Courses - Spring 2019

To download a PDF of the current course brochure, click here.


Art History 

ARTH 431.001
Byzantine Art and Architecture
Justine Andrews
TR 9:30–10:45

The arts of Byzantium are perhaps the most treasured and debated of all time. From the essential and pivotal Iconoclastic controversy to the abduction of many Byzantine reliquaries and manuscripts by Crusaders in the thirteenth century, the Byzantine tradition has shaped much of how we view and discuss art, especially religious imagery, today. This course will explore the worship and display of art and architecture from the Byzantine Empire with a specific emphasis on the cross-cultural connections among Byzantium, medieval Europe, the Islamic world, and the Armenian kingdom. The course will follow a chronological path, beginning with early Christian art and highlighting specific topics along the way. These will include: icons, church decoration, the imperial image, manuscripts, and luxury arts. Students will become familiar with current scholarship, as well as with the writings of contemporary Byzantines on their art. We will consider Byzantine artifacts as works of multiple meanings, examining theological, social, and political viewpoints.

English 

ENGL 347.001
Viking Mythology
Nicholas Schwartz
TR 9:30–10:45

This course is designed to comprehensively introduce students to Viking mythology. It will cover Norse ideas about the creation of the world, the end of the world, and pretty much everything in between. Students should expect to read about Odin, Thor, Loki, and a host of other characters not so well known today. In addition to these important mythological features, we will read accounts of major historical events, like the conversion to Christianity. Texts include, but are not limited to, the Poetic Edda, Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, and The Saga of the Volsungs. All primary sources will be read in English translation. Students will learn about the culture(s) that produced these wonderful stories and their specific literary conventions. This course will foster a valuable familiarity with an important mythological tradition and expose students to a variety of methods of reading its stories.

ENGL 348.001
Magical Medievalisms
Dalicia Raymond
MWF 12:00–12:50

This course will examine how medieval magic and magical figures have come to be represented in popular contemporary literature and film. Students will draw connections between the functions of magic in medieval texts and their modern adaptations, as well as look at how medieval concepts and themes involving magic have been used to develop new narratives depicting or incorporating the Middle Ages. Through examining magic in medieval texts and texts using medievalism, students will consider medieval and contemporary social attitudes and understandings of magic and those who are associated with magic.

ENGL 349.001
From Beowulf to Arthur
Lisa Myers
TR 2:00–3:15

This course is designed as an introductory survey to the literary works produced in England in the Middle Ages, ca. 700–1500. While most texts will be read in Modern English translations, class lectures will provide some background on the development of the English language. The class will focus on both the specialized terminology and literary devices particular to medieval English texts as well as the cultural, social, and political factors that influenced the development of English literature. Readings will introduce students to a wide variety of medieval genres and will include epic, lyric poetry, romance, mystical revelation, and outlaw tale as illustrated in such works as Beowulf, The Dream of the Rood, Sir Orfeo, The Showings of Julian of Norwich, and the Rhymes of Robin Hood.

ENGL 448.001
Advanced Old English
Jonathan Davis-Secord
MWF 10:00–10:50

Beowulf is the most celebrated and studied Old English poem, yet it remains ambiguous and contested. Modern scholars continue to scrutinize difficult points in the text and wrestle over approaches to the poem. This course will be devoted to a close reading of Beowulf in the original Old English, coupled with pertinent scholarship on specific points in the poem along the way. We will explore the roles of women in the text, the meanings of the monsters, the patterns of gift-giving, the linguistic intricacies of the text, and many other topics. Students will prepare translations of the poem, read secondary literature, and write a critical research paper for the semester. Prerequisite: ENGL 447 or the equivalent.

History

HIST 395.001
Medieval Travel and Travelers
Sarah Davis-Secord
TR 2:00–3:15

Exploration, survival, profit, belief: medieval people traveled for a wide variety of reasons to places both within Europe and beyond its borders. During all periods of the Middle Ages, pilgrims, merchants, preachers, warriors, and others left their homes and traveled to places both near and far. Some would return and share their impressions with others by means of geographical treatises, crusade narratives, or pilgrimage handbooks. Others, such as some crusaders, merchants, and refugees, permanently or semi-permanently relocated to a new region. In all of these cases, the act of travel involved the travelers in larger processes of interaction and exchange between cultures. In this course, we will explore the accounts of several medieval travelers with an eye to understanding how their voyages serve as examples of cultural contact, communication, exchange, or diffusion of ideas. The units will focus on different types of travel and what motivated people to travel to, from, or within various geographical regions.

HIST 401.001
Anglo-Saxon England, 450–1066
Timothy Graham
TR 9:30–10:45

This course will offer an overview of the history and culture of England from the arrival of the Angles and Saxons in the fifth century until the Battle of Hastings of 1066. These six centuries form one of the most vibrant and innovative periods of English history, when the foundations of England’s greatness were first established. We will cover such diverse topics as the pagan culture of the early Anglo-Saxons, the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial, the Irish and Roman missions to England, the Viking invasions, the military and educational campaigns of King Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon manuscript culture, and the Bayeux Tapestry. The course will center upon the interpretive study of such primary source materials as the Beowulf poem, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. There will be two papers, in-class quizzes, and a final examination.

