this course. We will familiarize ourselves with a variety of historical materials, read and interpret them, and consider relative merits and problems presented by each type of material. We will first read translated documents alongside the Japanese originals, and in conjunction with relevant secondary works. In addition to weekly exercise, each student will choose an English language book and examine the ways in which its author used historical sources by checking them in the library.

MUSICOL 642 Late Renaissance Music: Motet &the  Counter-Reformation // Mengozzi

 

NES 567 Classic Islamic Texts: Islamic Theology, Philosophy & Mysticism // Knysh

This course is structured around the reading and analysis of Islamic texts (written in Arabic) from the classical and post-classical epoch (ninth century CE to the present) arranged chronologically. This academic term our topic will be Islamic theology or kalam, Islamic philosophy or falsafa, and Islamic mysticism or tasawwuf. The readings will be adjusted based on the interests of the students enrolled in the course. We shall be reading the texts and discussing their authors, paying special attention to the religio-political circumstances in which these texts were written and their place in the history of Islamic thought. Special attention will be given to the analysis of the technical terminology employed by the Muslim writers whose work will be the subject of the course. After four or five weeks of guided reading and discussion, each student will be asked to choose any Arabic text related to the topics discussed in the course, to distribute it among the members of the group, and to lead a reading session based on it.

591.002 Society & Culture in Early Modern Iran // Babayan

This seminar explores the features of the ‘early modern’ in the Persianate world. Early modernity in Europe has been associated with a new centering of society, with the emergence of a private sphere, with the spread of literacy and the disciplining of the body. This ‘civilizing process,’ according to Norbert Elias, is made implicit through the production and dissemination of pedagogical manuals on proper etiquette, conduct and manners that intended to regulate social behavior and emotional expression.  Are these salient features of societies that emerge in early modern Iran and northern India? To probe the contours of the ‘early modern’ in Persianate landscapes we will study shared millenarian discourses in the sixteenth century that gave birth to colorful imaginations of cosmic change. What forms of knowledge were deployed to articulate millenarian visions in the Persianate world? What media were mobilized to communicate these visions? How was the sacred imagined and performed? An investigation into the shared discursive realms of the ‘sacred’ will allow us entry into complex social processes that shaped worldviews, fashioned concepts of time and space, produced categories of thought, defined the licit and the illicit, created and controlled desires, and reproduced social and economic structures of Timurid, Safavid, and Mughal empires.

 

RUSSIAN 552 Russian Literature of the 18th Century // Khagy

This course offers a survey of eighteenth-century literature from the Baroque to Sentimentalism and (pre)Romanticism in its broad historical, social, and cultural context. Period literature will be considered in relation to comparable European developments. The course will include a discussion of common narratives of eighteenth-century culture such as secularization, westernization, Enlightenment, and the emancipation of literature. Special focus on the development of Russian poetry/poetics and the evolving philosophy of verbal art.

Winter 2013

Winter 2013 MEMS Graduate Courses

ARCH 528 / HART 465     Lydia Soo [lmsoo]   Baroque Architecture

The course examines the architecture of the Baroque period, the buildings and cities of the late sixteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries in Italy, France, England, and Central Europe. They will be discussed in relationship to contemporary theoretical writings, addressing issues of function, structure, and beauty, as well as in relationship to the cultural context of the Baroque period, including philosophical, religious, political, economic, and environmental factors

 

ARCH 633  Lydia Soo [lmsoo]   Vision and Mathematics in Baroque Architecture (Seminar in Renaissance and Baroque Architecture)

This seminar examines the curvilinear forms and theatrical spaces of Baroque architecture in terms of vision—formal, aesthetic, and symbolic goals driven by certain cultural values, and mathematics—the geometrical methods, carried out using simply a straight edge and compass, by which these goals were achieved.  We will focus on Bernini and Borromini and their followers in and outside of Italy, considering the cultural context in which they worked (political, social, religious) as well as the technical means available to them (drawing techniques, materials, construction methods).  In order to create a foundation for understanding the phenomenon of Baroque form, during the first half of the course we will investigate the ways in which mathematics drove the creation of architecture during the classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods:  how proportion and geometry were understood and how they were applied in design.  Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to draw parallels between the mathematical basis of form creation in past architecture, including the Baroque, and the methods for creating complex geometries in today’s architecture. The seminar will be comprised of lectures by the instructor, but primarily discussions and student presentations based on assigned readings.  Each student will pursue a term-long project on a Baroque building(s) involving historical research, visual documentation, and experimentation with geometrical methods.

 

ENGLISH 642    Linda Gregerson [gregerso]    Milton’s Major Poems

Throughout the term, the centerpiece of our weekly meetings will be an extended reading of Miltons' three great poems: “Paradise Lost,” “Paradise Regained,” and “Samson Agonistes.” We will lavish attention upon each of them from as many angles as time will allow: historical, intertextual, theological, biographical, formalist. We will be interested in all aspects of poetic technique: the use of line; the expectations of literary genre and strategies for reforming those expectations; the figurative imagination, including epic simile; narrative structure and narrative momentum; rhyme (and its banishment). Students will collaborate in pairs on outside reading reports, focusing on key critical texts as well as other portions of the Miltonic canon, especially the prose tracts which have so much to tell us about the poets' thoughts on governance, truth, collectivity and autonomy, marriage and faith, free will. MFA students and doctoral students who specialize in areas outside the Renaissance are warmly welcome, and final projects will be adapted to suit your interests. In addition to occasional oral reports (their nature and frequency will depend upon our numbers), students will write a final seminar-length essay of 12-15 pages, or will devise an alternate project of equivalent scope.

 

FRENCH 651    Valerie Traub [traubv] Peggy McCracken [peggymc]   Animal, Human, Women

This seminar explores the role and function of concepts of embodiment (including race, gender, and sexuality) in definitions of the human. The first part of the seminar is devoted to devising a theoretical repertoire drawn from theorists not primarily known for their interest in gender, but who have provided influential theories of the social, disciplinarity, sovereignty, the biopolitical, and the posthuman. In the second part of the seminar, we will use these theories to think through issues of agency, sovereignty, and power in relation to species, gender, sexuality, and race. We will focus on two literary case studies composed of a cluster of intertexts: the stories of Philomel and Cressida across the medieval and early modern periods in English and in French (all French texts available in English translation). Literary authors include Chaucer, Chrétien de Troyes, Shakespeare, and translators of Ovid; theorists include Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Agamben, Latour, and Grosz. Throughout the Term we will consider the tension, in both theory and literary representation, between being and becoming. Students will complete a major research project grounded in their own primary research areas and that engages with the theoretical paradigms offered in the course. Requirements include an annotated bibliography, an oral presentation of research questions, and a final paper. The class will culminate in the presentation of student research with the goal of preparation for publication. Although the case studies for the course will be located in the medieval and early modern periods, no prior training in those areas is assumed, and the seminar should be useful to any student interested in gaining a broader understanding of contemporary theory and developing a methodological tool kit for engaging with both literary texts and historical issues in any period.

 

GERMAN 449.001 / HISTORY 481/ MEMS 411 /WOMEN’S STUDIES    Helmut Puff [puff]   Spirit and Madness: Religious Women from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

This course considers the contributions religious women made to the history of Christianity, Christian spirituality, religious literature, and theology. Between 1000 and 1800, individual women and women’s communities actively shaped religious life in the West. Whether admired as visionaries or accused of heresies, religious women’s intellectual and institutional existence was deeply affected by their gender. We will discuss important stations of this history, with a particular focus on the German-speaking parts of Europe. Themes such as the emergence of a religious women’s movement in the Middle Ages, female mysticism, the monastic reform movements, the closing of convents during the Reformation, and critiques of life behind convent walls will be the focus of our discussions. The writings and sources at the center of this class will be complemented by background readings as well as a site visit to a women’s community (in negotiation), films, images, etc. No prior knowledge or German required.

 

HISTART 617    Patricia Simons [patsimon]   Wit, Ingenuity, and Humor in Premodern Europe

Visual humor is of increasing scholarly interest (for instance, treated in this year’s conference “Rire en images à la Renaissance” in Paris), yet it needs to be theorized more carefully and understood in historical terms. This seminar thus considers influential theories of humor, from Aristotle and Cicero to Castiglione, Freud, Huizinga and Bakhtin. It moves beyond the ugly, grotesque and obscene to investigate also the place of humor in other visual modes, such as religious imagery (e.g. smiling angels) and natural history (e.g. the “serious joke”). Genres to be differentiated include parody, satire, ridicule, puns and caricature. Further, we study the relationship between affect/emotions and humor, and the centrality of ingenuity and deceit to the production and appreciation of visual wit.

 

MUSICOL 521    John Rice [riceja]   Music of the Classic Era

Survey of European music from the mid-18th century to about 1810.

 

MUSICOL 577    James Borders [jborders]   Medieval Music

Following a lecture-based survey of the early development of Western music, the second half of this course examines questions through analyses of music, rituals, and texts (in translation) and by examining the development of the text/music relationship over the period 800-1450. Course work involves listening and reading assignments, including musical scores, music theoretical literature, and medieval cultural studies. The ability to read musical notation is assumed.

 

MUSICOL 643    John Rice [riceja]   Music of the Baroque

 

PHIL 508    Tad Schmaltz [tschmalt]   Continental Rationalism

This course concerns the interrelated views in physics and metaphysics of the great early-modern philosopher G. W. Leibniz (1646–1716). We will consider both the significant development of these views over the course of Leibniz's philosophical career, and the relation of these views to the work of his major philosophical contemporaries, including Thomas Hobbes, René Descartes, Nicolas Malebranche and Sir Isaac Newton. We will focus on central claims in Leibniz concerning the nature of body and bodily "force", the need for "substantial forms" in physics, the "pre-established harmony" of different substances, and both the autonomy of physics from, and its dependence on, metaphysics.

 

MEMS 898    Alison Cornish [acorn]…Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium

The Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. It seeks to meet three needs:

1.     to provide useful criticism of dissertation work from a wider range of expertise and methodological points of view than normally encompassed in a dissertation committee

2.     to provide advanced students with experience in public presentation of scholarly papers

3.     to create an intellectual forum that will bring together graduate students in disparate fields, so as to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and consequent broadening of horizons

It is intended for doctoral candidates at the prospectus- or dissertation-writing stage of their programs. Students to not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program in order to take this course.

Fall 2012

Graduate Courses Fall 2012

ENGLISH 630.001. The Cultural History of Cartography / Valerie Traub with Karl Longstreth

Over the past thirty years, the cultural history of cartography has been reinvigorated by means of the theorizations deriving from literary and cultural studies (e.g., Foucault, Certeau).  Correlatively, scholars of literature and visual culture have become attuned to the importance of maps, mapmaking, and spatial logics to an array of questions:  the historical emergence of race, the gendering of colonial rhetoric, the administration of empire, and the experience of urban life.  This interdisciplinary seminar, co-taught by an English/Women’s Studies professor and the university library’s chief map librarian, will focus on the mutually-informing relationships among cartography, literature, and visual culture at different historical moments in Europe and North America.  We will explore the very definition of a map, which differs across time and cultures; cross-cultural variations in map literacy; the use that people make of maps and atlases in different times and places, including military activity, local journeying, exploration, colonization, urbanization, and administration; the representations of human bodies, flora, and fauna on maps (including racial, ethnic, gendered, and geographic designations); and the ways in which spatialized graphic idioms (e.g., longitude, latitude, grids, compass roses) contribute to broad cultural logics, including historically specific modes of classification and comparison. 

Our Anglo-European focus will be supplemented by consideration of cartographic products from non-Western cultures, especially Asia.  Depending on the interest of students, our survey may range from the medieval period to the present, although we also will focus on select moments in time.  Shifts entailed by technological changes in the late sixteenth century (geometric triangulation, surveying, copper-plate engraving, mass-marketing of prints) will orient one such focus.  Select literary texts that have elicited considerable interest for those interested in cartography (for instance, Shakespeare’s King Lear) will make an appearance.  In addition, we will explore the implications of new digital technologies for both research and pedagogy.

Our cartographic archive will be based on the collections of the Clements Library and Hatcher’s Clark Map Library, although on-line databases will be used as well.  Along with reading in recent cartographic history, spatial theory, and literary texts, requirements include attendance at a symposium on the cultural history of cartography to be held October 25 and 26, and the viewing of two special exhibits related to the symposium.  Readings drawn from the scholarship of symposium speakers (some of them former Michigan Ph.D.s), will orient the first half of the syllabus; the second half will be devoted to developing skills for final projects, some of which will evolve out of questions developed in the course of the symposium.

This course should be useful to anyone interested in developing their interdisciplinary skills of reading literary and visual texts, and historicizing and theorizing them.  No previous “map literacy” or knowledge of the history of cartography is required.

 

FRENCH 680. Theories of the Object / George Hoffmann

 

Critical theory since structuralism has mounted a series of challenges to what it means to be “human,” progressively untwining the notion from race, gender, sexual preference and, most recently, a differential relationship to animals. Do any further divides lie along this sequence that need to be undone? In light of the last decade’s critical shift from queer theory to animal studies, can one project a next move toward post-animate studies which would stand as a final, or next-to-last, frontier in a post-human project?

            What are objects before commodification? How can we think our way back to their pre-commodified state or, simply, imagine other kinds of relationships to objects? Questions entertained will include: where does the concept value--as something seemingly freestanding, enduring, and independent of desire--come from? (How) can we make objects speak? Each of you will try to do so by selecting one object to research, in the aim of producing a publishable essay that will be informed by critical readings from Stallybrass, Keane, Simmel, Anidjar, Pietz, MacPherson, Masuzawa, Lyons, Kumler, Guillory, and Gell.

 

HISTART 666.  Perspectives on Perspective / Celeste Brusati

 

By the seventeenth century perspective had come to encompass a wide range of pictorial practices and divergent aims, yet twentieth century concepts and metaphors of perspective that have shaped both the modern history and practice of art have drawn on fairly reductive models of what perspective is. Recent scholarship has begun to complicate these accounts by reassessing primary sources and considering materials from non-European pictorial and textual traditions. The seminar explores various disjunctions between pictorial practice and ideas about perspective, and their implications are for our use of perspective as a category of analysis.  We will be discussing key texts on perspective from the early modern and modern periods, including those by Panofsky, Damisch, Ivins, Elkins, Summers, Belting, Massey, and Zorach in order to understand the implications of perspective’s identification with particular theories of vision, concepts of space and historical distance, the ‘Western’ scientific gaze, and modern subjectivity itself. Alongside our assessment of key texts we will be examining ways that perspective operates in conjunction with other representational conventions in painting, anamorphic art, maps, prints, trompe l’oeil images, optical devices, manuscript illustration, Chinese and Japanese folding screens and hand-scrolls. 

Our aim will be to discover what aspects of pictorial practice have been illuminated, marginalized, and/or eclipsed in the discourse of perspective, and to rethink both the parameters of the category and its use in the analysis of pictures and visuality. Class discussions will focus on early modern European case studies, but participants may choose paper topics from their own areas of interest and research provided that they engage substantively with the issues addressed in our readings and discussions. Course expectations include informed participation, occasional in-class exercises, a short oral presentation, and a substantial critical research paper.  The seminar will be interdisciplinary in approach and students from all disciplines are welcome.

 

HISTORY 698.002. Sources of Premodern History / Diane Owen Hughes

 

This course is intended as an introduction to the sources of medieval and early modern history, of which it hopes to propose not only interpretative strategies, but also ways of enlarging their focus through comparisons between word and image, production and reception, centers and peripheries. We will consider the ways in which these records were produced, the ways they were preserved, and the ways they first came to be accessed as historical materials. At the center of the course will be the ways in which students might shape a new archive of documents - literary, historical, and artistic - to widen and deepen research into cultures that did not clearly make those generic distinctions.

Although my expertise is historical and European, I intend to invite as presenters to the course those in other areas (Asia, America, Africa) and hope that this might stimulate a cross-cultural discussion of source discovery, comparison, and use over a range of geographies and chronologies.

Students will participate in theoretical and historiographical approaches to pre-modern source material within the seminar. But they will then be encouraged to shape this into analyses that suit their own research needs.

There will be two basic requirements: a short paper on the practice of archiving the past; a longer paper on a document or series of documents from a particular field that suggests new ways of archiving, selecting, combining, or re-assessing the documents of the pre-modern world.

 

HISTORY 698.005.  Precolonial South East Asia /Victor Lieberman        

 

This course examines select problems in the history of both mainland and island Southeast Asia from the start of the first millenium C.E. to the early 19th century, on the eve of colonial rule. Its focus is simultaneously political, cultural, and economic. It seeks to explain why, particularly on the mainland, localized political and economic systems coalesced with increasing speed and success, chiefly from the 15th century, and why similar integrative trends in the island world were less sustained. But at the same time it seeks to explore in open-ended fashion the relation between international and domestic economic stimuli, cultural importation and cultural creativity, institutional demands and patrimonial norms. Principal thematic topics include: Indianization, the rise of the classical states and their chief features, the collapse of the classical states, reintegration on the mainland, the age of commerce thesis, comparisons between Theravada, Neo-Confucian, the Muslim Southeast Asia, the early role of Europeans, the 18th century crises, Southeast Asia on the eve of colonial intervention.

 

Latin 801. Petronius / Basil Dufallo

This class will treat Petronius’s Satyricon with special attention to its literary aspects, including genre, form, style, characterization, allusion, and narrative technique. We will consider the problem of its authorship, date, and possible Neronian context, as well as its pervasive concern with interactions between Greek and Roman culture. Non-classics students can take the course with a reduced amount of reading in the original Latin, to be determined in consultation with the professor.

 

SPANISH 865. Colonialism Now and Then / Gustavo Verdesio

This course focuses both on some colonial texts (and the problematics they deal with) and present cultural artifacts and social conflicts that help us see the continuities between past and present that manifest itself in the colonial legacies of Latin America. Special emphasis will be put on the predicament of indigenous peoples in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The first reading is, as usual in courses on colonialism, Christopher Columbus. We will read a few articles and chapters about the Genoese navigator so that we can read in a more informed fashion a twentieth century novel (Abel Posse’s Los perros del paraíso) and a couple of movies that recreate the Columbian enterprise. We will later read some anthropological and archaeological works (Claude Levi-Strauss’s Tristes Tropiques and Michael Moseley’s The Inca and Their Ancestors) in order to pay special attention to the mechanisms and rhetorical devices, as well as the philosophical and epistemological foundations that comprise the representations of indigenous peoples they offer.

