Courses

FALL SEMESTER 2014

Undergraduate (1000-4000 level)

ARTH 1051: History of Art I
John Dobbins
TR 2:00-3:15 + sections

A survey of the great monuments of art and architecture from their beginnings in caves through the arts of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, Byzantium, the Islamic world, and medieval western Europe. The course attempts to make art accessible to students with no background in the subject, and it explains the ways in which painting, sculpture, and architecture are related to mythology, religion, politics, literature, and daily life. The course serves as a visual introduction to the history of the West. (SIS)

ARTH 2151: Early Christian and Byzantine Art
Fotini Kondyli
MWF 11:00-11:50

From the magnificent church of Hagia Sophia and the Imperial palaces of Constantinople to mosaics, icons, and items of personal adornment this course will trace developments in the arts and architecture of the Mediterranean in the course of thirteen centuries ( 2nd – 15th c. AD). We will explore the role of early Christian and Byzantine art between Greco-Roman aesthetics and the artistic production of the Renaissance. We will focus on the iconography of selected artworks to better understand Christian and Byzantine belief systems and look into the multiplicity of function and meaning in Early Christian and Byzantine architecture.  We will also consider how Byzantium negotiated its political and cultural identity among allies and enemies through its artistic production and visual language. Finally we will meet different social groups involved in the production of Byzantine art and architecture such as craftsmen and architects, as well as the Imperial family, monks and nuns, elites and ordinary people.

ARTH 2154: Early Medieval Art
Eric Ramirez-Weaver
MW 2:00-3:15 + section

This course examines art created in the era from 300 to 1100, when early medieval artists, motivated by devotion to their faiths and scientific beliefs, crafted beautiful and refined visual expressions of their values. These crafted confessions in stone, paint, parchment, and metal provide the living historical records of a vibrant period, during which medieval artists asserted their various cultural identities. (SIS)

ARTH 2251: Italian Renaissance Art
Paul Barolsky
TR 12:30-1:45

Studies painting, architecture, and sculpture in Italy from the close of the Middle Ages through the sixteenth century. Focuses on the work of major artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, and Michelangelo. Detailed discussion of the social, political, and cultural background of the arts. (SIS)

ARTH 2961: Arts of the Islamic World
TBA
TR 11:00-12:15

The class is an overview of art made in the service of Islam in the Central Islamic Lands, Egypt, North Africa, Spain, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and South and Southeast Asia. (SIS)

ARTH 3591: Life after Antiquity: The Late Antique Mediterranean
Fotini Kondyli
MW 3:30-4:45

This course explores the late Roman world from the 4th to the 7th centuries AD, offering a survey of the chief political, economic, and social trends in the Eastern Mediterranean in this period. Late Antiquity has been labeled as an era of decline and catastrophe, marking the end of the Greco-Roman world. We will make use of recent advances of Late Antique scholarship, especially archaeology, to revisit such notions, focusing in particular on the relationship between the material, cultural, and social world of the Eastern Mediterranean. Key themes for investigation will include ethnic, social and religious identities, the spread of Christianity, pilgrimage, urban and rural centers, warfare and fortifications, travel and trade networks, migration and barbarian invasions based mainly on archaeological evidence.

ARTH 4591: Dunhuang Cave-Temples
Dorothy Wong
R 1:00-3:30

Located in northwest China, Dunhuang has approximately 500 Buddhist cave-temples, embellished with mural paintings and sculptures, and the well-known sealed library of thousands of manuscripts and paintings that span from the fifth to the thirteenth century. The seminar examines the topics of Buddhist art germane to the materials, from narratives to deity cults, pure land imagery, and Buddhist cosmographies.

CLAS 3559: World of Late Antiquity
Emily Albu
MWF 1:00-1:50

This class asks students to investigate what happened to the lands and peoples of the Roman Empire after the so-called golden ages. Did classical civilization experience cultural transformation or did it crash and burn? Late antique historians have hotly debated these questions. To some degree the answer depends upon the time and place on which you focus your gaze. We first study the peoples, lands, and cultures of the Greco-Roman world from the second through eighth centuries CE, with this debate in mind. In considering cultural transformation, we especially focus on the development of the liberal arts education in late antiquity and the role of education in mediating between Christianity (and to some degree Judaism and Islam) and classical/pagan culture.