HIST 404.001
The Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean
Sarah Davis-Secord
TR 11:00–12:15

From the ancient through the medieval period, the Mediterranean Sea was the point of intersection between the major civilizations of the age: the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek worlds that transformed into Latin Europe, the Byzantine Empire, and the Islamic world. Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Egyptians of the ancient world battled for control of the sea and its surrounding lands, while also sharing technology, culture, language, and trade goods. Medieval Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived in the Mediterranean along shifting frontiers, at times in both conflict and cooperation. In both of these eras, merchants, pilgrims, diplomats, and warriors traveled across the sea, often bringing with them cultural or economic products that contributed to a larger framework of commerce and communication. This course will examine the Mediterranean Sea region, both as a geographical concept and as a stage for such complex relationships, from the ancient through the late medieval periods. Topics running throughout the course will include the following: the creation, maintenance, and crossing of boundaries; the balance between violence and cooperation in cross-cultural dialogue; the relationships between religious minorities and their dominant society; and the commercial and cultural exchanges between the major civilizations of the Mediterranean world.

HIST 406.001
The Medieval and Modern Apocalypse
Michael A. Ryan
TR 8:00–9:15

Apocalyptic expectations and apprehensions underpin much of what constitutes “Western Civilization.” But what is the changing definition of “apocalypse”? Originally from the Greek term meaning “revelation,” the Apocalypse attributed to John the Evangelist was dependent upon longer, more historic apocalyptic traditions as well as the political and cultural contexts in which it was composed in the first century A.D. In the twenty-first century, however, apocalyptic understandings have manifested themselves in contexts surrounding notions of plague and contagion, in the fear of the alien “other,” and in ecological and environmental catastrophe, among other themes. In this class, we will analyze the changing nature of the apocalypse as a genre of historical literature. We will read traditional apocalypses within the Abrahamic faiths, trace the understanding of apocalyptic expectations and apprehensions throughout the Middle Ages and early modern era, and investigate what constitutes an apocalyptic scenario within the modern era.

Courses of Interest 

ENGL 292.001
World Literature—Ancient through the Sixteenth Century
Doaa Omran
MWF 9:00–9:50

Beginning with the earliest literatures of the ancient world, working up through the medieval period, and moving into the early modern period, this course will explore some of the key works of the world’s literatures through the seventeenth century. Placing memorable plays, poems, and works of fiction in their cultural and historical contexts, we will not only gain a greater understanding of the development of literature and literary traditions in China, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Europe, India, and the Americas, but we will gain a sense of history and a sense of the differences and similarities that shape the varieties of human experience across time and cultures. As we marvel at powerful tales about love and war, heroic journeys, spiritual pilgrimages, courtly intrigue, and colonial contact we will be alert to the varying degrees to which these works display the globalizing tendencies that have culminated in the richly diverse tapestry of the modern world. Readings will include all or parts of such works as the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Odyssey, the Ramayana, the Aeneid, and the Tale of Genji; selections from the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, Bhagavad Gita, and Qur’an; plays by Aeschylus, Kalidasa, and Shakespeare; poetry by Sappho, Catullus, Li Bai, Ono no Komachi, Petrarch, Ibn Hazm, and Farid ud-dun Attar; as well as essays, letters, and memoirs by Macchiavelli, Ibn Khaldun, Montaigne, and Columbus. Requirements will include several short papers, quizzes, and a midterm and final examination.

ENGL 294.001
Earlier English Literature
Gerard Lavin
TR 11:00–11:50

In this survey of literature from the eighth through the eighteenth centuries, we’ll read traditional texts such as Beowulf and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as well as less-known pieces such as a twelf-century romance by Marie de France and seventeenth-century poetry by Aphra Behn and John Wilmot (“Rochester”)—surprisingly modern in its graphic details about sex. We’ll make use of Norton’s Web resources to enrich our readings: for example, of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales with materials from Jewish and Muslim accounts of the Crusades, and of Olaudah Equiano’s slave narrative with eighteenth-century arguments for and against the slave trade. Central to our study will be the construction in Anglo-Saxon epic poetry of basic features of the novel, the creation in the Renaissance of sonnet form, and the eighteenth-century development of musical comedy.

HIST 395.002
Art and Culture of the Ancient World
Nikolaus Overtoom
MWF 9:00–9:50

This course will be a lecture-based survey of cultural developments throughout the ancient world, from Western Europe to the Near East and from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity. Divided into three sections, the course will provide overviews of ancient history, ancient Greek art and culture, and ancient Roman art and culture. The awe-inspiring monuments and vibrant artwork of the Greeks and Romans formed a cultural legacy that remains significant today. Influenced by several of the great civilizations of the ancient Near East, the Greeks and Romans created one of history’s greatest periods of cultural and artistic transformation and innovation.

HIST 395.003
Rome’s Emperors: The Rise and Fall of Rome’s First Imperial Family
Nikolaus Overtoom
MWF 1:00–1:50

This course will be a student-driven seminar based on readings, research, and in-class discussions of the first rulers of the Roman world and the challenges they faced. Students will investigate the numerous triumphs and catastrophes celebrated and endured by Rome’s first imperial family, the Julio-Claudian dynasty. The course will allow students to engage ancient opinions and modern arguments surrounding some of Rome’s most famous and infamous figures, including Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, and Nero, to better understand how the Julio-Claudians forged and failed the empire.

LATN 101.001
Elementary Latin I
James Patton
MWF 11:00–11:50

LATN 101.002
Elementary Latin I
Hannah Mickens
MWF 1:00–1:50

LATN 101.003
Elementary Latin I
Logan Kottler
MWF 2:00–2:50

LATN 101.004
Elementary Latin I
Lauren Alberti
MWF 10:00–10:50

LATN 102.001
Elementary Latin II
Noah Holt
MWF 10:00–10:50

LATN 202.001
Intermediate Latin II
Hannah Mickens
MWF 3:00–3:50