Next comes the 1841 best seller by Stephens and Catherwood, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan, which became a model to be followed by numerous voyage narratives that deal with indigenous pasts. These authors set the stage for a discourse on indigenous ruins that still predominates in the West. Said representations are a consequence, as we will, see, of colonial structures that persist in the present. Michael D. Coe’s book, (Breaking the Maya Code) gives us the chance to focus on how Western civilization viewed and construed Maya culture, with special emphasis on the Ancient civilization’s writing system. In this long and protracted process, colonial legacies set the tone for the interpretation and evaluation of Maya cultural and civilizational accomplishments. Steve Stern’s ethnohistorical account of Huamanga’s people adaptation to the Spanish colonial regime attempts to refute several views on indigenous peoples as passive and submissive in order to show them, instead, as astute and active subjects that devised a series of strategies to resist colonial rule.

The texts by Rigoberta Menchú and Subcomandante Marcos are gonna allow us, for the first time in the academic term, to have access to voices who speak in the name of indigenous peoples. In those readings we will have the opportunity to find out how indigenous peoples themselves view the colonial legacies that still oppress them. Skull Wars and The Repatriation Reader present us with a history of abuse perpetrated by some of the Western academic disciplines on indigenous peoples. The texts will allow us to discuss some of the most persistent colonial legacies that affect indigenous peoples in the U.S. and beyond. The book by Borofsky analyzes the controversy that surrounded some of the research conducted on the Yanomami from Brazil and Venezuela. We will also discuss a few more movies that deal with colonial situations, such as Couple in the Cage, Mastropiero que nunca, Que gostoso que era o meu frances, Secrets of the Tribe, Apocalypto, A Place called Chiapas, Incidents of Travel in Chichen Itza, and others to be announced (the list may include The New World and/or Pocahontas).

Winter 2012

Winter Term 2012

Architecture 633 Seminar in Renaissance and Baroque Architecture / Lydia Soo

 

Asian Studies 502 Humanistic Studies of Historical and Contemporary China / David Rolston
This course will examine the present state of research in selected areas of scholarly inquiry in Chinese studies - language, literature, history, religion material culture, and art history - as we interrogate such seemingly commonsense notions as “civilization,” “culture,” “tradition,” “modernity,” and above all, “Chineseness.” Our goals are to develop good reading skills, stimulate critical thinking, and inspire imaginative approaches to humanistic problems.

 

English 642.001 Montaigne, Donne, and Early Modern Habits of Self-Scrutiny / Douglas Trevor

This course will begin with a sustained and thoughtful reading of the essays of Michel de Montaigne. Among the questions we will pose are the following: what made Montaigne's work reverberate in France in the sixteenth century? What kind of relation does Montaigne cultivate between himself and his reader? What constitutes an interesting insight into the self, as opposed to a banal one? When we shift to England, we will take up the question of how English authors appropriated Montaigne. We will consider two Shakespearean examples ("Hamlet" and "King Lear") before turning to the writings of John Donne. Donne's career evinces a sustained, and complicated, encounter with Montaigne's example of self-scrutiny and the various intellectual practices often paired with this scrutiny, including a fondness for philosophical skepticism. As he makes his way toward ordination, Donne clearly struggles with Montaigne's attitude toward religious belief. We will examine this struggle, and ask ourselves what it tells us about early modern Europe.

 

Histart 689 (MEMS PROSEM) Popular Visual Culture in Medieval and Early Modern Japan and Europe  / Kevin Carr and Megan Holmes

In this seminar, we will utilize a comparative perspective in considering the role of the visual arts within popular religion in Europe and Japan during the Medieval and Early Modern periods. We will interrogate categories of “art” and “popular religion” in relation to specific cultural and theoretical discourses, both historical and modern. We will pay special attention to how period texts and images associate popular religious practices with superstition, ignorance, misbehavior, rusticity, and the transgression of orthodox belief. In studies of various cultures, “popular religion” is often understood as a binary term with diverse and contradictory associations: extra-liturgical, traditional, indigenous, subaltern, mass, etc. Art historians of both East Asia and Europe have tended to conceive of popular religious art in terms of a “high-low” binary dependent on a quality criterion, rather than on socioeconomic, cultural, and historical considerations. Popular religious art is thus characterized as evincing little skill, a lack of expressive power, misinterpretation of orthodox beliefs, cheap manufacture, and the utilization of mechanical reproduction. This criterion of quality often leads to the designation as “popular” objects that were, in fact, historically situated within elite, learned, and dominant cultural spheres. Our class will challenge these categories and consider more fruitful and historically accurate ways to understand visual culture that often has been left out of the purview of art history.

 

Hist 481.001 Rome After Empire / Paolo Squatriti
This course traces the evolution of the city of Rome from imperial capital to shabby village and then to holy city, between 300 and 1400. It shows that Rome was at the same time both a physical place, full of ruins and monuments, and a glorious idea of law, of imperial rule, of civilization. The course  explores how the urban community and its actual fabric interacted with the ideas about it held by Romans and by medieval people living far from the city itself.

History 594 /Judaic 517 Ancient Judaism: Law, Religion, History / Rachel Neis

This course provides an introduction to Ancient Judaism from the first to the eighth centuries. We will focus on the history, law and religion of ancient Jews of Palestine and the Diaspora, who lived in Roman, Christian, Persian and Zoroastrian contexts. You will have the chance to read selections from the Mishnah, the Talmud, the New Testament and the writings of the Early Church Fathers, among other sources in translation.  Information for graduate students: Graduate students will at times have slightly different or additional reading assignments and presentations. Our graduate theme this semester is "Ancient Jewish Law."

History 698 Political Theology / Hussein Fancy
This seminar will offer a thorough reading of texts that have either inspired or reflect a renewed interest in Political Theology or to put it differently, the study of the theological origins of modernity.  In particular, we will examine how a particular periodization -- the division of the premodern from the modern -- has authorized ideas about the sovereign state, autonomous individual, religion, and violence that underpin contemporary cultural theory.  Readings include: Carl Schmitt, Ernst Kantorowicz, Hans Blumenberg, John Millbank, Philippe Buc, Andrew Cole, Jonathan Sheehan, Giorgio Agamben, and Ernesto Laclau.

Italian 486/660   Petrarch / Karla Mallette
In this course, we will study Petrarch’s Canzoniere, the most influential poetic work in late medieval-early modern Europe. No knowledge of Italian necessary; the course will be taught in English, though we will use a bilingual edition and will discuss the structure of the poetry in the original. Topics will include Petrarch’s treatment of time; the elusive beloved and the omnipresent poet-lover; prosodic forms – sonnet, canzone, sestina, etc. – and the ways in which the aural texture of the poem contributes to (or undermines) its meaning; musical performance of Petrarch’s poetry in early modern Europe; Petrarch’s autograph manuscript of the Canzoniere – how he himself saw his poetry; Petrarch’s treatment of ancient myths, in particular the figures of Orpheus and Ulysses; Petrarchism through the ages, from early modernity to the lyrics of contemporary pop music. For graduate credit, students will be required to write a research paper and lead a class session on a topic of their choice.

Italian 533 / meets with Italian / MEMS 333  Dante’s Divine Comedy / Alison Cornish
This course is dedicated to a guided reading of the Divine Comedy in its entirety.  The text will be read in facing-page translation for the benefit of those who know some Italian and those who do not.  Lectures and discussion are in English. Students will learn about the historical, philosophical, literary context of the poem as well as how to make sense of it in modern terms. In addition to participation in lectures, graduate students will be expected to prepare secondary readings for each class in addition to cantos assigned.  An outside meeting for discussion of these materials will be arranged.  Graduate students can substitute writing projects for exams.

Musicology 643 Early Modern Singers, Arias, Productions: Collaboration c. 1700/ Louise Stein      

This seminar is devoted to exploring the intersections between the history of singing and the history of musical theater, with particular attention to the ways in which singers shaped the production and composition of opera around 1700.  We will learn about singers’ lives and how they sang, study the operatic market place, the development of the "star" system, the da capo aria, the travels of opera, and how singers collaborated with composers and others in the production process.  The seminar will include work with primary sources as well as modern editions and readings from books and articles on reserve or on C-Tools.  Students will be introduced to various kinds of primary sources---archival documents, printed libretti, manuscript musical scores, and so on. The repertory will include operas and arias by Alessandro Scarlatti and other late seventeenth-century composers, as well as operas and oratorios by G. F. Handel.

 

Philosophy 460 Medieval Philosophy / Tad Schmaltz
This course focuses on three leading figures of this period:  Augustine (354–450), who attempted to reconcile a broadly Platonic outlook with an emerging Christian orthodoxy; Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who attempted to reconcile an entrenched Christian theology with an Aristotelian philosophy that was just becoming available in the West; and William of Ockham (1287–1347), who was a prominent defender of a nominalist/conceptualist outlook that deviated from more traditional Platonic and Aristotelian views.  Topics for discussion include the compatibility of pagan philosophy with religious revelation; the problem of universals; the nature of time and eternity; the possibility of knowledge of the nature and existence of God; problems involving evil, human freedom, and divine foreknowledge; and the nature and destiny of human beings.

 

Spanish 459 Don Quijote y la formación de la novela moderna / Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas

Estudiaremos la obra maestra cervantina desde una perspectiva contemporánea, centrándonos en su contexto socio-político, histórico y literario, e incorporando acercamientos críticos que se adapten a nuestra sensibilidad moderna. Prestaremos particular atención a la imbricación de géneros en el texto, analizando igualmente sus reverberaciones míticas y simbólicas. Nos enfocaremos en la construcción de los personajes más significativos, haciendo parada en temas como el de la ley y la violencia, la vida marginal, los espacios urbanos y rurales, la sexualidad latente o abierta, y los usos y significados de la violencia y el cuerpo. La clase será en español.

 

Spanish 488 Las Novelas ejemplares de Miguel de Cervantes / Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas
El presente curso explorará la colección completa de novelas cortas cervantinas en su contexto histórico, social y literario, indagando, en última instancia, en la relevancia estética de estas pequeñas obras maestras. Brujas, lunáticos, perros, putas y gitanos serán los mejores amigos del estudiante en su recorrido por la España que conoció Cervantes y de la que escribió “liberalmente” para entretenernos en el siglo XXI. 


*Por cada clase ausentada el estudiante perderá un punto de la nota final. Sólo se permiten ausencias por festividades religiosas o enfermedad (con nota médica como justificante). 

 

MEMS 898 Dissertation (Etc!) Colloquium / George Hoffmann

This workshop provides advanced students in Medieval and Early Modern periods with the opportunity to present work in a interdisciplinary context bringing together participants from all the disciplines that engage with pre-modern materials. The colloquium supports students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work. It addresses three needs: 1) to help you to frame and to convey the larger significance of your research with the help of a supportive group from a wider range of methodological points of view than would normally appear on a dissertation committee; 2) to provide you with practice in articulating your ideas in an oral format; and 3) to explore how interdisciplinary dialogue can enrich our research. The MEMS colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS, but students do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The course will meet regularly on a schedule to be determined by the needs of the group; you may register for 1-3 credit by permission of the instructor (graded S/U).

Fall 2011

MEMS Graduate Courses FALL 2011

 

AAPTIS 411 / Mohammad Alhawary [abuamr] / Classical Arabic Grammar

Exposes students to detailed explanations of the structure of Arabic (Modern Standard and Classical) at both the descriptive and pedagogical levels. The different phonological, morphological, and syntactic rules are presented and discussed holistically, combining both form and function, to achieve adequate knowledge of Arabic grammar. While the assigned textbook includes both English and Arabic grammatical terms, the course relies mainly on Arabic terms as they were used by traditional Arab grammarians. Illustrative examples and readings are taken from Modern Standard and Classical texts.

 

AAPTIS 567 / Alexander Knysh [alknysh] / Classical Islamic Texts

This course is structured around the reading and analysis of a number of Islamic texts from the classical and post-classical epoch (10th century to the present) arranged chronologically. This academic term our topic will be Islamic mysticism or tasawwuf and Islamic theology or kalam.  We shall be reading the texts and discussing their authors, paying special attention to the religio-political circumstances in which these texts were written and their place in the history of Sufism and Islamic theology. Special attention will be given to the analysis of Arabic grammatical constructions and the technical terminology employed by the Muslim writers whose work will be the subject of the course. After four or five weeks of guided reading and discussion, each student will be asked to choose any Arabic text related to the topics discussed in the course, to distribute it among the members of the group, and to lead a reading session based on it. The examination will consist of translating two or three passages from unread texts relevant to the subjects covered in the course.

 

ASIAN 480 / Micah Auerback [auerback] / Buddhist Hagiographies

This seminar will consider some of the major modes of hagiography (religious biography) with origins in the Buddhist traditions of South and East Asia. After an initial consideration of some theoretical issues surrounding religious biography, we will spend the bulk of the term focusing on specific biographies of both the Buddha and of eminent monastics, and on the secondary scholarship concerning them. In historiographic terms, we will also consider the quest for the “historical Buddha” as it developed in multiple linguistic spheres from the nineteenth century to the present day.  Required texts will be in English, but students will also be asked to read primary sources and/or secondary scholarship in Asian languages(s) of their subfield within Buddhist studies. Readings will include Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia; The Eminent Monk: Buddhist Ideals in Medieval Chinese Hagiography; and translations of such Indian classics as the Buddhacarita and the Lalitavistara.

 

ENGLISH 470 / Susan Parrish [sparrish] / American Literature to 1830: Travel and Travails in New Worlds

In this course, you will explore texts—“true,” fictional, or even fantastical—that deal with travel to other worlds. These texts mainly treat the experience of British, and later, U.S. expansion in the years 1688 through 1855. As part of the English colonization of the Americas, English people traveled to places very different from their home territory; Native Americans were forced to admit these strangers and/or move westward; Africans were forced to migrate around the Atlantic world in a state of bondage (or, on rarer occasions, precarious freedom). As people traveled, both as willing seekers after opportunity or as unwilling captives, their older, traditional, familiar identities and certainties were challenged. In the early years after the American Revolution, U.S. writers often tried to conceptualize “American” identities by understanding the social, geographic and conceptual boundaries of the new nation. Writers then frequently made their characters travel in these border zones to test their own and the nation’s emergent identity. We will study this literature of displacement and re-placement; of contact with alien people and places; of human metamorphosis. We will think about how English prose and print culture grew up along with the process of Atlantic migrations and colonization. We will ask: how did the English language, the travel genre, the autobiography, the novel as well as scientific knowledge, visual culture, and the public sphere emerge as part of these metamorphoses? Among the texts we will read in whole or in part: Richard Jobson, The Golden Trade: or, A Discovery of the River Gambra, and The Golden Trade of the Aethiopians; Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados; Aphra Behn, The Rover and Oroonoko; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; William Byrd II, selected works; Samsom Occom, selected works; Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer; Royall Tyler, The Algerine Captive; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; James Baldwin, Stranger in the Village.

 

ENGLISH 469 / Linda Gregerson [gregerso] / Milton

This course will examine the poetry and prose of John Milton (1608-1674), one of the most learned, ambitious, and influential writers in the English language. From his adolescence onward, Milton harbored a deep desire to become a great, English poet. For him, that meant writing a lasting, epic poem, but before he could undertake such a task he felt obliged to study and read widely, and also experiment and work in a number of literary genres considered less demanding than epic. We will consider examples of his early verse and prose before focusing on Milton's three longest works: Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes. Milton was never just a poet; he was, throughout his life, deeply engaged in politics and theology, a fervent believer in free speech, an early defender of divorce, and a daring opponent of the royal prerogative. All of these beliefs merit our attention as they shaped the poetry he wrote, and made him an influential intellectual figure in both Europe and America. By reading his poetry and prose with care, we will gain valuable insight into an epoch that shaped our own, and the work of a writer that has remained at the center of literary interest for more than three hundred years.

 

ENGLISH 501 / Thomas Toon [ttoon] / Old English
This course is an introduction to the earliest texts written in English over a thousand years ago. We will begin with Old English, the language spoken by our forebears until the unpleasantness at Hastings – the Norman Conquest. Since Old English is so different from Modern English as to seem like another language, the first objective of this course will be to master the rudiments of the structure and vocabulary of the earliest attested form of English. The reward is being able to read an excitingly different corpus of prose and poetry. We will conclude with the study of the later texts which continue the Anglo-Saxon alliterative tradition. My chief aim is to help you develop a new appreciation of where our language, culture, and intellectual traditions come from.

 

ENGLISH 540.002 / Michael Schoenfeldt / Forms of Passion: The Early Modern Lyric

In this course we will read a wide range of poetry, largely lyric, from Wyatt and Surrey in the early sixteenth century through Milton, Dryden, and Katherine Philips in the later seventeenth century.  We will work to situate poems amid the careers and the historical situations of their authors, but we will also aspire to keep questions of form and genre well in our sights.  Indeed, we will spend a lot of time exploring the immensely productive tension between formal control and insurgent passion in the poetry of early modern England.  Why, we will ask, might a writer choose to articulate desire in formally patterned language?  Is literary form the necessary vehicle, or the constricting straitjacket, of desire?  How do issues of class and gender mark lyric utterance?  How does the material production and imagined audience of a poem alter its expression and meaning?  Is there a politics of lyric form in the early modern period?  By reading closely a wide range of wonderful poems, we will investigate the gamut of possible motives for putting into carefully structured language the chaotic vagaries of emotion.