ENMD 3130: Old Icelandic Literature in Translation
John Casteen
TR 2:00-3:15

A survey of the major works written in Iceland from around 1100 to the end of the Middle Ages. Works studied include several of the family and legendary sagas and selections from the Poetic Edda and the Edda of Snorri Sturluson. All readings are in translation. (SIS).

ENMD 3250: Chaucer I
Elizabeth Fowler
TR 11:00-12:15

Geoffrey Chaucer wrote one of the most influential collections of fiction ever published. This course introduces you to a selection of his vivid stories, to reading and speaking Middle English, and to writing about poetry. In class our discussions will investigate Chaucer’s work with attention to topics like the power of language, the peculiarities of visual images made out of words, the role of speech and consent in social life, and the sensuality of medieval religion. No previous experience with poetry, Middle English, or Chaucer is required. This is a good course for first-years or fourth-years, and for beginners or Chaucer adepts alike.  (It’s fine to take this if you’ve already had ENMD 3260, Chaucer II.)  Occasional quizzes, two exams, and two short papers.

ENMD/ENRN 4500: Lyric Poetry
Elizabeth Fowler
TR 12:30-1:45

So much of the most brilliant writing in English is brief, intricate, emotional, musical, and written between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries. We’ll study lyric in English by authors such as the ubitiquous (and perhaps female) anonymous, Chaucer, Henryson, Dunbar, Skelton, Wyatt, Campion, Sidney (Mary and Philip), Spenser, Wroth, Philips, Donne, Marvell, and Herbert (erotic, devotional, elegiac, and so forth), refining our sense of what language can do in its most intense, witty, ornate, gorgeous, and sweet moments. There will be one or two written exams, a presentation, and a research paper that evolves in four stages.

ENMD/ENRN 4500: Crime Fictions
Bruce Holsinger
TR 9:30-10:45

This seminar will explore the literature of crime in medieval and early modern England. We will read stories of murder, theft, subterfuge, and brutality, all with an eye to thinking comparatively and transhistorically about the nature of crime and its detection. Readings will include several 20th-c. works of historical crime fiction set in premodern England.

ENMD 4500: The Gawain Poet
A.C. Spearing
TR 2:00-3:15

In this seminar we shall read the four poems attributed to an anonymous poet who was Chaucer’s most brilliant contemporary. Patience is a witty elaboration of the story of Jonah, including a full account of what it was really like inside the whale. In Cleanness violent episodes from the Old Testament, including the destruction of Sodom, Nebuchadnezzar’s madness, and Belshazzar’s feast, are used to explore sexual and spiritual defilement. Pearl is a dream of a visit to the other world, where a man encounters his dead daughter and learns how truly alien the realm beyond death is. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the most beautiful of all medieval romances, is a chivalric story of extraordinary fantasy and humour that raises intricate moral problems. We shall also read a fifth poem, Saint Erkenwald, often thought to be by the same poet: it tells of the resurrected corpse of a pagan judge. The poet’s language is difficult (but we shall use an edition that contains modern translations alongside the original texts); his technical sophistication and imaginative reach are incomparable. Requirements: an oral presentation, two papers, a final exam.

FREN 3041: The French-Speaking World I: Origins
Amy Ogden
MWF 11:00-11:50

Knights rescuing damsels in distress.  Damsels rescuing knights in distress.  Quests for adventure, God, love, truth.  Bawdy ballads and soulful sonnets.  The first five hundred years of French literature provide endless entertainment and often unnerving perspectives on the world and its history.  The authors of this time are responsible for the ideas, stories and literary genres that determine our “modern” assumptions about subjects such as romantic love, common courtesy, gender, literary conventions, virtue and heroism, sport and entertainment, and truth.  Readings are in modern French translation and include the foundational text of modern Frenchness, La Chanson de Roland; the provocative Vie de saint Alexis; Arthurian tales of chivalry by Chrétien de Troyes and Marie de France;  Christine de Pisan’s feminist Cité des dames; Michel de Montaigne’s essays on cannibals and friendship; and a selection of lyric poetry from each century.

Pre-requisites: FREN 3031 and 3032 or equivalents.

HIEA 3111: China to the Tenth Century
Ellen Zhang
TR 9:30-10:45

This class introduces Chinese history from the beginning through the end of the 10th century. Its goal is to explore what makes Chinese civilization specifically Chinese and how the set of values, practices, and institutions we associate with Chinese society came to exist. Political, social, cultural, and intellectual history will all be treated, though not equally for all periods. Major themes of the course include intellectual developments, empire-building efforts, religious and popular beliefs, and Chinese interaction with other cultures and peoples. Required reading includes a variety of primary sources, book chapters, and articles. Final grades will be based on four quizzes, a term paper, and a take-home final. This course fulfills the College’s non-Western and historical perspective requirements.