 

ENGLISH 541 / Cathy Sanok [sanok] / Medieval Romance: Genre, History, Theory

This class surveys the medieval genre of romance, stories of knightly adventure and romantic love that served to explore conflicting claims of private passion and social obligation.  Romances address a range of fascinating questions about gender and sexuality, the relationship between violence and the sacred, the uses of history, and the possibility of human agency in the face of social constraint, random chance, and pre-ordained fate. After a consideration of some foundational French romances, we will read the major English examples, including Marie de France’s Lais, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (a poem which rivals the Canterbury Tales in greatness), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Malory’s Morte Darthur, from the perspectives of their formal features, their historical contexts, and their actual and imagined audiences. At the end of the term, we turn briefly to the afterlife of medieval romance in critical theory, ranging from Northop Frye’s formalism, to Lacan’s psychoanalysis, and Fredric Jameson’s historicism.

 

HISTART 463 / Celeste Brusati [cbrusati] / Pictorial Art and Visual Culture in the Dutch Republic

The Netherlands was Europe’s largest producer and exporter of images during the seventeenth century; it was also home to a diverse and prosperous early capitalist society. This course explores the crucial role of the pictorial arts in the making and life of the Dutch Republic. We will be looking at painting, drawing, prints, maps, book illustrations and the range of pictorial representations and technologies that constituted Dutch visual culture. The course will situate Dutch art within its historical and social circumstances, particularly in relation to Dutch commercial and scientific enterprises, overseas trade, urban culture, religious pluralism, literacy and print culture, and the new philosophy of experiment. Lectures will give special emphasis to the innovative work in still life, landscape, portraiture, scenes of social life, and experiments with perspective and optics for which artists from the Netherlands are justly famous. Lectures will feature the art of such well-known figures as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Vermeer, and less familiar but equally fascinating works by their contemporaries. Discussions will examine the character, meanings, and functions of these pictures, as well as the aesthetic, social and economic values they negotiated. We will look at how Dutch pictures were made and marketed, how people made sense of them, and how pictorial technologies generated new ways of seeing and understanding the world. The course will involve a mix of lecture, discussion and in-class writing exercises.

 

HISTART 464 / Elizabeth Sears [esears] / Medieval Image Theory

 

 

HISTART 565 / Lydia Soo [lmsoo] / Early Modern Architecture in Italy, Austria, and Germany

The architectural forms and complexes of Baroque Rome, Turin, and Vienna and their final flowering in the churches and palaces of southern Germany in the eighteenth century.

 

HISTART 689 / Christiane Gruber [cjgruber] / The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images

This graduate seminar explores the Prophet Muhammad’s significance in Muslim life, thought, and artistic expression from the beginning of Islam to today. It pays particular attention to procedures of sanctification and abstraction, stressing in turn that a fruitful approach to extant textual and visual materials is one that emphasizes the harnessing of Muhammad’s persona as a larger metaphor to explain both past and present historical events, to build and delineate a sense of community, and to help individuals conceive of and communicate with the realm of the sacred. We will examine texts, images, and oral practices stemming from Arabic, Persian, and Turkic cultural spheres over the course of a thousand years. The texts and images include most especially illustrated biographies, world histories, devotional poems, epic tales, books of Muhammad’s ascension, genealogies, relics of the Prophet, verbal icons, popular prints, murals, children’s books, and animated movies. Many of the materials that will be discussed remain unknown, poorly studied, or unpublished today.

 

HISTART 754 / Patricia Simons [patsimon] / Early Modern Materiality

This course considers historiographic trends but also current approaches in history and art history that help us place material culture and visuality at the center of accounts of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Characterized by Burckhardt in 1860 in terms of the discovery of the world and of man, the Renaissance has long been associated with naturalism and materialism.  Marx and others found explanatory models in capitalism, class difference, and wealth accumulation. Today, with the help of curatorial practice and literary theory, how might we re-conceive of materiality, in the light of the extensive attention recently paid to such factors as clothing and domestic interiors, and to objects and “thing theory”?  Some attention will be paid to “popular” or “mass” culture, including the carnivalesque, the ephemeral (eg, graffiti), and the relatively inexpensive (eg, tin badges; votives).

 

HISTORY 404 / Raymond Van Dam [rvandam] / A Christian Roman Empire

Constantine was the first Christian emperor; his nephew Julian was the last pagan emperor. Their reigns defined some of the great transformations of the Roman world during the fourth century: new perspectives on emperors, the rise of Christianity, the enhanced influence of bishops, the revival of pagan cults, the new roles of classical culture, and the increasing pressure of barbarians on the frontiers. Constantine and Julian are also two of the best documented emperors, in part through their own writings. Eusebius of Caesarea cited many of Constantine’s own letters in his biography of the emperor; Julian was perhaps the best educated of all emperors and composed many treatises, orations, and letters. This period is also the subject of the history of Ammianus, the greatest Roman historian after Tacitus. In addition to discussing these themes and these texts, we will also talk about the writing of history, both then by emperors, historians, bishops, and panegyrists, and now by you in your papers.

 

HISTORY 405 / Sarah Abhel-Rappe [rappe] / Pagans and Christians in the Roman World

In this course we will try to understand the conflicted, difficult, but profoundly fruitful dialogue that can be described under the rubric of Pagans and Christians. Mostly this will be an intellectual adventure; as much as possible, we will try to reconstruct the evolving picture of spiritual transformation presented by the teachers and sages of this era, from ca 70 C.E. to 529 C.E., the date when Justinian closed the doors of Plato's academy for the last time. In addition to the politics of spirit — the heresies, formation of canon, literary inclusions and exclusions and apart from the strife of martryrdom and persecution, we find an amazingly rich epoch. Above all, we shall study the meaning of wisdom as it existed in the dialogue between Christians and pagans, though of course it is equally true that sometimes people died and killed over the meaning and dissemination of this wisdom.

 

HISTORY 408 / John Fine [jvfine] / Byzantine Empire, 284-867

This course covers the history of the Byzantine Empire from Constantine the Great to the end of the Amorian Dynasty (284-867). Political, cultural, and religious relations with the civilizations of Rome, the medieval West, the Slavs, and the Near East are stressed.

 

HISTORY 412 / Diane Owen Hughes [dohughes] / The Florentine Renaissance

A consideration of leading cultural and intellectual features of Florentine life based upon an analysis of the changing social, economic, and political character of the city and environs from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. Special attention is given to problems of demography, immigration, structure of family life, business and guild organization, as well as to government regulation and finance.

 

HISTORY 427 / Michael MacDonald [mmacdon]/ Magic, Religion, and Science in Early Modern England

This course examines the interplay of religion, magic and science in early modern England, from the Middle Ages until the 1700s. During these centuries the Protestant Reformation and Scientific Revolution transformed the world view of educated people and drastically reduced the prestige of magical beliefs and practices. Examining popular magic, witchcraft, astrology and other occult beliefs, we shall explore how they were affected by religious change, the English Revolution and finally by the new science. The class does not require previous knowledge of English history in this period.

 

HISTORY 478.010  / Rebecca Scott [rjscott] / Latin American History: The Colonial Period

This course examines the history of Latin America from the pre-Columbian era to the early nineteenth-century wars of independence. Focusing on interactions among Native Americans, Africans, and Europeans, we will trace the evolution of different multiethnic societies and examine the Atlantic (and sometimes Pacific) exchanges through which they were formed. We will explore the indigenous background to conquest as well as life and labor in settler communities, slave plantations, villages, and colonial cities. Primary documents such as memoirs and court cases will be used to uncover the patterns of religious belief and the ideas of honor that shaped the world views of men and women, and to illustrate the ways in which plantation slavery, mining, and other colonial institutions shaped people’s experiences. Distinctive cultural features – including sacred music, visual representations of race and class, and the art of the baroque – can further illuminate this remarkably dynamic region. We will conclude by asking what permitted the survival of these colonial structures for over three hundred years, what led to the collapse of the colonial system — beginning with the Haitian Revolution of 1791-1803 — and what legacies remained as the nations of Latin America achieved formal independence.

 

HISTORY 481 / Vanessa Agnew [vagnew] / History of Science

 

HISTORY 498 / Clement Hawes [cchawes] / Writing the English Revolution: Rhetoric and Regicide in the Seventeenth Century

 

HISTORY 680 / David Hancock [hancockd] / Studies in Colonial America

This seminar introduces and familiarizes graduate students with different topics currently the subject of intense debate in the burgeoning field of Atlantic history. It focuses on the period between 1600 and 1870. Topics include: migration, labor, the institutions and principles of law, the struggle for political power, science, economic and social development as viewed through the lens of cities, merchants, commodities and their consumption, the frontier, and smuggling. Emphasis is placed on treatments that highlight trans-Atlantic connections within and among the Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British empires, as well as the United States and Africa.

 

HISTORY 769 **MEMS PROSEMINAR** / Ray Van Dam [rvandam] and Paolo Squatriti [pasqua]

The Premodern Mediterrean: Comparative Studies

In premodern times the Mediterranean was either a frontier zone between competing states and competing religions or the core of a single state, facilitating links among different cultures, religions, and economies within the Roman empire and the Islamic caliphate. Thinking about the wider distinctions and connections across the Mediterranean and surrounding regions allows us to think in addition about the longer historical trends and problematize the very concept of “the Mediterranean.” This seminar will focus on the Roman and medieval periods. Most of our readings will be modern books, articles, and chapters on various topics, such as cities and countryside; environment and climate change; economies and the movement of commodities; ideas, languages, and the circulation of books; and representations of power.

 

LING 517 / ANTHRCUL 519 / GERMAN 517 / Sarah Thomason [thomason]

Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics

This course is an introduction to the theories and methods that enable linguists to describe and explain processes of linguistic change and historical relationships among languages. The major topics to be covered are the emergence of language families and means of establishing family relationships; sound change; grammatical change, especially analogy; language change caused by culture contacts; the Comparative Method, through which prehistoric language states can be reconstructed with an impressive degree of accuracy; internal reconstruction, a less powerful but still important method for gaining information about linguistic prehistory; and ways in which the study of current dialect variation offers insights into processes of change.

 

MUSICOL 506 / Steven Whiting [stevenmw] / The Music of Beethoven
The course surveys Beethoven's music in the appropriate stylistic, biographical, historical, and cultural contexts. Emphasis will fall on the analysis and interpretation of finished works (rather than sketch studies and "compositional genesis"). While the course is designed primarily for undergraduate and graduate students in music, non-music majors who can follow scores and are acquainted with the rudiments of music theory will also be welcome.

 

MUSICOL 507 / James Borders [jborders] / Special Course: Western Plainchant

The course surveys the history of liturgical monophony beginning with the earliest transmission from the eastern Mediterranean through the early 15th century. The main focus will be on the texts and musical settings of Gregorian Chant (Mass and Office), but we will examine earlier Roman and other regional repertories that that contributed to the formation of the Gregorian corpus. Hymns, tropes, sequences, and rhythmic offices will also be studied. Students should expect required reading (from a bibliography) and listening assignments, two historical essays (10-12 pages each), a midterm and a final examination; attendance and participation will also figure into the grading.

 

MUSICOL 513 / Louise Stein [lkstein] / Topics in the History of Early Opera

This course is devoted to the study of opera in the first two centuries of its existence, from its beginnings just before 1600 to nearly the end of the 18th century.   Opera is to be studied critically as music, theater, spectacle, performance medium, and cultural expression.  Special aspects of this course include a focus on singers of baroque opera, opera's arrival in the Americas, and the financing and staging of early opera.  While some of the lectures and listening assignments will be organized around excerpts, others will be designed to focus on whole operas, their music and musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and reception in performance.  Composers to be studied include Peri, Caccini, Da Gagliano, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Hidalgo, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Rameau, Gluck, Salieri, Sarti, Piccinni, Mozart, and Haydn.  The assignments in this course will be primarily listening assignments, supplemented by score study, readings from materials on reserve and on C-Tools, and some in-class performances. 

 

MUSICOL 642 / Stefano Mengozzi [smeng] / Late Renaissance Music

 

PHIL 463 / Tad Schmaltz [tsmalt] /   Causation in Early Modern Philosophy

In this course we will focus on the topic of causation in early modern philosophy, giving special attention to the writings of Suarez, Descartes, Malebranche, and Leibniz. After a brief introduction to Aristotle’s foundational views on causation, will begin with a consideration of the scholastic revision of these views in the work of Suarez, and then turn to the discussions of this topic in our three other early-modern philosophers, taking into account relevant secondary literature. A question from scholasticism that dominates the work of these other philosophers is whether and, if so, how God's role in sustaining created beings in existence can be reconciled with granting creatures real causal efficacy. The seminar will be structured around three main answers to this question, namely (concurrentist or conservationist) interactionism, occasionalism, and preestablished harmony.

 

SPANISH 450 / Ryan Szpiech [Szpiech] / Introduction to Aljamiado Writing

This course will introduce the aljamiado writing of Iberian Musims, writing in a dialect of Castilian written in the Arabic alphabet used by Mudéjares (Muslims under Christian Rule before 1492) and Moriscos (Muslims, former Muslims, and crypto-Muslims living in Spain after 1492). It will entail an introduction to the system of transliteration in Arabic characters and practice reading and transcribing texts in both Arabic and Latin alphabets. It will also introduce texts for reading in transliterated form (into Latin characters) and will introduce some of the main writers, texts, and themes of the period. In addition, it will provide a general historical introduction to Muslims in Iberia between 1400-1609. We will look at manuscripts and editions of aljamiado texts dealing with the life of Muhammad, anti-Christian arguments, the legend of Alexander the Great, stories of prophets, guidebooks for love, and other topics.

 

SPANISH 676 / Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas [enriqueg] / The Baroque Wunderkammer

This seminar approaches the Hispanic Baroque from the vantage point of twelve domestic objects: hats, gloves, shoes, farthingales, snuff-boxes, chocolate cups, telescopes, mirrors, books, guitars, (ear)rings, and swords.  We will devout a class to each of them, looking at their literal and symbolic reverberations with the aid of literary, legal, political, medical, and pictorial sources. This will allow for close readings of canonical and non-canonical works by

Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Góngora, Quevedo, Vélez de Guevara, Saavedra Fajardo, Salas Barbadillo and Zabaleta, along with theoretical interventions by (or on) Deleuze, D'Ors, De Man, Foucault, Derrida, Alpers, De la Flor, Parkinson Zamora, and Egginton. For the midterm

report and final essay the student is required to do a bit of window-shopping and a good amount of reading beyond the confines of the syllabus.  Class lectures and discussions will be run bi-lingual.

 

WS / HISTORY 698 / Dena Goodman [goodmand] / Feminist Approaches to Biography

In this seminar we will explore biography at the intersection of two disciplines: Women’s Studies and History.  On one hand we will consider biography as the subject of feminist theory, practice, and debate.  On the other, we will examine how cultural historians (and feminist historians in particular) have begun to use the individual (woman’s) life as a lens through which to write histories that cross geographical boundaries and challenge the nation-state as the basic unit of historical analysis and research. We will consider the problem of the individual, autonomous subject and its relationship to both modernity and masculinity. Our readings include 4 book-length biographies and theoretical writings from before 1800. For this reason, this course may be of particular interest to early modernists.

Winter 2011

Winter Term 2011

 

Architecture 633 Seminar in Renaissance and Baroque Architecture:  Vision and Mathematics in Baroque Architecture / Lydia Soo

This seminar examines the curvilinear forms and theatrical spaces of Baroque architecture in terms of vision—formal, aesthetic, and symbolic goals driven by certain cultural values, and mathematics—the geometrical methods, carried out using simply a straight edge and compass, by which these goals were achieved.  Focusing on Bernini and Borromini and their followers in and outside of Italy, we will consider the cultural context in which they worked (political, social, religious) and the technical means available to them (drawing techniques, materials, construction methods).  At the same time the nature of proportion and geometry in architecture, and their primacy in the making of buildings, in classical, medieval, and Renaissance periods will be investigated as a basis for understanding the phenomenon of Baroque form and the complex geometries found in today’s architecture. The seminar will be comprised of lectures by the instructor, but primarily discussions and student presentations based on assigned readings.  Each student will pursue a term-long project on a Baroque building(s) involving historical research, visual documentation, and experimentation with geometrical methods.

 

English 449.001 Sex and Religion in Medieval Drama / Theresa Tinkle

Medieval drama encompasses a wide range of texts, from extremely bawdy secular literature to serious devotional plays. Some texts explore the comedy of human sexual desire, others the grotesque possibilities of the sexualized body. As we read these plays, we will come better to appreciate how literature invents sexuality. Still other texts seek to teach Christian biblical history to the laity, beginning with Creation and ending with the Last Judgment. Although the Christian Bible obviously inspires such literature, the actors speak distinctly unbiblical words, at times uttering blasphemous scatological curses, at other times mocking ecclesiastical rituals. These plays will allow us to explore the connections between serious religious aspiration and carnivalesque laughter. Throughout this course, we will discover that European culture changes significantly between the twelfth century and the sixteenth, leading to fascinating changes in definitions of both sexuality and piety.

 

English 450.002  Med&Ren Lit: Medieval Popular Piety / Gina Brandolino
In this course, we will study some of the earliest English texts written for common audiences—that is, texts not written exclusively for noble or monastic readers. The story of these texts begins in 1215, when Pope Innocent III issued a decree that required all Christians who had reached "the age of reason" to make a private confession to a priest at least once a year. This new requirement was especially difficult for poor, uneducated, and illiterate Christians who were not well-versed in their faith. Though Innocent III made no explicit order for the development of texts to support this new form of confession, such texts were produced, out of necessity, to help educate common Christians in their faith. So, the earliest texts written in English for a wide audience are religious texts, texts that address the religious attitudes and knowledge of common people. These works provided instruction in the faith, encouraged cultivation of interior devotional habits, and, often, tried to keep audiences interested and entertained. We will read a wide variety of these texts representing various medieval genres, including religious plays, miracle stories, saint’s lives, and lyrics. We will also read the first book written in English by a woman and the first biography written in English, as well as the great medieval poem Piers Plowman.

English 641 Gender & Writing in Premodern England / Cathy Sanok

This course is both a survey of women’s writing in premodern England and an inquiry into the place of gender in emerging definitions of the literature in the period.  We will think especially about how and to what extent premodern textual traditions make gender an important category of literary production and reception, and we will trace how ideas about gender and writing influence the presentation of works in manuscript and early print culture.  The historical scope of the class, from Anglo-Norman England into the Tudor period, allows us to ask how women?s writing unsettles received literary histories. In particular, textual traditions affiliated with women allow us to investigate continuities and discontinuities in literary culture across the period boundary between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Some key issues include: the status of translation; the idea of a national literary tradition; and the relationships between the ethical, social, and aesthetic claims of ?literature?. Readings will include works by Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Margaret Beaufort, Anne Askew, Mary Sidney, Thomas Bentley, Elizabeth Tudor, Elizabeth Cary and anonymous works; genres include devotional treatises, autobiography, romance, lyric, drama. The reading list is also open to our discoveries in some excellent online archives.

 

English 642.001 The Novel before the Novel: The Social Functions of Story Telling and Prose Narrative in Early Modern Europe / Steven Mullaney

The goal of this course is twofold.  Our first object will be to read a rich array of prose fiction popular in 16th and 17th century Europe, from Greek or Mediterranean romances to Sidney’s Arcadia, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel, and Lady Mary Wroth’s Urania, and also some stories with a claim to historical actuality, such as Jean de Lery’s Voyage to Brazil and the story of Martin Guerre as told and retold from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.  Our second object will be to explore a wide range of social theory that will help us think about the social function of such stories and the role they might play in the formation and transformation of historical cultures.  To what degree is reading a prose narrative a form of cultural performance?  How do earlier modes of publication—oral, theatrical, scribal, and printed—alter the configuration of public and private individuals? The key term here is “explore.”  I hope to gather a group with diverse interests and backgrounds, from early modernists and specialists in the later development of the novel to writers who are intimately involved in the craft of story-telling, so that we can draw on one another’s strengths in our discussions and collective enterprise.

 

HA 646 The Body of Christ in Late Medieval Visual Culture / Achim Timmermann

Pictorialized in a variety of images, some striking, others subtle, as well as being dramatically staged during the audio-visual spectacle of the Mass, the body of Christ was at the very heart of late medieval spirituality and devotion. This seminar explores a broad spectrum of images, objects, texts and rituals associated with the cult of Corpus Christi in the later Middle Ages. We will thus look at lurid evocations of Christ's suffering humanity, such as the Man of Sorrows, extensive Passion narratives, found, for instance, in Books of Hours, and complex allegorical representations, for example the 'Mystic Winepress' or the 'Host Fountain.' We will also examine a plethora of liturgical objects designed to house, display and evaluate Christ's real-present body within the late medieval church building, such as eucharistic monstrances or tabernacles. Our analysis of the visual material will be complemented by a discussion of contemporary texts, drawn for instance from the context of sacramental theology or homiletic writing. We will also benefit from the existence of a rich body of secondary literature, touching on aspects as diverse as medieval notions of the human body (Caroline Walker Bynum), attitudes toward (homo)sexuality (Karma Lochrie), female spirituality (Jeffery Hamburger), and scholastic theories of real presence and transubstantiation (Miri Rubin). A rudimentary knowledge of Latin is desirable, but by no means essential. It is hoped that this seminar will attract students with different backgrounds, especially art history (medieval, Renaissance, but also modern/contemporary), theology and medieval/early modern history.

 

Italian 533 Dante’s Divine Comedy / Alison Cornish

This course makes it possible for graduate students to make an intensive study of Dante, in tandem with attendance at the lectures of Italian 333 (MWF 10-11: dedicated to a guided reading of the Divine Comedy in its entirety. The text will be read in facing-page translation for the benefit of those who know some Italian and those who do not.  Students will learn about the historical, philosophical, literary context of the poem as well as how to make sense of it in modern terms).  In addition to the poem, students will read other primary and secondary sources and meet separately as a group for discussion of them.  Graduate students will be active participants in the weekly discussion and write one research paper.

 

Italian 660 Lingua franca (meets-together with AAPTIS 660, HIST 827) / Karla Mallette  and Michael Bonner
This course will explore the lingua franca as a means to facilitate economic and cultural exchange, and as a record of that exchange. We will survey the traces left by the language in the historical record, from the medieval Mediterranean to pre-Islamic and early Islamic Arabia; and we will use the language as a way to study broader historical questions concerning the activities of merchants, traders, translators, and poets – all those who lived or worked along linguistic frontiers, and who used more than one language in the course of doing business. This is not a linguistics course; rather, we will study the spread of empires, trade and cultures, from a linguistic perspective. All secondary texts will be read and discussed in English. Students may register for one-hour weekly tutorial sessions, held separately from seminar discussion hours, in order to work on primary texts in Arabic, Greek, Latin or the Romance languages with the instructors; but no specific linguistic knowledge is required.

Judaic 517.003/History 698.008: Thinking Law in Ancient Cultures and Religions / Rachel Neis

How did people in the ancient and early medieval world think about law? How should we think about what law was in pre-modernity, both transregionally as well as in specific cultural contexts (e.g. Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, Greek, Roman)? We will approach such questions through the lenses of (ancient and modern) legal theory and comparison of ancient legal systems.   We will ask what light contemporary legal theory can shed on pre-modern legal cultures, and conversely, will test/rethink the more abstract, contemporary theories of law and jurisprudence as we examine different cultural historical instantiations of law and legal theory. We will look at particular legal cultures in terms of its substantive law (what areas are considered to be within the legal realm), and also in terms of how these legal cultures conceptualize their own authority, sources, and notions of “law.” The comparative approach will include the examination of key scholarship on law in different pre-modern cultures. The course would, through the comparative work that takes place on all these levels, provide an opportunity to rethink methods, approaches and theories in one’s own field of interest.

Latin 306 Popular Latin / Donka D. Markus
This 2 credit course covers accessible Latin texts selected for their readability, general interest and popularity. The texts read in the course were not part of the ancient or modern school curriculum, but were popular among Latin readers in antiquity and beyond.  The course will explore the relationship between late-antique romances and hagiography (lives of saints). We'll read in Latin with facing translations the lives of several saints. We'll compare these lives with the History of Apollonius, king of Tyre, a popular late-antique romance that influenced Shakespeare's Pericles. We'll look at two Latin versions of Athanasius' Life of St Antony and at two Latin versions of the Life of St Brendan who is believed to have landed in North America 1000 years before Columbus. We'll attempt to reconstruct the different audiences for the different versions of these lives. We'll conclude by comparing motives in Historia Apollonii with the lives of three female saints: St Agnes, Christina of Markyate and Frideswide, the founder saint of Oxford.

 

Spanish 450/ Judaic Studies 417 The Literature of the Sephardic Jews, 900-1600 / Ryan Spziech

This course, taught in English and meeting together with Spanish 450, presents an introductory survey of the writing and intellectual production of the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries. We will begin with a study of the rebirth of Hebrew poetry among the Arabized Jews of the south (al-Andalus), reading poetry of Dunash ibn Labrat, Moses ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and others. We will then move through the religious and philosophical writing of important figures such as Maimonides, Nahmanides, and Judah Halevi. We will move into the Hebrew and Romance texts of Jews in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, including the Proverbios morales of Sem Tob of Carrión and the poetry of Shlomo Bonfed. We will finally look briefly at early-modern writing of Jews after the expulsion from Spain, including Samuel Usque and Ibn Verga. This course will be taught in English but can count towards the Spanish concentration (400 level elective) if the reading and writing is done in Spanish (see instructor). Spanish, Hebrew, and/or Arabic reading ability are not required but will be very helpful.

 

Spanish 456 Golden Age Spain: Rethinking the Classics / Enrique Garcia Santo-Tomas

El presente curso estudiará una serie de textos canónicos desde una perspectiva contemporánea, enfatizando su contextualización socio-política, histórica y literaria, además de nuevos acercamientos que se adapten a la sensibilidad moderna. Se analizará poesía, teatro y narrativa, en un diseño que prestará atención cuestiones como el ?yo? poético en su transición del Renacimiento al Barroco, la creación de una dramaturgia nacional de sabor autóctono, y la inauguración de nuevos modos narrativos como la picaresca o la novela corta.  Los autores a estudiar serán Garcilaso de la Vega, Luis de León, Teresa de Jesús, San Juan de la Cruz, Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Luis de Góngora, Francisco de Quevedo y María de Zayas. El curso se completará con proyecciones audiovisuales sobre Velázquez, la Inquisición, Don Quijote y Fuenteovejuna.  La clase será en español.

 

History 698 (MEMS PROSEM) The Culture of Courts in Premodern Europe and East Asia / Diane Hughes, Hitomi Tonomura

This course explores the cultures of royal and aristocratic courts in Europe and East Asia during the premodern period, from about the seventh through the seventeenth centuries. Within Europe, concentration will fall on the royal courts of France and England, but we will also assess the unique contributions to European courtly culture of the small courts of renaissance Italy. For East Asia, we will focus on the evolving and differing court cultures of China and Japan, while also examining the early modern kingly court of Yee dynasty, Korea. After considering the genesis of the courts and the cultures they produced, we will examine how courts invented and maintained their symbolic authority and power by focusing on certain topics that are germane to cross-cultural comparison. This examination should help us to see the potency of cultural construction that shapes the court’s supremacy and makes it meaningful both to its members and within a larger and often competitive society.  Our investigations will address not only specific courtly comparisons, but also, through the lens of certain theoretical writings - such as Norbert Elias on the “civilizing process”, Henri Lefebvre on “the production of space”, Stephen Greenblatt on “self-fashioning” – ways in which courts created new social meanings and behaviors that transgressed their walls. Examples of topics include: Architectural and spatial settings, divinity and legitimacy, legal and bureaucratic dimensions, rhetoric and the practice of courtly love, the formation and concept of the aristocratic body, the court as center of consumption, literary and artistic expressions, sartorial performance, and esoteric beliefs.

We encourage students with interests in literature, music, and the history of art as well as historians

 

MEMS 898 Dissertation (Etc!) Colloquium / George Hoffmann

This workshop provides advanced students in Medieval and Early Modern periods with the opportunity to present work in a interdisciplinary context bringing together participants from all the disciplines that engage with pre-modern materials. The colloquium supports students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work. It addresses three needs: 1) to help you to frame and to convey the larger significance of your research with the help of a supportive group from a wider range of methodological points of view than would normally appear on a dissertation committee; 2) to provide you with practice in articulating your ideas in an oral format; and 3) to explore how interdisciplinary dialogue can enrich our research. The MEMS colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS, but students do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The course will meet regularly on a schedule to be determined by the needs of the group; you may register for 1-3 credit by permission of the instructor (graded S/U).

Fall 2010

MEMS Graduate Courses FALL 2010

 

AAPTIS 591                 Kathryn Babayan [babayan]        Society and Culture in Early Modern Iran

In this seminar we will excavate the cultural, social, and religious landscapes of early modern Iran. We will begin our journey into the Safavi world through sixteenth-century courtly circles, exploring their relationship to Turkmen tribes and the urban milieu of mystics, poets, painters, craftsmen, bureaucrats, and scholars. How does the Safavi ruler insert himself within these different spaces? How is his authority portrayed and deployed so as to create a hierarchical order and forge community ties?

 

ASIAN 553    Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen [qmz]      Edo Haikai (Comic Linked Poetry) and Haibun

The Edo or early modern period (1600-1868) was ushered in by a revolution in poetic language that questioned the canonical themes and images of classical poetry to make way for a new popular culture constructed around re-visioning the past. In this seminar, we will read the poetry of the iconoclastic Danrin school, including selections from Saikaku and the group around Bashô, and then examine his haibun in the travel journal, Oku no hosomichi (The Narrow Road to the Deep North). As most of the readings are available in English translation, interested seniors and graduate students in other fields such as translation studies and world literature are also welcome. Class work includes discussion, oral presentation, response essays, and a term paper.

 

ENGLISH 470              Susan Parrish [sparrish]    American Literature to 1830

In this course, you will explore texts—“true,” fictional, or even fantastical—that deal with travel to other worlds. These texts mainly treat the experience of British, and later, U.S. expansion in the years 1688 through 1855. As part of the English colonization of the Americas, English people traveled to places very different from their home territory; Native Americans were forced to admit these strangers and/or move westward; Africans were forced to migrate around the Atlantic world in a state of bondage (or, on rarer occasions, precarious freedom). As people traveled, both as willing seekers after opportunity or as unwilling captives, their older, traditional, familiar identities and certainties were challenged. In the early years after the American Revolution, U.S. writers often tried to conceptualize “American” identities by understanding the social, geographic and conceptual boundaries of the new nation. Writers then frequently made their characters travel in these border zones to test their own and the nation’s emergent identity. We will study this literature of displacement and re-placement; of contact with alien people and places; of human metamorphosis. We will think about how English prose and print culture grew up along with the process of Atlantic migrations and colonization. We will ask: how did the English language, the travel genre, the autobiography, the novel as well as scientific knowledge, visual culture, and the public sphere emerge as part of these metamorphoses? Among the texts we will read in whole or in part: Richard Jobson, The Golden Trade: or, A Discovery of the River Gambra, and The Golden Trade of the Aethiopians; Richard Ligon, A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados; Aphra Behn, The Rover and Oroonoko; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; William Byrd II, selected works; Samsom Occom, selected works; Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer; Royall Tyler, The Algerine Captive; Herman Melville, Benito Cereno; James Baldwin, Stranger in the Village.

 

ENGLISH 469              Michael Schoenfeldt [mcschoen]   Milton

Intensive study of Milton's poetry, with emphasis upon Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes, and important early poems such as Comus and Lycidas. Selected prose by Milton is read to illuminate his role in the Puritan revolution and the development of his thought.

 

ENGLISH 501              Thomas Toon [ttoon]         Old English
This course is an introduction to the earliest texts written in English over a thousand years ago. We will begin with Old English, the language spoken by our forebears until the unpleasantness at Hastings – the Norman Conquest. Since Old English is so different from Modern English as to seem like another language, the first objective of this course will be to master the rudiments of the structure and vocabulary of the earliest attested form of English. The reward is being able to read an excitingly different corpus of prose and poetry. We will conclude with the study of the later texts which continue the Anglo-Saxon alliterative tradition. My chief aim is to help you develop a new appreciation of where our language, culture, and intellectual traditions come from.

 

ENGLISH 635.001    Linda Gregerson [gregerso]            The Sonnet

No single lyric form has compelled more poets or enchanted more readers in the English-speaking world than has the ostensibly modest fourteen-line poem we know as the sonnet.  Since its inception in the 13th century Sicilian court, the sonnet has proven to be a remarkably flexible instrument for exploring the depths and parameters of erotic devotion (Dante, Petrarch, Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Browning), religious passion (Donne, Milton, Herbert, Hopkins), aesthetic contemplation (Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats), and that elusive phenomenon we refer to as subjectivity (all of the above).  William Meredith and Gwendolyn Brooks have tested its limits in war poems.  Seamus Heaney and Muriel Rukeyser have explored the sonnet as a vehicle for elegy. Wilfred Owen and Robert Hayden, like Milton before them, have recruited its powers of distillation for ringing political testimony. Countless modern and contemporary poets, including those who work primarily in “free” verse, have embraced the sonnet as a litmus test for poetic vocation. We will read broadly in the history of the sonnet, beginning with Dante and Petrarch in translation and continuing through to the twenty-first century.  This course is designed to be a forum in which students of many periods, both doctoral students and creative writing students alike, can share and benefit from one another’s expertise.  Final written assignments will include options for those who wish to work in sonnet form themselves rather than producing an analytical essay.

 

ENGLISH 641              Cathy Sanok [sanok]         Gender and Writing in Premodern England

This course is both a survey of womens' writing in premodern England and an inquiry into the place of gender in emerging definitions of the literature in the period. We will think especially about how and to what extent premodern textual traditions make gender an important category of literary production and reception, and we will trace how ideas about gender and writing influence the presentation of works in manuscript and early print culture. The historical scope of the class, from Anglo-Norman England through the Tudor period, allows us to ask how womens' writing unsettles received literary histories: in particular, the central concern with religion in textual traditions affiliated with women allows us to investigate continuities and discontinuities in literary culture across the Reformation. Some key issues include: the status of translation; the idea of a national literary tradition; and the relationships between the ethical, social, and aesthetic claims of "literature". Readings will include works by Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Margaret Beaufort, Anne Askew, Mary Sidney, Thomas Bentley, Elizabeth Tudor, Elizabeth Cary and anonymous works; genres include devotional treatises, autobiography, romance, lyric, drama. The reading list is also open to our discoveries in some excellent online archives.

 

ENGLISH 841              Valerie Traub [traubv]      Shakespeare and the Drama of Embodiment

This course is both a survey of womens' writing in premodern England and an inquiry into the place of gender in emerging definitions of the literature in the period. We will think especially about how and to what extent premodern textual traditions make gender an important category of literary production and reception, and we will trace how ideas about gender and writing influence the presentation of works in manuscript and early print culture. The historical scope of the class, from Anglo-Norman England through the Tudor period, allows us to ask how womens' writing unsettles received literary histories: in particular, the central concern with religion in textual traditions affiliated with women allows us to investigate continuities and discontinuities in literary culture across the Reformation. Some key issues include: the status of translation; the idea of a national literary tradition; and the relationships between the ethical, social, and aesthetic claims of "literature". Readings will include works by Marie de France, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe, Margaret Beaufort, Anne Askew, Mary Sidney, Thomas Bentley, Elizabeth Tudor, Elizabeth Cary and anonymous works; genres include devotional treatises, autobiography, romance, lyric, drama. The reading list is also open to our discoveries in some excellent online archives.

 

HistArt 489.002            Pat Simons [patsimon]       Women Artists in Early Modern Europe

This course looks at the conditions of production that enabled the emergence of European women as independent artists in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Our primary focus will be Italy and the Netherlands, but comparative material will be drawn from England, France and Spain.  We examine spaces and modes of production (courts, convents, and cities), and the social

networks of patronage, marketing, and gift exchange within which women made and viewed art.  

Our investigations concentrate on areas in which women artists made notable achievements, such as still life, portraiture, and self-portraiture.  We also consider the engagement of women in other areas of visual culture such as needlework, printing and anatomical wax models.  By the end of the course, students working in small groups will have devised an imaginary thematic exhibition of 15 works and written wall labels for the virtual gallery.