HIEU 1501 (Introductory Seminar): The Crusades
Jolanta Komornicka
T 3:30-6:00

This course examines the rise of crusading in the medieval world. We will not focus solely on the major battles and armed conflicts, but will explore how and why people went on crusade, what their friends and spouses thought of their going, and the general reception of crusading in the West, as well as its experience in the East. The readings in this course include a narrative overview of the crusades (The Crusades, Riley-Smith) paired with monograph and article-length secondary materials providing a range of perspectives on the cultural and social aspects of crusading. These scholarly works will be supplemented by a large variety of primary readings found in three assigned anthologies (Allen, Gabrieli, and Peters), which provide the contemporary words and thoughts of crusaders, churchmen, wives, kings, sultans, and emperors. As a freshman seminar, taught as a mix of lecture and discussion, this course is equally about the crusades and the doing of history. During the semester, as you learn about the crusades of the Middle Ages, you will also learn to read, write, and think like a historian, critically evaluating and analyzing both primary and secondary texts to better understand the past.

HIEU 2061: The Birth of Europe
Paul Kershaw
MW 2:00-2:50 + section

This class examines the social, political and cultural history of Western Europe from the collapse of Roman authority over the course of the fifth century to the thirteenth century, the age of the Mongols and the early Inquisition. It is intended as an introduction to the medieval period, and no prior knowledge is expected. Political, social and institutional developments will be addressed; literature, art, philosophy, and religion will also receive attention. Cross-cultural contact, in both war and peace, between various peoples, polities and cultures is a recurrent theme. Subjects to be discussed include: the reasons behind the Roman empire’s so-called ‘Fall’; the emergence of the earliest post-Roman kingdoms; the formation and fragmentation of the Carolingian empire; the rise of Islam and the reconfiguration of the Mediterranean world. The Crusades, the twelfth-century ‘renaissance’ and the emergence of the European universities, the growth and multiplication of Christian kingdoms in northern and central Europe, the deepening of papal authority, and the tenacity of the Byzantine Empire, will also all come under analysis. How did life, thought and belief change in these centuries? How have earlier generations of historians understood this period, and how do those working in 2014?

Students will read some of the most important (and interesting) sources for the Middle Ages in translation. These include first-hand accounts of meeting with Christian holy men in the Egyptian deserts of the fourth century; records of life in the chaos of a fragmented Roman empire under barbarian control; the earliest reports of Islamic expansion written by both the conquerors and the conquered; political polemics, epic poetry, and private letters.

Students will take two exams, write four short response papers, attend bi-weekly lectures and a weekly discussion section. This class cannot be taken for CR/NC.

HIEU 2111: History of England to 1688
Paul Halliday
MW 11:00-11:50 + section

This course surveys the history of England, Britain, and the empire up to the 18th century. We shall look briefly at politics and society in the wake of the Norman Conquest in 1066 and at life in the later Middle Ages; examine the Reformation and the catastrophic civil wars of the mid-17th century; and consider the extension of England as it became Great Britain and a global empire. We will thus be concerned not only with England, but with its place in Europe and the world.

HIME 2001: History of the Middle East and North Africa ca. 570-ca. 1500
Joshua White
R 3:30-6:00

This survey course explores the history of the Middle East and North Africa (broadly construed—our focus will range from Iberia to Central Asia) from the origins of Islam to the rise to superpower status of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century. Topics include the spread of Islam; the establishment and subsequent fragmentation of the caliphate(s); the historical development of Islamic social, legal, and political institutions; inter-confessional relations; the impact of invaders (Turks, Crusaders, Mongols); and much more.  There will be two 75-minute lectures per week and a mandatory discussion section. Evaluation will be based on short reading response papers, a midterm exam, a final exam, participation and attendance. There are no prerequisites.

HISA 2002: History and Civilization of Medieval India
Richard Barnett
TR 3:30-4:20 + section

We cover Medieval Indo-Muslim  civilization and political systems from the time Muslims arrived there; Turkic invasions; the urban revolution 13-14C; major Islamic dynasties, especially the Delhi Sultanate; Indian Sufi mysticism; Bhakti mysticism; the cosmopolitan Vijayanagara Empire; the Mughals; imperial decentralization; the rise of regional political systems; early Europeans in South Asia; establishment of English domination of the maritime provinces and hegemony over some hinterland states; beginnings of the British Raj. Emphasis will be on cultural and intellectual as well as political history, on major ethnic and confessional identities within India, and on the South as well as the North.   Our geographical spread is modern Afghanistan to East Bengal, and Kashmir to Ceylon, with a lecture-discussion format, student participation, audio-visual materials, frequent handouts of study aids, and a free-wheeling narrative style.

ITAL 3110: Medieval and Renaissance Masterpieces
Enrico Cesaretti
TR 12:30-1:45

Introduction to relevant Italian medieval and renaissance literary works. Prerequisites: ITAL 2020. (SIS)

ITTR 2260: Dante in Translation
Deborah Parker
MWF 1:00-1:50

Close reading of Dante’s masterpiece, The Inferno. Lectures focus on Dante’s social, political, and cultural world. Incorporates The World of Dante: A Hypermedia Archive for the Study of the Inferno, and a pedagogical and research website (www.iath.virginia/dante), that offers a wide range of visual material related to The Inferno. (SIS)

JPTR 3010: Survey of Traditional Japanese Literature
Gustav Heldt
TR 3:30-4:45

This course provides an introduction to Japanese literature from earliest times through to the nineteenth century. We will read selections from representative texts and genres, including myth, poetry, prose fiction, memoir literature, drama, and works of criticism. No knowledge of Japanese culture or language is required. (SIS)

JPTR 3020: The Tale of Genji
Gustav Heldt
TR 3:30-4:45

This course is devoted to an in-depth examination of Japan’s most renowned work of literature and the world’s first novel. Prior exposure to Japanese literature is encouraged but not required. (SIS)

LATI 3559: The Latin Bible
Gregory Hays
TR 9:30-10:45

Readings from the Latin Bible, beginning with selections from narrative books (e.g., Genesis, Acts) and progressing to more elaborate and poetic portions (e.g., Psalms, Job, Song of Songs). Readings will be taken mainly from the Vulgate, but we will look briefly at the Old Latin versions and at modern English translations. We will also consider some medieval Bible manuscripts, including several in Special Collections at UVA.

MEST 2600: Major Dimensions of Classical-Medieval Arab-Islamic Civilization
Ahmad Obiedat
T 6:00-8:30

Introducing the cultural dimensions of Classical and Medieval Arab-Islamic Civilization (600-1400 CE). We will study how Arabs approach their worldly life and pleasures through literature; organize their social domain by ethical-law; construct their spirituality and worldview through religion; react to nature by science; and attempt to resolve the internal and external inconsistencies of their culture through theology, philosophy and mysticism. (SIS)

MSP 3801 Colloquium in Medieval Studies
Gregory Hays
TR 3:30-4:45

This course is a general introduction to the Middle Ages. An important component will be guest lectures by various members of the UVA medieval faculty, along with field trips to Special Collections and the Fralin Art Museum. Topics typically covered include: saints’ lives, manuscript culture, chivalry, romances, monasticism, heresy, art and architecture, the reception of Greece & Rome, and the Middle Ages beyond Western Europe. We will wind up the semester by reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, a murder mystery set in a 14th-century Italian monastery. The Colloquium is required for Medieval Studies majors but no previous knowledge is assumed and students from all fields are very welcome.

PERS 3230: Introduction to Classical Persian Literature
Alireza Korangy
TR 2:00-3:15

A comprehensive, historical introduction to Persian poetry and prose from the 10th to the 18th centuries. Emphasizing the history and development of Persian poetry and prose, this advanced-level language course introduces various formal elements of Persian literary tradition. It analyzes literary texts and explores the linguistic structure, fine grammatical points, and syntactic intricacies of classical Persian. Prerequisite: PERS 2020 or equivalent, or instructor permission. (SIS)

PHIL 2110: History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval
Jorge Secada
MW 1:00-1:50

Survey of the history of philosophy from the Pre-Socratic period through the Middle Ages. (SIS)

PLCP 4260: Origins of Legal Systems
Deborah Boucoyannis
M 6:30-9:00

Political scientists and economists have explored the importance of legal systems for economic and political development, especially for property rights and institutions. But the causal logic of such theories is marred by a poor understanding of the origins and preconditions of legal systems. This course compares the historical origins of common and civil law traditions in medieval Europe, to offer better microfoundations for these theories. (SIS)