 

HistArt  652   Megan Holmes          The Miraculous and the Diabolical in Late Medieval and Early Modern European Visual Culture 

This graduate seminar explores the fascinating relationship between ‘supernatural’ phenomena and the visual arts in late medieval and early modern Europe.  Cultural understandings about divine and diabolical causality, miracles, magic, and witchcraft were rooted in the visual.  Distinctions between ‘natural’ and ‘supernatural’ phenomena turned on the interpretation of visual perception, acts of witnessing, and ritual performances involving images.  While theologians maintained a distinction between the image as a ‘sign’ and the transcendent beings represented, there was widespread belief that supernatural beings operated in and through their material effigies, and were immanent in visions and apparitions. As a consequence, particularly efficacious sacred paintings and sculptures were enshrined and treated like relics. Demonic images were feared and sometimes defaced in order to prevent evil forces from acting through them. Over the extended period under investigation (1200-1650), new and influential ways of visualizing the order of the cosmos and the locus and character of sacred and diabolical beings were introduced.  Hell emerged as a subterranean domain presided over by Satan, vividly imagined by Dante in the Divine Comedy. A visual discourse on witchcraft developed with a puzzling relationship to documented historical practice. Visual artists experimented with different representational strategies for characterizing the extraordinary qualities of supernatural phenomena. The ‘supernatural’ also offered practitioners like Giotto, Bosch, Dürer, Baldung Grien, Rosso Fiorentino, and Michelangelo, a compelling means for elaborating on the powers (and limitations) of the artistic imagination and invention.  The figure of the artist, too, could be compared to God, the supreme animator (the “Divine Michelangelo”), or, less favorably, to a magician or a trickster.

 

HISTORY 429              Kathryn Babayan [babayan]        Gender and Sexuality in Premodern Islam

Explores Muslim constructions of gender and sexuality in the premodern era (600-1700 CE). It integrates issues of sexuality and gender, bringing to bear on each other the ways in which masculinity and femininity were intimately constructed within the project of Islam.

 

HISTORY 433              Valerie Kivelson [vkivelso]            Russia Under the Tsars

A powerful, multi-ethnic, multi-religious state, a creative cultural center and imposing international military force, topples under the pressures of terrorism, political extremism, fiscal irresponsibility, and economic collapse, exacerbated by the pressures of unending war. This may sound like the US today, but it refers here to the historical experience of Russia, 1917.

In an effort to understand the Imperial era in its own terms as well as in the light of the Revolution that would bring it to a cataclysmic end, we will study the swirling currents of Russian and Western thought that clashed and combined to form a uniquely Russian cultural mix in the centuries between 1700 and 1917. Beginning with the reign of Peter the Great (1682-1725), the Russian Empire embarked on a long and difficult process of economic, social, and cultural development within the framework of tsarist autocracy. A religiously and ethnically diverse empire dominated by the Russian landed gentry, who lived off the labor of the peasantry, Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries lagged behind the more rapidly evolving Western European states. The autocracy itself tried to bridge the growing gap between Russia and the West through reforms, even as the ruling elite grew increasingly isolated from much of Russian society. In a development with powerful resonances for today, a fiercely committed group of idealists wreaked havoc on the society throughout the 19th century by waging a concerted campaign of terrorism and assassination. By the early 20th century tsarism proved to be unable to resist any longer the social forces it had done so much to create.

 

HSITORY 469           Victor Lieberman [erasia]    Precolonial Southeast Asia

This course examines select problems in the history of both mainland and island Southeast Asia from the start of the first millenium C.E. to the early 19th century, on the eve of colonial rule. Its focus is simultaneously political, cultural, and economic. It seeks to explain why, particularly on the mainland, localized political and economic systems coalesced with increasing speed and success, chiefly from the 15th century, and why similar integrative trends in the island world were less sustained. But at the same time it seeks to explore in open-ended fashion the relation between international and domestic economic stimuli, cultural importation and cultural creativity, institutional demands and patrimonial norms. Principal thematic topics include: Indianization, the rise of the classical states and their chief features, the collapse of the classical states, reintegration on the mainland, the age of commerce thesis, comparisons between Theravada, Neo-Confucian, the Muslim Southeast Asia, the early role of Europeans, the 18th century crises, Southeast Asia on the eve of colonial intervention.

 

HISTORY 478-001   Jean M. Hébrard [jhebrard]            The Catholics Empires of the Atlantic World (Spain, Portugal, France): Cultural Approaches

                                                           

The Atlantic World is a construction which began in the middle ages as a solution to connect Europe and the East Indian world by way of the African cost. Men of the sea learned to master the ocean sufficiently to try to cross it for a shorter route and to discover a new world. From the sixteenth century to the Age of Revolutions, this complex Atlantic World was economically and culturally domesticated by way of a terrible price for the dominated populations of the non European countries. It also became the focus of complex and antagonist representations of contact between the Old and the New Worlds mediated through Africa. Books, pamphlets and images (e.g., engravings, paintings and maps) were the material sites of great symbolic battles between the empires fighting for domination of the Ocean. These sheets of paper were circulating quickly all over the globe as each empire tried to impose its models and patterns of civilization. Through such texts and images, ideas about colonialism and slavery were vividly constructed and used. We will explore some of these powerful constructions between the age of Discovery and the Age of Revolutions such as Colombus notebooks, conquistadores narratives of the battles for the New Spain (like Díaz del Castillo) or critics of it (as Las Casas), travel notebooks of the first catholic or protestant visitors to Brazil (like Hans Staden and Jean de Léry), and eighteenth century constructors of an enlightened vision of the new world by men who never left Europe such as abbé Raynal and Diderot.

 

HISTORY 478.010    Jesse Garskof [jessehg]         Latin American History: The Colonial Period

Examines colonial administration, independence movements, political and economic systems, slavery, and literary movements.

 

HISTORY 495           Rudi Lindner [rpl]                Medieval Inner Asia
Includes the social, political and economic history of the steppe zone from the rise of nomadic enterprises through the Mongols, based upon translated sources and modern historical and anthropological studies. A primary goal is to help students understand the mechanics of nomadic societies and their interaction with agricultural and urban states (e.g., China).

 

LING 517 / ANTHRCUL 519 / GERMAN 517    Sarah Thomason [thomason]   Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics
This course is an introduction to the theories and methods that enable linguists to describe and explain processes of linguistic change and historical relationships among languages. The major topics to be covered are the emergence of language families and means of establishing family relationships; sound change; grammatical change, especially analogy; language change caused by culture contacts; the Comparative Method, through which prehistoric language states can be reconstructed with an impressive degree of accuracy; internal reconstruction, a less powerful but still important method for gaining information about linguistic prehistory; and ways in which the study of current dialect variation offers insights into processes of change.

 

MUSICOLOGY 513             Louise K. Stein [lkstein]        Topics in Early History of Opera
This course is devoted to the study of opera in the first two centuries of its existence, from its beginnings just before 1600 to nearly the end of the 18th century. Opera is to be studied critically as music, theater, spectacle, performance medium, and cultural expression. Special aspects of this course include a focus on singers of baroque opera, opera's arrival in the Americas, and the financing and staging of early opera. While some of the lectures and listening assignments will be organized around excerpts, others will be designed to focus on whole operas, their music and musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and reception in performance. Composers to be studied include Peri, Caccini, Da Gagliano, Monteverdi, Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Hidalgo, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Hasse, Rameau, Gluck, Salieri, Sarti, Piccinni, Mozart, and Haydn.  

 

MUSICOLOGY 578             Stefano Mengozzi [smeng]    Renaissance Music

This course focuses on European music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Our goal is to develop a critical and historical understanding of the musical life of that period. To achieve this purpose we will not only take a close look at musical works, genres, styles, forms, composers, but we will also study the political, religious, and social institutions that contributed to creating the flourishing musical culture of the "Renaissance". Readings will be drawn from the textbook and other scholarly sources. The assignments will aim at developing music analytic skills and at exploring issues of performance practice.

 

MUSICOLOGY 621 James Borders [jborders]     History of Music Theory I

This seminar will treat key issues that Western music theorists addressed from Antiquity through the late Renaissance. It will examine how certain theoretical topics weave like threads through the fabric of music history—here thickly, there thinly—and how and when new issues arise, in part due to changes in musical style. (Toward the end of the term, for example, we will see how the history of theory comes nearly full circle with concomitant rediscoveries of Greek texts.) We will note similarities and differences among different theorists’ ideas and approaches, along with modern scholarly understandings of them. When feasible we shall also consider the relevance of theory to practice and composition by examining music from the same or earlier period.

 

PHIL 461       TBA    Philosophical Thought in the 17th Century
Philosophical thought on the European continent in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, including Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.

 

SPANISH 650                        TBA    Spanish Medieval Literature

Spanish literature from El Cantar de Mio Cid (1140) through La Celestina (1499).

Winter 2010

Winter 2010

Graduate Courses in MEMS

MEMS 898 / Helmut Puff  [puffh]      Dissertation Colloquium

This workshop provides advanced students in Medieval and Early Modern periods with the opportunity to present work in an interdisciplinary context bringing together participants from all disciplines that engage with pre-modern materials. The colloquium supports students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work. It addresses three needs: 1) to help you to frame and to convey the larger significance of your research with the help of a supportive group from a wider range of methodological points of view than would normally appear on a dissertation committee; 2) to provide you with practice in articulating your ideas in an oral format; and 3) to explore how interdisciplinary dialogue can enrich our research. The MEMS colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS, but students do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The course will meet regularly on a schedule to be determined by the needs of the group; you may register for 1-3 credit by permission of the instructor (graded S/U). Types of writing welcomed: dissertation chapters, conference presentations, articles in draft stages, prospectus, job talks, methodological statements, research statements, project narratives, book reviews, grant proposals.

MEMS Proseminar                              Albrecht Dürer in Contexts
GERMAN 821 / HISTART 646                   Helmut Puff [puffh] / Achim Timmermann [achimtim]

Ever since the sixteenth century, Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) has figured as an iconic artist. In fact, the histiography of the history of art is intimately intertwined with the reception of Dürer. Whether his self-portaits were said to exemplify Renaissance subjectivity, his prints were taken as an expression of Germanness, or his religious art interpreted as emblematic of a particularly fervent religiosity on the eve of the Reformation, the artist’s rich œuvre of paintings, prints, drawings, and writings has repeatedly served as a window onto religion, culture, and society on the brink of modernity. The artist’s persistent iconicity can be traced to a deliberate self-presentation which Dürer, the artist-humanist, and his circle fashioned as well as disseminated in a variety of media.  This interdisciplinary seminar will respond to Dürer’s enduring presence by engaging the artwork and its reception as well as the social and civic contexts in which this art was circulated. Our discussions will primarily revolve around the close analysis of Dürer’s paintings (such as his self-portraits and altarpieces), prints (such as Melencolia I), and theoretical and autobiographical writings. A reading knowledge of German is desirable, but not essential, as much of the best literature on Dürer, Nuremberg and late medieval / Renaissance Germany is in the German language. Pending funding, we will also undertake a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum and the Cloisters in New York (March 19-21).

ASIAN 480 / Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen / What is Literature? A Critical History of Reading and Writing in East Asia

This course offers an opportunity to explore the history of reading and writing in East Asia--principally Japan and China-- with a view to determining their distinctive nature and function from a comparative Asian as well as East/West perspective. We will begin by analyzing scenes of reading and writing from literature, history, and philosophy, and proceed to interpret them through Chinese and Japanese critical theory and commentaries. Questions include, but are not limited to, a comparative analysis of speech and writing, including calligraphy as a material aesthetic or ritual object and medium of communication; controversies around the status of literature, particularly narratives, as truth or fabrication; the history and politics of canon formation; the culture of reading/writing milieus and their links to class and identity formation; the use of language in philosophical systems claiming their inadequacy—students are encouraged to bring their own questions for discussion in the seminar. Texts will be in English translation, with original-language sources available as appropriate. They include selections from Readings in Chinese Literary Thought (ed. Stephen Owen), an anthology of literary criticism from the ancient period through the Ch’ing Dynasty (1662-1912); three kibyôshi (illustrated stories of the Edo ‘floating world’) from 1782-1788; and contemporary studies of the social networks around literary and aesthetic pursuits.

COMPLIT 731.001 / Catherine Brown [cmbrown] /          Medieval Exegesis, Literary Theory

Christianity reveres a word made flesh. A religion of the word, it is also simultaneously (and like its Abrahamic sisters Judaism & Islam) a religion of the book—an obscure, difficult, contradictory book written in an ancient foreign language. No surprise then that it is as religion as logological (Kenneth Burke’s term) and theoretical as it is theological. In this seminar we will read late antique and medieval (mostly Catholic Christian) exegesis & theology as theory—that is, as ways of seeing and conceiving reading, writing, perception & interpretation. Our work will be simultaneously historical—aimed at understanding the theories that shaped educated medieval Western ways of seeing—and anachronistic—aimed at allowing medieval thinking to challenge, infect and maybe even reshape our own theoretical thought. This class’s focus is theoretical. People of no or of non-Christian religious practice should be prepared for massively religious reading. Equally, people of religious and especially Christian practice should be prepared for the secular, non-theological orientation of the class. Everybody is of course prepared to learn from everybody else. Reading knowledge of Latin a plus but not necessary. Readings in English. Open to interested graduate students from all departments.

COMPLIT 731.002 / David Porter [dporter] / Enlightenment and Its Critics

The multiple legacies of the European Enlightenment include much that we take for granted, in modern liberal societies, in the realms of religion, politics, gender, aesthetics, and literary / cultural theory. At the same time, they also include certain kinds of ideological blinkers, ossified forms of  understanding that can lead us to mistake particulars for universals and to neglect the specific historical origins of seemingly foundational beliefs. The critique of central tenets of Enlightenment thought has proven central to key developments in literary scholarship over the past several decades, including post-structuralism, post-modernism, and post-colonialism. In order to discern more clearly the object of these critiques, this seminar will begin with

careful readings of seminal texts of the Enlightenment by such leading figures as Locke, Hume, Smith, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft, Gibbon, and Kant. In the second half of the course, we will turn to the long tradition of resistance to the naturalization of Enlightenment ideas so as to assess its broader implications for literary history and theory. Readings will include works by such thinkers as Herder, Nietzsche, Adorno, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Spivak, and Chakrabarty. No prior background in the subject areas of the course will be presumed.

ENGLISH 503 / Thomas Toon [ttoon] / Middle English

This term we will examine works in early Middle English, as well as the better known and more frequently studied major authors — Chaucer, Gower, Piers, the Pearl poet. Readings will include selections from prose and poetic histories, mystical writers, contemporary social and political documents (laws, recipes, medical texts, chronicles, charters). We will examine a wide range of early Middle English texts as we develop an appreciation for the roles written English played in medieval England and the cultural and political consequences of the ability to read and write.

ENGLISH 614 / Theresa Tinkle / Textual Bodies and Textual Theories

A Critique of Modern Textual Criticism. Unediting the Renaissance. The Margins of the Text. These titles signal an exciting theoretical and methodological shift in literary studies, and call attention to changes in the definition of the “work” and our practices of reading texts. The single authoritative text is being supplemented, in some cases replaced, by multiple versions, both print and electronic. Margins, glosses, illustrations, title pages, and variant versions have become central to interpretive practice. Expansions of the literary canon are being matched with innovations in editorial theory and practice (with, for example, what Martha Nell Smith calls lesbian editing). This course invites students to reflect on the implications of the new textuality for their own scholarship. We will examine material texts ranging from the Bible to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Prologue, Shakespeare folios, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and selections from the library’s Labadie Collection. We will study theories of the text formulated by Jerome McGann, Martha Nell Smith, David Greetham, and others. This course is designed to enrich the scholarship of students in all periods and fields of literary study, both by expanding their methodological toolkit, and by introducing them to the stimulating field of textual theory. No previous knowledge of the subject is necessary—but the student should bring a willingness to contemplate the problematic status of the text in recent theory, and to spend time analyzing material texts in Special Collections, which should not be a hardship!

ENGLISH 644 / Tina Lupton [clupton] / Marriage and 18th Century Readers

In her controversial book Against Love: a Polemic (2005) Laura Kipnis takes aim at the convention of modern marriage as deeply paradoxical. The idea guiding this course, which will begin with Against Love, is that this paradox has accompanied the way we think about marriage since the eighteenth-century.  At this time, readers were exposed to a new variety of competing representations of marriage:  as a pragmatic challenge, a romantic conclusion, an object of legislation, satire and, in the transcripts of divorce trials that were popular reading in the period, as a topic of scorn.  In this course we will read a number of eighteenth-century novels in which marriage is represented in interesting ways (Sheridan, Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph; Fielding, Amelia; Inchbald, A Simple Story; Lennox, Euphemia) alongside a number very different tracts about married life (Aphra Behn, 10 Pleasures of Marriage; Mary Astell, Some Reflections Upon  Marriage; essays by Hume and Addison; Haywood, The Wife; and reports of various trials for adultery and divorce).  This will allow us to contextualize fictional ways of representing marriage. But more than that, it will help us to explore the interpretative routes that eighteenth-century readers took in engaging topics like love and marriage.  As secondary reading, we will look at work by William St. Clair, Isabel Rivers, Tom Keymer and Jan Fergus on the eighteenth-century reader and at Ruth Perry’s Novel Relations and Niklas Luhmann’s Love as Passion: The Codification of Intimacy. Students will have the opportunity to think widely about theories of reading and the history of marriage.  Everyone will also be actively encouraged to do their own primary research, using ECCO and EEBO to access eighteenth-century material on marriage and bring this into play in papers and presentations.