PLPT 3010: Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
Colin Bird
MW 9:00-9:50 + section

Studies the development of political theory from Greek antiquity through the medieval period. (SIS)

RELC 2050: Rise of Christianity
Karl Shuve
MW 11:00-11:50

How did a movement that began as a Jewish sect become the official religion of the Roman Empire and forever change the world? In this course, we will trace Christianity’s improbable rise to religious and cultural dominance in the Mediterranean world during the first millennium of the Common Era. We will examine archaeological remains, artistic creations and many different kinds of writings—including personal letters, stories of martyrs and saints, works of philosophy and theology, and even gospels that were rejected for their allegedly heretical content—as we reimagine and reconstruct the lives and struggles of early and medieval Christians. Our goal will be to understand the development of Christian thought, the evolution of the Church as an institution, and how Christianity was lived out and practiced by its adherents.

RELI 2070: Classical Islam
Ahmed Al-Rahim
MW 10:00-10:50 + section

This course is intended to trace the history and development of the religion of Islam and the Muslim world in the classical period, roughly dating from the 7th to 13th centuries C.E. We will examine through readings of the primary (in translation) and relevant secondary sources: (1) the biography of Muhammad, Islam’s prophet, and the history of his successors, the caliphs, and Islamic dynasties; (2) the history and themes of the Koran, Islam’s scripture, and its exegesis; (3) the hadith, or the sayings attributed to Muhammad, his companions, and his progeny, and the development of Islamic schools of law; (4) the history of Islamic creeds, theology, and philosophy; (5) sectarian history, the Sunni and Shi’a chasm, and Sufism, or Islamic mysticism; and (6) the daily life and rituals of medieval Muslims and their relations with the “People of the Book,” i.e., Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians.

SPAN 3400: Survey of Spanish Literature I (Middle Ages to 1700)
Ricardo Padron
TR 12:30-1:45

Prerequisite: SPAN 3010 and 3300, or departmental placement. (SIS)

SPAN 4520: Sepharad: Iberian Jews, Conversos, and the Sephardic Diaspora
Alison Weber
MWF 12:00-12:50

The history of the Sephardim (defined broadly to include individuals of Ibero-Jewish origin, whether they self-identified as Jews, Muslims, or Christians) is truly global. Before 1491, Jews, although a small minority, played a significant role in the cultural life of Islamic and Christian Spain. After their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497, the Sephardim traveled throughout the Mediterranean, north into Europe, across the oceans to the Americas, the Far East, and Africa, sometimes maintaining ties with or returning to the peninsula. The history of the Sephardim and the Sephardic diaspora raises a number of issues that are the subject of intense inquiry and debate today: the origins of anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism, and racism; the role of religion in state formation; torture and juridical confession; the dynamics of conversion; the origins of religious tolerance; the role of supersessionist theology in Jewish/Christian relations; and the labile nature of religious and ethnic identities. The course, taught in English, will be interdisciplinary—we will study legal, religious, literary, and historical documents and address theological, historical, ethical, anthropological, and aesthetic questions, focusing mainly on the 13th through the 17th centuries. Several short papers and an original research paper. Spanish majors will be expected to write one of the short papers in Spanish. No previous knowledge of Spanish is necessary for non-Spanish majors. Distinguished Majors and graduate students who enroll under the 5559 rubric will be expected to write a more extensive research paper.

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Graduate (5000-level and up)

[NB: Some 5000-level courses may be open to undergraduates]

ARAH 5585: Art and Religion on the Silk Road
Dorothy Wong
T 6:00-8:30

This seminar examines the religions and art forms that flourished and were transmitted along the Silk Road between the first and fourteenth centuries CE. Topics include art and religion pertaining to Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaenism, and Christianity; comparative topics in medieval Christianity and Buddhism; nomadic art forms; trade goods; and important sites that stretch from Samarkand to the Tarim Basin, Dunhuang, Chang’an, and Nara.