ENGLISH 627 / David Porter [dporter] / Enlightenment and Its Critics

The multiple legacies of the European Enlightenment include much that we take for granted, in modern liberal societies, in the realms of religion, politics, gender, aesthetics, and literary / cultural theory. At the same time, they also include certain kinds of ideological blinkers, ossified forms of  understanding that can lead us to mistake particulars for universals and to neglect the specific historical origins of seemingly foundational beliefs. The critique of central tenets of Enlightenment thought has proven central to key developments in literary scholarship over the past several decades, including post-structuralism, post-modernism, and post-colonialism. In order to discern more clearly the object of these critiques, this seminar will begin with

careful readings of seminal texts of the Enlightenment by such leading figures as Locke, Hume, Smith, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Burke, Paine, Wollstonecraft, Gibbon, and Kant. In the second half of the course, we will turn to the long tradition of resistance to the naturalization of Enlightenment ideas so as to assess its broader implications for literary history and theory. Readings will include works by such thinkers as Herder, Nietzsche, Adorno, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Spivak, and Chakrabarty. No prior background in the subject areas of the course will be presumed.

ENGLISH 632 / Barbara Hodgdon [hodgdon] / Shakespeare: Historicizing Adaptation

This course entails historicizing Shakespearean adaptations, theorizing the wide range of difference (and différance) that has occurred from the early 17th century to the present day, examining the impact of historical contexts on the processes of adaptation and exploring various theoretical models. Judging a Shakespearean adaptation’s “success” primarily in relation to its faithfulness to an “original” or “source” text has tended to demean the adaptation (or appropriation) in terms of cultural capital.  Moreover, despite the theoretical sophistication of recent literary critical discourse, adaptation studies have only recently begun to make connections to Bakhtinian dialogism, intertextuality, deconstruction, reception theory, cultural studies, narratology and performance theory. We will begin with several Shakespeare texts adapted by Middleton (Macbeth, Measure for Measure), look at Restoration adaptations (Tate, Davenant), at 18th and 19th century burlesques and promptbooks, at contemporary plays ranging from re-visions to spin-offs—e.g., Humble Boy (Hamlet), The Queens (Richard III), Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief, The Bard of Avon (Shrew) and at films—perhaps even extending our inquiry to ballet, opera, Manga Shakespeares and video games.

FRENCH 652 / George Hoffmann [georgeh] / Montaigne

Comprehensive introduction to the Essais. Approaches will include intellectual history, social history, history of philosophy and logic, philology, material bibliography, and biography. Montaigne, Essais (3 vols.); Étienne de La Boétie, Discours de la servitude volontaire. Language in which the course will be conducted to be determined by common consent

FRENCH 855 / Peggy McCracken [peggymc] / The Medieval Posthuman

In this seminar we will read various examples of modern theoretical work that fall loosely within the category of thinking about the posthuman, alongside medieval French literary texts that interrogate the limits of the human.  A tentative list of subjects and literary texts to be discussed includes:  appetite and desire (Barlaam et Josephat); prosthesis (Le livre de Caradoc); automata (Benoît de Sainte Maure, Le roman de Troie); animality (Chrétien de Troyes, Yvain); skin (Guillaume de Palerne); the hand (Philippe de Rémi, La Manekine); relics (The Book of Sainte Foy); statues (Gautier de Coinci, Les miracles de Notre Dame); metamorphosis (Chrétien de Troyes, Philomena); allegory (Christine de Pisan, La cité des dames). Most of the theoretical texts will be in English; primary literary texts will be available in Old French and modern French, and most (if not all) have been translated into English. 

HISTORY 790 / Jean Hebrard [jhebrard] / Getting Documents to Speak

Historians depend upon archives, but archives were not written for them. Each archive has an organization, an argumentation, and a style, which depends on the context and the purposes for which it was produced. In the West, this scribal culture has a history which began with the great chanceries (religious and political) of the Middle Ages and modern Europe and was amplified during the bureaucratic revolution of the nineteenth century. To learn to work seriously on all sorts of archives, it is necessary to understand the organization of this fantastic field of written production. The class will examine some of the most important types of written documents used by historians, the social and cultural position of those who produced them, and the political context in which they were produced. On the side of public documents, we will focus more particularly on parish registers, notarial acts, police records, trial documents, censorship judgments, tax registrations, censuses, etc. On the side of private ones, we will examine correspondences, account books, family chronicles, diary, etc. Each student will select an archive related to her or his research and write a short but intensive case study on materials from it.

ITALIAN 633 / Alison Cornish [acorn] /     Dante’s Divine Comedy

Although readers of the Divine Comedy do not always get there, the Paradiso is the necessary vantage point for what Charles Singleton called Dante’s “vistas in retrospect.” In this seminar we will read the Inferno and Purgatorio from the perspective of the Paradisov. What, finally, is this book about? For one thing, why are there two paradises? A radical poetic experiment, the Paradiso engages with what can be called the history of heaven, which includes not only Biblical, Platonic, Christian and Islamic mystical conceptions, but also ancient and medieval literary antecedents.

LATIN 436 / Donka Markus / Postclassical Latin II

This course will introduce students to a range of texts in the two main types of postclassical Latin: Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin (the language of the Renaissance humanists). Particular attention will be paid to the changes in Latin grammar, syntax, and orthography from AD 400-1300. Readings will include saints’ lives, letters, travel literature, romance, history, philosophy, poetry and some humanist writings with additional readings determined according to student interest. Students will become acquainted with key topics in the interpretation of medieval texts such as schooling, religious life, tradition and innovation, secular and ecclesiastical power, friendship, women writers, entertainment etc. Besides situating the texts within their historical contexts, we will explore the European reception of Greco-Roman antiquity. The class is meant to appeal to students in a range of disciplines—classics, literature, philosophy, musicology, history, history of art, archaeology, religious studies, early Christian studies, Romance languages etc.

MUSICOL 506 / Stefano Mengozzi [smeng] / Instrumental Music of the Renaissance

The course will concentrate on solo and ensemble instrumental repertory from the period 1450-1550. Readings and assignments will deal with topics such as improvisation, tuning, arrangements of vocal music, manuscript and printed sources of instrumental music. A number of instruments from the Stearns collection (copies of original instruments) will be available to those students who wish to take a hands-on approach to the subject. It is hoped that in-class performances on these instruments will be a routine part of the course.

MUSICOL 520 / Louise Stein [lkstein] / Topics in Baroque Music 1570-1750

This course is designed as an overview of selected topics in instrumental and vocal music of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries (roughly 1570-1750), but it is not designed as a strict survey of Baroque music. Particular emphasis will be given to the invention and definition of musical genres, the geography of music, the relationship of music to text, and the place and function of music (secular and sacred, vocal and instrumental, for court, chamber, church, and theater) in early modern society.  In addition to studying music by such composers as Monteverdi, Schütz, Lully, Corelli, Vivaldi, Handel, and J.S. Bach, we will include a special unit on music from Spain and its Latin American colonies in the early 18th century. This course also introduces students to writings about music, musical sources, aesthetic theories of the period, and some issues of performing practice. Music will be considered as cultural and artistic expression in its historical framework. The work of this course consists of listening, score study, and reading. We will discuss the music in class, in some detail.

MUSICOL 577 / James Borders [jborders] / Medieval Music

This lecture / discussion course will survey devotional and secular music composed and performed between 700-1400 C.E. It will be organized around the five most important sites of medieval musical activity—the

monastery, the castle, the cathedral, the city, and the palace. Students will be asked to prepare for lectures and follow-up discussions by completing assigned reading (on reserve and on the web) and listening assignments

(on-line and on reserve). They should expect two 15-20-page papers and two essay examinations at mid-term and final. This course is intended mainly for upper division music undergraduates (400 level) and music

graduate students (500 level); non-music students are welcome provided they are capable of reading modern musical notation.

MUSICOL 643 / Louise Stein [lkstein] / Early Modern Singers and their Roles: The Collaborative Process

Collaboration was a prominent feature of musical creation and performance in the early modern period, manifest in the collaborative improvisation required by the performance practice of the era, and demonstrated, for example, in the many "pasticci" staged with arias by more than one composer. This seminar focuses on vocal music of the period roughly 1650-1750. It takes as its point of departure the assumption that many of the musical works that captivated listeners when performed in the theaters and music rooms of the period were created thanks to a process with varying degrees of collaboration (rather than a single, isolated, individual act of composition). We will investigate the degree to which singers participated in this collaboration, and how the "star" system also influenced operatic composition and production, as we listen to and study arias, operas, and cantatas. The seminar will include some work with primary sources (scores, libretti, aria collections, and documents), as well as work with modern editions and readings in the UM libraries. Certainly we will study some of Handel's operas for the London stage, among other repertories. Our work will take singers (both as a group and as famous individuals) and singing as our starting point.

PHIL 602 / Laura Ruetsche [ruetsche] / Philosophy of Science

An episodic introduction to philosophy of physics, which will strive to be interesting and accessible even to those not already invested in physics. I will try to focus on topics in philosophy of physics that resonate with issues philosophers who aren't interested in physics might care about — issues like causation, determinism, reference, and scientific realism. I will try to minimize the technical apparatus required to approach these topics, and to equip students with that apparatus as the need for it arises. Topics to be covered may include: quantum non-locality and the quantum measurement problem; determinism and time travel in special and general relativity; statistical physics and the direction of time; explanation in cosmology; and the semantic implications of theory change.

PHIL 610 / Edwin Curley [emcurley] / History of Philosophy: Aristotelian Philosophy

This course will discuss the rise of religious toleration in early modern philosophy. I’ll be presenting draft chapters from a book in progress on that topic, which begins with the medieval case for intolerance (as developed by Augustine and Aquinas), then moves on to the 16th Century, when the case for intolerance came under attack from more liberally minded Christians (Erasmus, Castellio) and skeptics (Montaigne, Jean Bodin). Discussion of those figures will occupy the first seven weeks of the course. The last six weeks will be spent on Locke, Pierre Bayle, and Spinoza. Ultimately I hope to go on to discuss Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, Jefferson and Madison… perhaps Paine, also. I won’t be able to get to them during the semester, but will encourage term papers on those figures.

SPANISH 640 / Catherine Brown [mcbrown] / Readings in Catalan

This course aims to give participants reading knowledge of the Catalan language and intimate familiarity with its literary tradition. After a whirlwind tour of grammar, we’ll just start reading—and talking about what we read. Think of it as a Catalan book club.  Catalan-language cultures and literatures are especially active and especially delicious during the pre/early modern periods and from the mid-19th-century to the present, so that’s where our readings will focus. Reading list is flexible but will certainly include: from the medieval and early modern periods: Bernat Metge, Lo Somni, Joan Rois de Corella, Tragèdia de Caldesa, Joanot Martorell & Joan Martí de Galba, Tirant lo Blanc (selections), some philosophy by Ramon Llull, lyric poetry by Ausias March and Jordi de Sant Jordi; from the 19th century forward: poems and journalism by Joan Maragall & Jacint Verdaguer, the novel Solitud by Victor Català; short stories by Mercé Rodoreda &/or her novel La Plaça del Diamant; poetry by Foix, Espriu, Porcel, and anything else that seems like fun. Open to students across departments and areas of interest. It could be of interest to people studying the Medieval Mediterranean, medieval Romance literatures, history of European urbanization/industrialization, 19th-centry novel, 19th-centry art & architecture, modernism, anarchism, the Spanish Civil War, contemporary Iberia. Our whirlwind grammar introduction will assume knowledge of Latin or a Romance language, but if you have neither and are willing to undertake the task, you’re welcome to join us. We’ll conduct our discussions in whatever language feels appropriate given the seminar’s composition and mood.

Winter 2009

AAPTIS 451        Classical Persian Texts    Madhi Tourage [tourage]

This course is designed to familiarize students of Persianate and Islamicate cultures with the literary production composed in the Persian language from the 10th century to its early modern expressions. The focus of the Winter 09 term will be on Persian Ethical and Advice Literature (the so-called “mirrors for princes”). We will survey the advice literature on practical philosophy, ethics and political philosophy written in Persian (in translation) from the 10th-17th centuries. Selected readings will be analyzed in their historical contexts with a view to understanding classical Persian concepts of kingship and rule, correct religion, justice, roles, responsibilities, and proper conduct of individuals and classes within pre-modern society. We will focus on the continuity and change of these concepts in the works of authors in successive historical periods. We will begin with the pre-Islamic Sassanian works preserved in the New Persian version (Kirad Nama, Adab al-Saltana va al-Vizara, Letter of Tansar) and move onto Arabic works of the Abbasid era (by Miskawaih and al-Mawardi) and Qarakhanids (Qutadgu Bilig – 1069). Our main focus will be works written in Persian from the 11th century onward by Kaykaus b. Iskandar, Nizam al-Mulk, al-Ghazali, Nasir al-Din Tusi, Duvani, Va‘iz-Kashifi and Najm-i Sani.

 

AAPTIS 591        The Politics of Friendship & Love in Early Modern Iran (1501-1722)              Kathryn Babayan [Babayan]

This seminar will explore the social and cultural world of Safavi Iran through the frames of friendship. Friendship was a social and religious institution that rivaled and competed with matrimony and kinship. It involved a set of duties and ethics that fashioned the figure of the friend. We will focus on the idioms of friendship expressed in a variety of circles, from confraternities to the Safavi court, to begin to distinguish the meanings and protocols of intimacy and the ethics of a practice that tied men together in amity. What were the mutual obligations that legitimated such bonds? We will speak about the practices of social elites once we contextualize homosocial relations within the complex web of affiliations in early modern Tabriz or Isfahan. How were loyalty and enmity inscribed in various genres, such as mirrors for princes, memoirs, manuals of chivalry ritualizing sworn friendships, and court chronicles delineating cabals or the affiliations between the sovereign and his court favorite? The seminar is divided into six interrelated parts investigating different modalities of friendship. We will spend two seminar sessions on each modality. In every part you will be introduced to one or two primary texts in Persian. Exceptions can be maid for those who do not know Persian.

 

AAPTIS 622        Medieval Islamic Historiography Michael Bonner [mbonner]

Introduction to the study of historical writing and thought in the Islamic middle ages, with emphasis on Arabic historians of the classical period.

 

ARCH 633            Seminar in Renaissance &Baroque Architecture: Vision and Mathematics in Baroque Architecture       Lydia Soo [lmsoo]

 

ASIAN 534           Seminar in Chinese Drama: The Peony Pavilion Old and New: The Politics of Cross-Cultural Theater (and Fiction)                David Rolston [drolston]

A monumental work in fifty-five scenes, The Peony Pavilion has been a cherished object of consumption both on stage and on the page for over 400 years. In it a young girl denied a timely marriage by her parents dreams up a lover for herself, but dies of lovesickness when she cannot repeat the experience. As a ghost, she tracks down her lover and persuades him to resurrect her. Then there is the question of whether this couple can be integrated into society. Dueling American productions of the play were scheduled to premiere in the U.S. in 1998 for the 400th anniversary of the completion of the play, but the Shanghai Cultural Bureau prevented that, despite attempted intervention by both President Clinton and Henry Kissinger. Recent productions have included a 1998 avant-garde version directed by Peter Sellars, an almost 20-hour version that premiered at Lincoln Center in 1999, a three-night version of the same year that the PRC spent a lot of money on, and a “Young Lovers” edition produced by the famous novelist Kenneth Pai (Bai Xianyong). Lisa See recently published a novel in English focused on three women of the 17th century who wrote an extensive commentary on the play. There is also a traditional commentary on the play that interprets every aspect of it sexually. In this course we will look at the sources for the play, its historical and cultural background, traditional commentaries, the various versions performed in China and abroad, Lisa See’s attempt to tell the story of its women commentators for a modern American audience, and the question of why this play has been so fundamental since it was first written.

 

ASIAN /HISTART 692     Buddhas and Bodies in Japanese Art            Kevin Carr [kgcarr]

This course examines the history of Japanese religions through visual arts. Sculpture, painting and architecture serve as the primary sources for our exploration of Buddhism, kami worship, and Christianity. Discussions engage in many social and religious issues, paying special attention to religious conceptions of the body and the tension between ideal and the “real.”

 

ENGLISH/GERMAN 501                Old English          Thomas Toon [ttoon]

This course is an introduction to Old English, the language spoken by our forebears until the unpleasantness at Hastings — the Norman Conquest. Since Old English is so different from Modern English as to seem like another language, the greatest effort of this class will be to master the rudiments of the structure and vocabulary of the earliest attested form of English.

 

ENGLISH 642    Doing Historiography After the New Historicism     Barbara Hodgdon [hodgdonb]

There has, of late, been a growing sense among those engaged in early modern studies that new historicism / cultural materialism has had its day in its sun. What, some have asked, is ‘the next big thing’—that is, the new paradigm (or paradigms) for studying early modern texts and their histories? The impetus for this course began with that question—or, more appropriately, with the idea of interrogating that question, which grounds this current project. Why are ‘we’ so testy, dissatisfied? I would be the first to say that high new historicism of the court-based, overtly political sort has indeed seen the end of its reign: it arose from a particular historical moment (post-Vietnam); I think that part of the impetus for ‘something new’ rather than ‘something borrowed, old (or blue)’ has to do, at least in part, with generational politics, (and, at a very basic level, with framing dissertations as well as with competition in the job market). Does this supposedly post-theoretical moment invite rethinking the idea of re-situating texts ‘in’ history as well as ‘in’ theory? What might be gained—or lost? Can we reconfigure what ‘doing historiography’ means now?

 

That said, this course will investigate the problem of doing historiographies through four obviously interrelated lenses:

  • Textual editing
  • Theatre history
  • History of the book
  • Historical formalism

In addition to reading theoretical and critical materials, including histories of doing historiography, we will center our study on a few primary texts (yet to be decided: I’d welcome students’ suggestions). One course project will entail doing the theoretical and practical groundwork involved in editing an early modern text and producing a section of an edition of that text, including textual notes, commentary, and (limited) introductory materials. To that end, some seminar meetings will be devoted to ‘workshops’ on textual editing.

 

ENGLISH 842.001            England and Its Global Contexts: 1600-1800             David Porter

While the influence of Said's Orientalism has profoundly shaped the study of global relations in colonial and post-colonial contexts, it has also informed scholarly perspectives on early modern encounters, real and imagined, that conform less neatly to colonial or even proto-colonial paradigms. Recognizing the potential hazards of Eurocentrism and anachronism attendant upon such readings, this seminar will explore a variety of alternative models for thinking about England's place in an increasingly globalized early modern world, and their implications for the literary history of the period. We will interrogate a number of contemporary English authors--Shakespeare, Behn, Defoe, Pope, Montagu, Addison, Cook, and others--who grapple with these questions, while at the same time surveying relevant recent scholarship from the fields of world literature, comparative cultural studies, economic history, and East-West studies. We will consider questions of influence, reception, and imaginative geography, but will also explore methodological problems raised by more explicitly comparative approaches, including questions of commensurability and meta-historical modelling.

 

ENGLISH 842.002            Devotion and Dissent in Medieval Literature             Catherine Sanok [sanok]

 

 

FRENCH 462      Betrayal and Deceit           George Hoffmann [georgeh]

Class conducted primarily in French. Suspicion of betrayal and intrigue led many in the Renaissance to cultivate the ideal of a more "sincere" inner life in order to overcome intense social pressures. But can one ever be completely sincere with others? with oneself? We examine why sincerity has risen to the status of the preeminent modern virtue. Readings from Chartier's La Belle Dame sans merci, Castiglione's Courtier, Marot's L’Adolescence clémentine, Du Bellay's Regrets, Montaigne's Essais, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Molière's Misanthrope, La Rochefoucauld's Maximes, and Voltaire's Candide. Films include À bout de souffle [Breathless] (1960), North by northwest (1959), Der Amerikanische Freund (1977), Ripley's Game (2002), Plein Soleil (1960), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Human Nature (2001).

 

FRENCH 651      Medieval French Literature           Peggy McCracken [peggymcc]

This class offers an introduction to major texts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, including chansons de geste, romances, poetry, and short narratives. Reading assignments and discussion in modern French, though some secondary reading assignments may be in English, and we will study some Old French (proficiency in Old French is not expected).

 

HISTART 489     Envisioning the Colonial Metropolis in the Early Modern Atlantic World     Claudia Brittenham [britten]; Cecile Fromont [cfromont]

This course explores urbanism and its representations in the colonial enterprises of Spain and Portugal from the 16th to the 18th century. Focusing on four cities, Mexico City (Mexico), Cuzco (Peru), Luanda (Angola), and Salvador da Bahia (Brazil), we will analyze how the policies adopted by the Spanish and Portuguese crowns led to the development of different types of cities, and how indigenous populations contributed to the distinctively local texture of each urban fabric. Bringing together analytical writings on urbanism, architecture, and space with close formal consideration of these cities and their representations in pictorial, cartographic, and literary media, we will consider how urbanism on the one hand and its social uses on the other hand contributed to the political and religious enterprise of colonialism, shaped colonial identities, and helped fashion notions of race and gender. Along with architecture, both durable and ephemeral, and city planning, the class will consider cities as spaces of social and economic interactions, examining processions, parades, and marketplaces as key elements of these cities of empire.

 

HISTART 646     Problems in Medieval Art               Achim Timmermann [achimtim]

Pictorialized in a variety of images, some striking, others subtle, as well as being dramatically staged during the audio-visual spectacle of the Mass, the body of Christ was at the very heart of late medieval spirituality and devotion. This seminar explores a broad spectrum of images, objects, texts and rituals associated with the cult of Corpus Christi in the later Middle Ages. We will thus look at lurid evocations of Christ's suffering humanity, such as the Man of Sorrows, extensive Passion narratives, found, for instance, in Books of Hours, and complex allegorical representations, for example the 'Mystic Winepress' or the 'Host Fountain.' We will also examine a plethora of liturgical objects designed to house, display and evaluate Christ's real-present body within the late medieval church building, such as eucharistic monstrances or tabernacles. Our analysis of the visual material will be complemented by a discussion of contemporary texts, drawn for instance from the context of sacramental theology or homiletic writing. We will also benefit from the existence of a rich body of secondary literature, touching on aspects as diverse as medieval notions of the human body (Caroline Walker Bynum), attitudes toward (homo)sexuality (Karma Lochrie), female spirituality (Jeffery Hamburger), and scholastic theories of real presence and transubstantiation (Miri Rubin). A rudimentary knowledge of Latin is desirable, but by no means essential. It is hoped that this seminar will attract students with different backgrounds, especially art history (medieval, Renaissance, but also modern/contemporary), theology and medieval/early modern history.

 

HISTORY 594                    Early Modern Armenian History, 1622-1800            Sebouh Aslanian

 

HISTORY 625    Studies in Balkan History                John Fine [no email]

 

HISTORY 673    Studies in Premodern Japanese History      Hitomi Tonomura [tomitono]

This course introduces major English-language works on Japan's premodern history (before 1750). Readings are selected to promote our familiarity and critical appreciation of the key themes and trends which have shaped the historiography. We evaluate individual works in terms of their approach, methodology, sources used, and argumentation as well as the actual historical "knowledge" or “content.” By discussing these works, we hope to understand their merits, limitations and relative significance to the way the field has developed. We also consider unexplored issues and problems as well as possible alternate approaches and methods which might be employed to conduct historical inquiry in this field.

 

MEMS Proseminar : HISTORY 638 / ITALIAN 660               The Culture of Cities in Premodern Europe               Diane Hughes [dohughes]; Alison Cornish [acorn]

By the sixteenth century Europeans regularly identified their culture as both urban and urbane. This argues for a central role of cities in the formation of European identity. This course will examine the role of the city in shaping that identity from the rise of urban culture in the twelfth century through its full development in the period of European global expansion in the sixteenth century. Although European urbanism shaped a continental identity, the continent was not unaware of comparisons, from dream capitals of Troy and Jerusalem to more competitive contemporary images of Tenotichlan and Constantinople. It is the intersection between the growth of cities in Europe and the imagining of cities - in art, in literature, in religious thought - that will provide the focus of this course. Although the course will proceed for the most part chronologically, it will also organize itself around specific cities, institutions, and disciplines. Such topics will include the role of the universities in the standardization of European culture, but also in connecting various cities in Europe, urban religion (mendicants, confraternities, Jews), self-representation and public display (art, music, procession), the physical city (architecture and urban planning) and the ideal city (Rome, Jerusalem), exiles, tradesmen and travellers. Because of the expertise of the instructors, particular attention will be given to Italian cities: Florence, Venice, Rome. Meetings will be organized around both secondary and primary texts as well as works of art. Students will be introduced to different methodologies pertaining to different disciplines in historical, political, literary, artistic, and musicological analysis. The course would find its audience in graduate students from History, Art History, English, German, Romance Languages, Comparative Literature, and Music.

 

MUSICOL 605    Singing, Singers, Patrons and Productions in Early Modern Contexts               Louise Stein [lkstein]

Open to students in the SMTD as well as to graduate students in MEMS, History of Art, History, Romance Languages, and English. (Undergraduates may be admitted by special permission from the instructor.) This seminar is devoted to exploring the intersections between the history of the singing profession and the history of musical theater, with particular attention to the ways in which singers, patrons, public and private institutions, and the market-place shaped the production of musical theater and opera in the early modern period. Our work seeks to better understand systems of production as well as the variability and complexity of relationships among patrons or producers and singers and composers. We will learn about singers’ lives and how they sang, and pursue readings into methodology, theories of patronage and production, the economics of the arts, and the politics of the arts in early modern society. Following an initial period of general work with published case studies, our reportorial focus will be on Italian and Spanish opera from the late seventeenth century (including works by Alessandro Scarlatti for Naples), Handel’s opera productions for London, and a mid-eighteenth-century opera seria production. Students will be introduced to various kinds of primary sources---archival documents, early printed libretti, theatrical manuscripts, musical scores, images, and so on. The work of the course will include reading, listening, and score study (for those in music), as well as study of visual images and texts. Each student will complete a term project or a series of shorter research papers that may be connected to a performance. Attendance and class participation are required. The course is open to scholars and performers.

 

MUSICOL 621    The History of Music Theory I      James Borders [jborders]

Musicology 621 is a graduate seminar that will treat key issues that Western music theorists addressed from Antiquity through the late Renaissance. It will examine how certain theoretical topics weave like threads through the fabric of music history—here thickly, there thinly—and how and when new issues arise, in part due to changes in musical style. (Toward the end of the term, for example, we will see how the history of theory comes nearly full circle with concomitant rediscoveries of Greek texts.) We will note similarities and differences among different theorists’ ideas and approaches, along with modern scholarly understandings of them. When feasible we shall also consider the relevance of theory to practice and composition by examining music from the same or earlier period.

 

SPANISH 820      Early Modern Female (Auto)Biographies  Enrique Garcia Santo Tomas [enriqueg]

 

 

SPANISH 822      This Text which is not One: Five Ways of Reading the Libro de buen amor     Ryan Szpiech [szpiech]

Fall 2008

MEMS Graduate Courses -- FALL 2008

 

AAPTIS 411 / Classical Arabic Grammar / Jackson

The main objective of this course is to investigate areas of Arabic grammar from a modern linguistic point of view. The issues dealt with will include syntax and morphology. In broad terms, the areas investigated will include verb and noun morphology, and from a syntactic perspective, phrase and sentence structure. To this end, appropriate selections will be made from Clive Holes’ Modern Arabic Structures Functions and Varieties. It is possible that additional selections from Arabic texts will be introduced as a way of comparing modern and orthodox presentations of specific linguistic features. Based on the readings and class discussions, modern text chunks — media and/or modern literature — will be selected for the purpose of participants locating and examining actual manifestations of the areas under study.

 

AAPTIS 451 / Ottoman Turkish / Hagen

The first part of the departmental sequence in Ottoman Turkish, this course will introduce students with intermediate or higher-level Modern Turkish to original texts from a wide variety of printed sources. Based on those, it will teach the Arabic script and the essential elements of Arabic and Persian origin in Ottoman Turkish grammar.

 

AAPTIS 465 / Islamic Mysticism / Knysh

Beginning with the Qur’anic origins of Islamic mysticism and its early Christian and ascetic influences, this course explores the central themes and institutional forms of Sufism, a stream of Islam which stresses the esoteric (mystical) dimensions of religious faith. It reflects upon the inward quest and devotions of Muslim mystics as these have been lived and expressed in art, theology, literature, and fellowship since the 8th century CE.

 

AAPTIS 567 / Readings from Classical Islamic Texts / Jackson

This course focuses on the analytical reading of classical Arabic texts from different fields of the Islamic tradition. This academic term the topic will be Muslim theology. This will include a brief historical survey of the development of the theological discourse in medieval Islam along with a thematic treatment of some of the most salient issues debated among theologians. Selections will be drawn from both the traditionalist (Ahl al-hadith and Hanbalites) and rationalist (Mu'tazilite, Ash'arite, Maturidite) traditions. Reading knowledge of Arabic required. Course lectures will be in English.

 

ENGLISH 503 / Middle English / Smith

We’ll learn the rudiments of Middle English diction (then a new and evolving blend of English and French), syntax, and phonology, with limited attention to the different dialects.   We’ll briefly compare Middle English to Old English and Early Modern English, touching on such historical phenomena as the Great Vowel Shift.  Most of our time will be spent reading literature of various kinds and from various contexts, poetry and prose, high culture and popular.  By reading is meant that we’ll study sample texts, translate them, interpret them, and discuss their features and meanings—and that we will read aloud often, becoming familiar with the sounds and cadences of Middle English.  Some of the best poetry in English comes from the late 14th century (Chaucer, Langland, the anonymous works of the Gawain-poet), and we’ll spend a fair amount of time on these authors, paying  equivalent attention to the prose of  Dame Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe.  We’ll also study some manuscript facsimiles and speculate on the nature of literacy before the invention of printing.  Everyone will take up some research task involving the transmission and analysis of primary texts.   At the end of our time together, we should all be able to read—and read aloud—Middle English with understanding and pleasure, with sufficient competence to teach a segment on, say, Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale.

 

ENGLISH 560 / Chaucer: The Major Texts / Taylor

This is an introductory Chaucer course at the graduate level. We treat Chaucer's major works, focusing especially on the incomparable classical romance Troilus and Criseyde and the joys of variety in the Canterbury Tales. A few of the shorter poems also help us get a sense of Chaucer's poetic career as French, classical, and Italian materials were melded together into something new: serious, ambitious literature written in English. Historical, social, and literary backgrounds.

 

ENGLISH 642.001 / Early Modern English Poetry / Schoenfeldt

Some of the finest lyrics in the English language were written during the Early Modern period.  Subsequent writers have continually found a source of inspiration, not to mention competition, in the works of this period.  The purpose of this class is to examine the immensely productive tension that emerged between formal accomplishment and passionate expression in the poetry of early modern England.  Understanding form widely, as both the necessary vehicle and the restricting container of desire, we will look at a range of short and long poems written in England between 1500 and 1680.  We will read a wide variety of poetry, largely lyric and narrative, from Wyatt and Surrey in the early sixteenth century through Milton, Dryden, and Katherine Philips in the later seventeenth century.  We will spend a lot of time on Shakespeare, whose remarkable accomplishment in sonnets and narrative poems is sometimes overshadowed by his dramatic works.  We will work to situate poems amid the careers and the historical situations of their authors, but we will also aspire to keep questions of form and genre well in our sights.  We will also explore the various ways that issues of class and gender mark lyric utterance?  We will investigate the range of possible motives for putting into fastidiously patterned language the unruly vagaries of emotion and appetite.  Reading poetry amid the continuing philosophical dispute between the respective claims of reason and passion in the formation of an ethical self, we will look at how the poets of early modern England created models for articulating and manipulating inner desire.

 

FRENCH 653 / Repetition / Ibbett

In this seminar we will consider repetition and related concerns – rereading, rewriting, imitation, performance, serial production – both in seventeenth-century France and in recent theoretical writing. What can be repeated? What should be? What does repetition leave behind, and what does it bring about? Texts will include Molière, Dom Juan; Racine, Iphigènie; Corneille, Horace; Descartes, Discours de la méthode; critical readings from, amongst others, Auslander, Butler, Cavell, Deleuze, Esposito, Felman, Girard.

 

HISTART 646 / Medieval Encyclopedias / Sears

This seminar circles around the phenomenon of encyclopedic learning in the Latin Middle Ages, thereby opening up paths for exploring medieval perspectives on the world and the order of things. Attention will focus on physically concrete witnesses to these perspectives: manuscript copies of compendia that collect and re-present useful knowledge. Often carefully structured, regularly illustrated with images as well as astonishingly complex and artful schematic diagrams, they bear such titles as “On the Nature of Things,” “Image of the World,” “Mirror of the World.” Students will become acquainted with medieval cosmology, geography, ethnography, time theory, etc., as they read classics of school learning (well known to medieval and early modern writers and artists). Authors to be treated include: Macrobius, Martianus Capella, Isidore, Rabanus Maurus, Honorius Augustodunensis, Lambert of St.-Omer, Herrad of Hohenburg, Bartholomaeus Anglicus, Thomas of Cantimpré, Vincent of Beauvais, etc. A host of issues will emerge: concepts of memory, theories of the image and the complementarity of text and image, pedagogical theory (liberal and mechanical arts), attitudes toward the pre-Christian past (Greek and Roman learning) and the Islamic present (translated tracts).  We will focus on concepts of “spatiality” as these affect the placement of data in schemes of knowledge and the organization of textual and visual information in schemata.

 

HISTART 754 / Early Modern Art Theory and Practice / Holmes and Willette

Artists, poets, academicians, secretaries and prelates in early modern Italy exploited the resources of diverse literary genres to find words suitable for discussion of the visual arts.  Among the forms most often adopted, depending upon the occasion, were the treatise, the discourse, the dialogue, the Vita, the epistle and the sonnet.  Like other kinds of inquiry in this period, literary exploration of visual art drew upon both Latin and vernacular traditions and often borrowed principles and methods from poetics, grammar and rhetoric.  The Humanist revival of ancient letters was centrally important for this development, but the ideas and values expressed in courtly love poetry and in various “sub-literary” cultural forms, such as the craftsman’s book of secrets and the merchant’s memoir, also contributed importantly to discussions of art.  A considerable body of theological writing about images came into play as the indirect source of much general knowledge about how pictures and statues work.  Some of the most powerful ideas about art in this period are framed by other concerns, in stories about common people, or in poems in praise of female beauty, or in prayers devoted to the saints.

We will trace the development of some of the major topics in early modern art-writing and consider the implications of favored metaphors, such as the window, the mirror, the shadow and the veil.  Classical topoi were often invoked, both to dignify the subject and to suggest figurative ways of thinking about the origin of art or about the power of a work of art to move the beholder: thus the petrifying effect of Medusa, the animation of Pygmalion’s ivory statue of Galatea, the image-seduction of Narcissus.  At an early point we will examine views about the Christian imago, and throughout the term we will consider how Christian image theory informs or contrasts with Humanistic art-writing and how both contributed to artistic practice in the service of religious reform.   Readings will be drawn from Petrarch, Alberti, Leonardo, Castiglione, Ficino, Aretino, Michelangelo, Vasari, and Dolce, among others—as well from critical and interpretative studies by Michale Baxandall, Stephen Campbell, Elizabeth Cropper, Charles Dempsey, Anthony Grafton, Robert Williams, Gerhard Wolf, et alia.

 

HISTORY 592 / Topics in Asian History: Islam in South Asia / Mir

This is an opportunity for graduate students to get a broad overview of the history of Islam in South Asia.  This course examines the history and historiography of the expansion of Islam in the Indian subcontinent, the nature of Muslim political authority, the interaction between religious communities, Islamic aesthetics and contributions to material culture, the varied engagements and reactions of Muslims to colonial rule, the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan, and the contemporary political concerns of South Asia’s Muslims.

 

HISTORY 638 / Rome After Empire / Squatriti

The Eternal City is unique in several regards, but perhaps above all in its being simultaneously a distinctive actual place and a powerful set of ideas. This course investigates how Rome's physical plant developed in the centuries after the end of Rome's Mediterranean hegemony. It also explores the afterlife of the idea of Rome, as locus of law and justice, symbol of empire and universal rule, and focus of religious devotion. 'Rome After Empire' seeks to understand the nature of the dialectic between an increasingly desolate, then Christian topography, and the mystique that Rome had, especially far from its walls, throughout the Middle Ages.