ENMD 5010: Introduction to Old English
Peter Baker
MWF 10:00-10:50

Studies the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England. (SIS)

ENMD 8850: Mapping the Middle Ages
A.C. Spearing
TR 5:00-6:15

The medieval period has often been imagined only as a monolithic “other” from which the variety and freedom of modernity ultimately emerged. Medieval culture is indeed often exotically other but it is far from monolithic, and the aim of this course is map it more accurately, through the study of writings in verse, prose, and drama, from England and continental Europe, and from the twelfth century to the fifteenth, so as to reveal its literary, intellectual and spiritual variety and dynamism. The approach will be transnational and interdisciplinary, and the overlapping topics to be explored will include:
varieties of narrative form; varieties of love, sacred and profane; encounters with other cultures and other worlds, real and imagined; regional culture (art and writing in late-medieval East Anglia); and the Middle Ages as a theoretical construct. English verse texts (including Chaucer, the Gawain-poet, some romances, and some plays) will be read in the original, most others in translation. Requirements: an oral presentation, two papers, a final exam.

ENMD/ENCR 9500: Premodern Ecologies: Theory, Thought, Text
Bruce Holsinger
TR 12:30-1:45

This graduate seminar will explore the relationship between literature and ecology, with particular emphasis on the literary culture of medieval and early modern England. We’ll read a variety of primary sources–lyrics, dream visions, plays, estate records and inventories–as well as an array of recent theoretical and methodological works in historical ecology, the new ecological studies, and vital materialism. Emphasis will be on discussion and close reading, and no background in medieval and Renaissance studies is necessary.

FREN 5011: Old French
Amy Ogden
M 1:00-1:50

Introduction to reading Old French, with consideration of its main dialects (Ile-de-France, Picard, Anglo-Norman) and paleographical issues.  May be taken in conjunction with FREN 5100/8510 or independently.  Weekly reading exercises, a transcription and translation exercise, and a final open-book exam.  Prerequisite: good reading knowledge of modern French, Latin or another romance language.  Taught in English.

FREN 5100/8510: Medieval Literature in Modern French I
Amy Ogden
MW 2:00-3:15

Based on topics and works of both current and enduring interest to scholars, this course will allow participants to gain general knowledge of literature composed in French from 880 until about 1250 as well as to explore the most recent developments in the field. Students are encouraged to contact the professor with suggestions for texts and/or subjects.  In the course of discussing secondary readings and of preparing the assignments (an oral presentation and a seminar paper), we will consider matters of professional development. Reading knowledge of modern French required.

HIEU 5559 : The Early Medieval Mediterranean (700-1000)
Paul Kershaw
T 6:00-8:30

This course examines the political, social and cultural history of the Mediterranean from the age of the early Islamic conquests to the era of the German emperor Otto III (996 – 1002), the Byzantine emperor Basil II ‘the Bulgar Slayer’ (976-1025) and the fragmentation of the Abbasid caliphate. We will examine both current scholarship on the history of the Mediterranean, the movement of goods, ideas and people, as well as the political history of these centuries. The work of archaeologists will come under scrutiny as much as that of historians who primarily engage texts. While the initial phase of the class will address the Mediterranean as a notional whole, later classes will focus upon a series of historical issues and evidential clusters that eschew conventional frameworks of periodization and area study in favour of zones of connection and interaction. Early medieval Spain, the culture of Christian and Islamic Cordoba will come under examination; so, too, will the nature of diplomatic relations between the eastern and western empires and the attitudes that underpinned them, the city of Rome in the early Middle Ages, ninth-century southern Italy and the eastern Byzantine frontier zones of the tenth century. We will read the accounts of pilgrims and diplomats (Bernard the Monk, John of Gorze, Liudprand of Cremona), look at the movement of relics from north Africa to ninth-century Europe, and read accounts often overlooked by contemporary historians of the diverse and complex worlds of the medieval Mediterranean, such as the History of the Lombards of Benevento of Erchempert of Benevento (ob. ?889) and the History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria by Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ (ob. 987).

This class is intended for upper level undergraduates with the relevant background of study and pre-ABD graduate students in History and other related disciplines. It proceeds by discussion. In addition to participating in ongoing class discussion and providing critical leadership on specific works or issues through pre-circulated questions and textual commentaries students will write a 7000 word research paper on a subject arising from the class.

This class is not intended as an introduction to the period and is not suitable for students lacking demonstrable experience of studying the history of the period. Prerequisite class experience for undergraduates includes, but is not limited to: HIEU 2061, HIME 2001, HIEU 3131.