 

HISTORY 642 / Studies in Eighteenth-Century Europe: Exploring/Interrogating Cultural History / Goodman

Cultural history has become the dominant paradigm for historians of eighteenth-century France and in many other fields of history as well, but what exactly does that mean? This course is intended to explore the range of histories that are called “cultural,” the theories and methods that cultural historians draw upon, the questions that cultural historians try to answer, and the ways they go about doing so. At the same time, we will interrogate cultural history, asking what its limits and limitations are. What can it not do? What does it do badly? Which critiques are legitimate and which are not? We will thus seek to understand and evaluate the practice of cultural history through the reading of individual cultural histories on a wide range of eighteenth-century topics by Anglophone and French historians (in English translation), relevant theoretical and methodological texts, and critiques.  In doing so, we should also learn quite a bit about eighteenth-century France.

HISTORY 668 / Early Chinese History / Chang
This is a proseminar in premodern Chinese history before 1800. The main focus of the course is on the examination of the development of the field, the current state of research, and the various methodological approaches in the studies of premodern Chinese history.

HISTORY 680 / Envisioning Colonial America / Juster
Historians of early America have become increasingly accustomed to thinking of the colonies as participants in a transatlantic exchange of ideas, peoples, goods, and institutions. The larger Atlantic system of which the American colonies formed an important node shaped the particular experiences of the inhabitants of these colonies, who were simultaneously marginalized residents of the periphery and central actors in a global enterprise. This course will explore several important aspects of the history of the American colonies from a transatlantic perspective: the formation of new settlements and the process of migration from the Old to the New Worlds; the encounter with the native cultures of the Americas; the phenomena of war and captivity; the role of women in colonial ventures; the African slave trade and the formation of slave societies; the proliferation of religious sects and the culture of revivalism in the 18th century, to name just a few.

 

HISTORY 698.004 / ASIAN 500 / The History and Historiography of the Tang and Song Dynasties / de Pee

This course offers a topical survey of the history and historiography of the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. It is intended in the main to convey an impression of the shape of the field of Middle-Period history in the United States, with its small first generation of economic, intellectual, and political historians, its second generation of social historians, and its budding third generation of cultural historians. This historiographical disposition of the course not only lends form to the succession of topics, but offers an opportunity for the development of a wider range of academic skills. The reading assignments for the course will provide a basic knowledge of the history and historiography of the Tang and Song dynasties, but class discussions will also address the conception of research projects, inventive approaches to sources, style and argument in prose composition, the politics of publishing, the nature and development of academic fields, and the shape of academic careers. In short, this seminar is intended not only as an introduction to the history and historiography of the Tang and Song dynasties, but also as an opportunity to reflect on graduate education and to develop some of the critical and practical skills required therein.

 

LING 517 / ANTHRCUL 519 / GERMAN 517 / Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics / Thomason

This course is an introduction to the theories and methods that enable linguists to describe and explain processes of linguistic change and historical relationships among languages. The major topics to be covered are the emergence of language families and means of establishing family relationships; sound change; grammatical change, especially analogy; language change caused by culture contacts; the Comparative Method, through which prehistoric language states can be reconstructed with an impressive degree of accuracy; internal reconstruction, a less powerful but still important method for gaining information about linguistic prehistory; and ways in which the study of current dialect variation offers insights into processes of change.

 

MUSICOLOGY 413-513 / Topics in the Early History of Opera, 1590-1790 / Stein

This course is devoted to the study of opera in the first two centuries of its existence, from its beginnings to nearly the end of the 18th century.   Here opera is to be studied critically as music, as theater, as spectacle, as performance medium, and as cultural expression.  Special aspects of the course include a consideration of operatic eroticism, opera's arrival in the Americas, and a focus on the staging practices of early operas.  While some of the lectures and listening assignments will be organized around excerpts, others will be designed to focus on whole operas, their musical dramaturgy, historical significance, economics, modes of production, and impact and reception in performance.  Composers to be studied include Monteverdi,  Cavalli, Lully, Purcell, Hidalgo, A. Scarlatti, Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Mozart, Haydn, Gluck, Piccinni, Sarti.

 

SPANISH 456 / Golden Age Spanish Literature: Rethinking the Classics / Garcia Santo-Tomas

El presente curso estudiará una serie de textos canónicos desde una perspectiva contemporánea, enfatizando su contextualización socio-política, histórica y literaria, además de nuevos acercamientos que se adapten a la sensibilidad moderna. Se analizará poesía, teatro y narrativa, en un diseño que prestará atención cuestiones como el ‘yo’poético en su transición del Renacimiento al Barroco, la creación de una dramaturgia nacional de sabor autóctono, y la inauguración de nuevos modos narrativos como la picaresca o la novela corta.  Los autores a estudiar serán, entre otros, Juan Ruiz, Marqués de Santillana, Fernando de Rojas, Garcilaso de la Vega, Santa Teresa de Jesús, San Juan de la Cruz, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Góngora, Tirso de Molina, Quevedo, Sor Juana y Calderón de la Barca.  El curso se completará con proyecciones audiovisuales sobre Velázquez, la Inquisición, Don Quijote y Fuenteovejuna.  La clase será en español.

 

SPANISH 666 / Cervantes' Exemplary Novels / Garcia Santo-Tomas

A survey of Cervantes' collection of short stories in relation to the literary, sociopolitical, and philosophical background of the time. Class conducted in English and Spanish.

 

SPANISH 842 / Barroco Transatlantico / Del Valle

The Baroque is an especially interesting historical period that saw the convergence of various forces that would shape the world’s future geopolitical order. The beginning of modernity and scientific exploration, the colonial expansion in America, and an artistic production of great scope and significance are among the phenomena that mark this era. The strong connections between aesthetics and politics make the Baroque a fruitful period for reflection about contradictions and problems whose importance continues today. For example, various Baroque writers are the first to propose a kind of social engineering to form subjects in accordance with a specific political program. With this in mind, this course proposes to explore the paradoxes of the term “Baroque modernity” that has recently been used to characterize the era. Although the majority of the course’s readings will be by authors from Spain and New Spain, we will also examine other meanings of the term that relate it not to a determined epoch but to a recurrent aesthetic style or to an ethos that defines entire nations.

Winter 2008

MEMS Courselist

Winter 2008

For 400-level courses, go to Undergrad/Current courses.

 (NE/LIT) AAPTIS 583 Medieval Arab Historical, Biographical and Geographical Texts / Bonner

This course provides a hands-on introduction to medieval Arabic biographical literature. It includes intensive practice in reading biographical texts, together with the skills needed for navigating this vast and important genre. The course also shows how the biographical literature can be used for investigation of a wide range of historical and literary topics. Most sessions involve a main text or texts for intensive preparation, in addition to problems in searching and locating biographical information in a various places. This kind of work calls for patience, and sometimes for stubbornness. It can also be quite rewarding. At the end of the semester, each participant will make a presentation, based on a a series of biographical texts distributed in advance. This will then form the basis for a final paper. Each time this course is given, it is devoted to either historical, biographical or geographical texts, in Arabic, from the rise of Islam through the Mamluk period (roughly 600-1500).

 (THEORY?) ANTHARC 683  Prehistoric Economies / Marcus & Flannery

Who's right? The formalists, who believe that the laws of supply and demand direct culture, or the substantivists, who believe that the economy is embedded in society?  Do foragers really forage optimally? Who satisfies, and who maximizes? How does long-distance trade differ from local exchange? Does every state have a market system? Find out!

 (AS/LIT/HA/HS/MUS) ASIAN / ANTHRCUL /CCS / POLISCI 502 / HISTART 504, HISTORY 548 Humanities in China / Rolston and Lam

The course will discuss how knowledge is produced in the field and how different disciplines shape the field in different ways. It will examine the present state of research in selected areas of scholarly inquiry¬primarily language, literature, history, music, and art history¬as we interrogate such seemingly commonsense notions as "civilization", "culture", "tradition", "modernity", and, above all, "Chineseness". We will investigate new ways of asking questions about text and context, narrative, gender, subjectivity, identity, and paradigms of knowledge. Our goals are to develop good reading skills, stimulate critical thinking, and inspire imaginative approaches to humanistic problems.

(AS/LIT) ASIAN 551 Classical Japanese Prose: The Genji Monogatari / Ramirez-Christensen

The Hermeneutics of the Tale of Genji.  What is the most productive way of reading this first ever classic of women’s writing in the world? The seminar will analyze the work from the perspectives of the history of its reception, feminist theory and women’s writing, gender studies, and translation studies. We will explore the application of the Freudian oedipal hermeneutic, the Lacanian analysis of desire, Kristeva’s semiotic order, and Judith Butler’s reflections on gender to this work. Students from other fields who can read the Tale of Genji only in English or modern Japanese translation are also welcome to attend the seminar.

 (EC/LIT) COMPLIT 731 Medieval Exegesis as Literary Theory / Brown

Christianity reveres a word made flesh. A religion of the word, it is also

simultaneously (and like its Abrahamic sisters Judaism & Islam) a religion of the book—an obscure, difficult, contradictory book written in an ancient foreign language. No surprise then that it is as religion as logo-logical (Kenneth Burke’s term)and theoretical as it is theological. In this seminar we will read late antique and medieval (mostly Christian) exegesis &

theology as theory—that is, as ways of seeing and conceiving reading, writing, perception & interpretation. Our work will be simultaneously historical—aimed at understanding the theories that shaped educated medieval Western ways of seeing—and anachronistic—aimed at allowing medieval thinking to challenge, infect and maybe even reshape our own theoretical thought. This class’s focus is theoretical. People of no or of non-Christian religious practice should be prepared for massively religious reading. Equally, people of religious and especially Christian practice should be prepared for the secular, non-theological orientation of the class. Everybody is of course prepared to learn from everybody else.

 (AC/LIT) ENGLISH 503 Middle English / Degregario

We will examine a wide range of early Middle English texts as we develop an appreciation for the roles written English played in medieval England and the cultural and political consequences of the ability to read and write. Readings will include selections from prose and poetic histories, mystical writers, and contemporary social and political documents (laws, recipes, medical texts, chronicles, charters).

(EC/LIT) ENGLISH 641: Topics in the Medieval Period: Medieval Poetry

                        Writing the Past in Pre Modern England / Sanok

Late medieval English literature is centrally preoccupied with the past

- the Christian past, the classical past, and England's own past. We will read widely, from a range of genres-chronicle, autobiography, romance, exemplary narrative-asking how they function as forms of history, how their investment in the past indexes the rapid social and political changes of the late Middle Ages, how it addresses and constitutes new reading communities, how it grounds or challenges new categories of social identity. This course is designed to serve at once as a broad introduction to medieval literature (covering major texts such as the Book of Margery Kempe and Malory's Morte Darthur) and an introduction to the field of medieval studies (and the interpretive protocols that have made texts such as St. Erkenwald and the Siege of Jerusalem objects of new or renewed critical attention).  At the end of the term, we may step (lightly) over the period boundary into the Early Modern era to consider the afterlife of medieval representations of the past, as well as how the "medieval" functions as the past after the Reformation. This class will also address related disciplinary and methodological concerns: the logic of literary periodization, "historicism" as a critical practice, and its relationship to other categories of analysis (e.g. gender, form).

(EC/LIT) ENGLISH 644 Topics in the Restoration and 18th Century / Faller

 (EC/LIT) FRENCH 654 18th Century Literature / Paulson

(EC/LIT) FRENCH 855  Sexuality and Animality / McCracken

This course focuses on recent theory and philosophy dealing with animals and with sexuality and on medieval literature.  It starts from the premise that sexuality is a prominent concept through which medieval thinkers explain the difference between humans and animals.  Our work will also be inspired by the ways in which medieval literary texts explicitly represent or thematize some of the questions posed by modern theories about animals and animality (in Derrida and Levinas, for example).  Using a variety of theoretical texts, both medieval and modern, we will interrogate representations of human bodies and their limits, their extensions and transformations into animal bodies in order to ask first, what modern theory can help us to understand about medieval views of animality, and second, what medieval understandings of animality may tell us about medieval sexuality. The class will be conducted in English; readings in modern French or English.

(EC/HA) HA 754 Sensuality in Early Modern Western Europe / Simons

By way of material primarily drawn from Italy and England during the 15th-17th centuries, this course considers how we as historians conceptualize bodies in relation to sensate, sensual experience and representation.  Women shown desiring other women in cultural representations are one focus, but so too are such issues as the genre of pastoral, the effect of classicizing visual rhetoric (especially the nude), the fascination with metamorphosis, and the construction of sin.  We will engage critically with new historicism and queer theory, and ponder the relationship between historical agency and pictorial representation, production and reception.  Problems to be addressed include the possibility of “misreading” or re-reading allegory on more than one register, and how one might overcome a reductive divide between spirituality and sensuality.  The interdisciplinary course draws upon visual material as well as poems, drama, opera, domestic artifacts, pornography, and medical writing.  Given the thematic focus of the course, specialists in other periods and cultures are welcome. 

(NE/HS) HISTORY 546 Gender and Sexuality in Premodern Islam / Babayan

Explores Muslim constructions of gender and sexuality in the pre-modern era (600-1700 CE). It integrates issues of sexuality and gender, bringing to bear on each other the ways in which masculinity and femininity were intimately constructed within the project of Islam.

(EC/HS) HISTORY 640 Studies in Early Modern Europe: Conversion, Translation and the History of Religion / Siegmund

This course is a research seminar in Early Modern European history. It has no overarching theme. Rather, it will provide a structure for students working in pre-modern Europe (understood broadly) to pursue their own research and to produce, by the end, an article-length piece of original writing. Optimally, it will also serve as a platform for developing the dissertation, both topically and in terms of writing. The class will pursue readings for approximately five weeks – topics will depend on the participants – and then the rest of the academic term will be dedicated to the research project.

(EC/HS) HISTORY 660 Studies in 16th and 17th C England / MacDonald

(EC/NE/HS) HISTORY 662 Studies in Byzantine History / Fine

(NE/HS) HISTORY 698.008 / JUDAIC 517.003: Thinking Law in Ancient Cultures and Religions / Neis

How did people in the ancient and early medieval world think about law? How should we think about what law was in pre-modernity, both transregionally as well as in specific cultural contexts (e.g. Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, Greek, Roman)? We will approach such questions through the lenses of (ancient and modern) legal theory and comparison of ancient legal systems. We will ask what light contemporary legal theory can shed on premodern legal cultures, and conversely, will test/rethink the more abstract, contemporary theories of law and jurisprudence as we examine different cultural historical instantiations of law and legal theory. We will look at particular legal cultures in terms of its substantive law (what areas are considered to be within the legal realm), and also in terms of how these legal cultures conceptualize their own authority, sources, and notions of “law.” The comparative approach will include the examination of key scholarship on law in different pre-modern cultures. The course would, through the comparative work that takes place on all these levels, provide an opportunity to rethink methods, approaches and theories in one’s own field of interest. The course is suitable for students who are interested in the legal aspects of a particular ancient (broadly defined) culture. It is also suitable for those with interests in comparative law, legal history, jurisprudence, political theory and religion.

 MEMS PROSEMINAR: MUSICOLOGY 505.002/605.001 / HISTART 689.003 / RLL 500: Arts, Patrons, Courts in Early Modern Culture / Stein (See MUSICOLOGY)

MEMS 898 Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium in Medieval and Early Modern Studies / Holmes

MEMS 898 provides an opportunity for advanced students in MEMS to present their work to one another in a model interdisciplinary seminar that brings together doctoral candidates from all the MEMS disciplines. The colloquium is an integral part of the Graduate Certificate Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. It seeks to meet three needs:  1) to provide useful criticism of dissertation work from a wider range of expertise and methodological points of view than normally encompassed in a dissertation committee; 2) to provide advanced students with experience in public presentation of scholarly papers; and 3) to create an intellectual forum that will bring together graduate students in disparate fields, so as to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and consequent broadening of horizons. The work may be dissertation chapters (or parts thereof), conference presentations, job talks, or scholarly articles to be submitted for publication. In addition to reading and responding to one another’s work, the seminar will also consider methodological and disciplinary issues of common interest to the members of the seminar. MEMS 898 is intended for doctoral candidates at the prospectus- or dissertation-writing stage of their programs. It is designed to support students in commitments that they have already undertaken, with the small, but pleasurable responsibility of responding to colleagues’ work.  Students do not need to be admitted to the MEMS Certificate Program to take the course.

 (EC) MUSICOLOGY 505.002/605.001 / HISTART 689.003 / RLL 500 Arts, Patrons, Courts in Early Modern Culture / Stein

This course is a seminar devoted to exploring the role of private patrons, institutional patronage, and the commercial market-place in the production of works of music and art.  It is designed for graduate students interested in reading and writing about the patronage and production of music, the visual arts, architecture, and theater in the early modern period, as well as studying pieces of music and works of art. The course is open to scholars and performers.  We will explore the role of individual patrons and institutional patronage, public and private, in early modern societies, through careful case-studies of patrons, producers, artists, and performers, male and female, in selected times and places.  Our work seeks to better understand systems of production as well as the variability and complexity of relationships between patrons/producers and artists/composers/performers in Europe and Latin America in the period roughly1500-1750. Our first set of readings will include groundbreaking patronage studies from our several disciplines, as well as readings concerned with methodology, theories of patronage and production, the economics of the arts, and the politics of the arts in early modern society.  Following this initial period of general readings, the course will be organized around particular times and places (along with relevant musical, theatrical, and artistic repertories), with readings from successful case studies. Students will be introduced to and have the chance to work with various kinds of primary sources---archival documents (inventories, notarial documents, household accounts, private letters, etc.), printed texts, theatrical manuscripts, musical scores, images, and so on.  Our understanding will be enriched by several guest presentations by MEMS faculty on their own case studies.  Our work will focus on Florence (and possibly other Northern Italian centers), Rome, Naples, Versailles and Paris, Madrid, Lima, and London, with possible study of other sites, depending on student interest and linguistic preparation.

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