ITAL 7375: Three Crowns of Florence: Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio
Deborah Parker
W 3:30-6:00

Focuses on masterpieces of Florence’s three luminaries: Dante’s Commedia, Boccaccio’s Decameron, and Petrarch’s Rime sparse and the critical traditions surrounding these works. Prerequisite: permission of instructor if student does not know Italian. (SIS)

JPTR 5210: The Tale of Genji
Gustav Heldt
TR 3:30-4:45

This course is devoted to an in-depth examination of Japan’s most renowned work of literature and the world’s first novel. Topics covered will include: material culture (architecture, clothing, gardens); political and social history; gender and class; marriage customs; poetry and poetics; the arts (music, perfume, painting, etc.); and religious beliefs (in particular spirit possession) among others. (SIS)

MEST 6600: Major Dimensions of Classical-Medieval Arab-Islamic Civilization
Ahmad Obiedat
T 6:00-8:30

Introducing the cultural dimensions of Classical and Medieval Arab-Islamic Civilization (600-1400 CE). We will study how Arabs approach their worldly life and pleasures through literature; organize their social domain by ethical-law; construct their spirituality and worldview through religion; react to nature by science; and attempt to resolve the internal and external inconsistencies of their culture through theology, philosophy and mysticism. (SIS)

PERS 5230: Introduction to Classical Persian Literature
Alireza Korangy
TR 2:00-3:15

A comprehensive, historical introduction to Persian poetry and prose from the 10th to the 18th centuries. Emphasizing the history and development of Persian poetry and prose, this advanced-level language course introduces various formal elements of Persian literary tradition. It analyzes literary texts and explores the linguistic structure, fine grammatical points, and syntactic intricacies of classical Persian. Prerequisite: PERS 2020 or equivalent. (SIS)

RELC 5685: Orthodoxy and Heresy
Karl Shuve
M 3:30-6:00
This seminar traces the making of Christian ‘orthodoxy’ in Late Antiquity. Our focus will be debates concerning the doctrines of God and Christ, which we will place in their historical, philosophical and exegetical contexts. Our study is informed by the move in modern scholarship towards anti-essentialist notions of orthodoxy and heresy, and so we will be attentive to the myriad ways in which early Christians sought to authorize their own views.

RELI 5559: Virtue and Knowledge in Islam
Ahmed Al-Rahim
T 6:00-8:30

This seminar explores medieval manuals of virtue ethics in the traditional religious sciences, primarily Islamic law, and philosophy.

SPAN 5559: Sepharad: Iberian Jews, Conversos, and the Sephardic Diaspora
Alison Weber
MWF 12:00-12:50

The history of the Sephardim (defined broadly to include individuals of Ibero-Jewish origin, whether they self-identified as Jews, Muslims, or Christians) is truly global. Before 1491, Jews, although a small minority, played a significant role in the cultural life of Islamic and Christian Spain. After their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497, the Sephardim traveled throughout the Mediterranean, north into Europe, across the oceans to the Americas, the Far East, and Africa, sometimes maintaining ties with or returning to the peninsula. The history of the Sephardim and the Sephardic diaspora raises a number of issues that are the subject of intense inquiry and debate today: the origins of anti-Judaism, anti-Semitism, and racism; the role of religion in state formation; torture and juridical confession; the dynamics of conversion; the origins of religious tolerance; the role of supersessionist theology in Jewish/Christian relations; and the labile nature of religious and ethnic identities. The course, taught in English, will be interdisciplinary—we will study legal, religious, literary, and historical documents and address theological, historical, ethical, anthropological, and aesthetic questions, focusing mainly on the 13th through the 17th centuries. Several short papers and an original research paper. Spanish majors will be expected to write one of the short papers in Spanish. No previous knowledge of Spanish is necessary for non-Spanish majors. Distinguished Majors and graduate students who enroll under the 5559 rubric will be expected to write a more extensive research paper.

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Of Related Interest

ARH 5500/ARAH 5559: A Critical Approach to Digital Humanities
Lisa Reilly
W 2:00-4:30

We will critically assess the role of digital humanities in art and architectural history through an analysis of digital projects as well as tools.  Readings will be selected from critical texts such as Thomas DeCosta Kaufmann’s Towards a Geography of Art and Marvin Trachtenberg’s Building in Time. The course will also include workshops on topics such as viewshed analysis, thick mapping, and 3d visualizations. Students will be required to do assigned weekly readings and one major research project applying a selection of the tools demonstrated in class workshops.

ENCR 5650: Books as Physical Objects
David Vander Meulen
MW 11:00-12:15

Surveys bookmaking over the past five centuries. Emphasizes analysis and description of physical features and consideration of how a text is affected by the physical conditions of its production.