Courses - Spring 2018

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


ANTH 420.001 - Bronze and Iron Age Europe
James L. Boone
MWF 11–11:50.

 A lecture based survey of European prehistory from about 2500 BCE to the beginning of the Current Era.  Topics will include: the Bronze Age in the Aegean, the beginnings of bronze and iron metallurgy in Europe, the Urnfield phenomenon, the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures of central Europe and the question of the Celts, the cultural influence of the Scythians and other steppe nomad cultures, the Bronze and Iron Age cultures of Iberia and the British Isles, the Iron Age bog bodies of northwestern Europe, and the Iron Age origins of Classical Greece and Rome. Grading will be based on three in-class exams and a final. Prerequisites: Upper division standing.

Art History

ARTH 322.001 - High Medieval Art
Justine Andrews
TR 2:00–3:15

The period of 1000–1400 C.E. in Western Europe has been marked by extraordinary achievements in architecture, metalwork, manuscript painting and sculpture. This course will explore this period in the history of art as a time of diversity. The Romanesque and Gothic periods are diverse both in their regional variants of certain styles, as well as influences, which include far more than a simple wholesale adoption of Ancient Roman artistic and architectural techniques. We will examine the architectural innovations of the period as they appear in both religious and secular contexts.


ENGL 248.001 - Magical Medievalisms
Dalicia Raymond
MWF 2:00–2:50

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
MWF 12:00–12:50

This course is designed as an introductory survey to the literary works produced in England in the Middle Ages, c. 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 351.001 - Chaucer
Nicholas Schwartz
MWF 10:00–10:50

This course focuses on The Canterbury Tales, the final work and masterpiece of Geoffrey Chaucer, one of the greatest and most important writers in English. A mix of the bawdy and the chaste, the sacred and the profane, the high- and the low-class, amongst other dichotomies, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is a work that provides its readers with a host of personalities, literary conventions, styles, and much, much more. All primary texts will be read in Chaucer’s Middle English, though students do not need to have any experience with the language in order to take this course. Chaucer wrote during the fourteenth century—a time of great tumult, including famine, plague, political uprising, and religious rebellion. We will consider the Canterbury Tales in light of this complicated historical context while also paying attention to the long and rich history of scholarly criticism on the Tales. Coursework and assignments are designed to develop knowledge of the conventions of medieval English poetry, a competence in Middle English, and to recognize Chaucer’s contributions to English language and literature.

English 449.001 - Middle English Language
Anita Obermeier
R 4:00–6:30

This course provides an introduction to those principal dialects of Middle English, demonstrated by selected readings, in the context of the development of the language from Old English to Early Modern English (c. 1150–1500). We will be looking at the language both diachronically (the historical development) and synchronically (the differentiation of dialect features at a given time). The primary goal of the course is to familiarize students with the range of texts available in different dialects during the period. Students should, for example, be able at the end of the course to read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in the original North-West Midlands dialect with a full appreciation of the contribution of the language to the artistry of the poem, and to recognize its difference from the London dialect of Chaucer. Assignments will include take-home exercises, a midterm, a final, and a group translation project.


History 304.001 - High and Late Middle Ages
Sarah Davis-Secord    
TR 12:30–1:45

The later centuries of the Middle Ages saw dramatic developments in western Europe and notable conflicts with societies on its borders. The papacy grew into a powerful institution, the boundaries and administrative systems of European countries coalesced, Christian states expanded into the Mediterranean and attacked the Middle East, and internal movements brought both reform and dissent in matters of Church and State. Themes we will consider in this semester are the  crystallization of national, religious, and ethnic identities in western  Europe, the conflict between papacy and secular leaders, the  intellectual developments associated with universities and novel religious movements, the creation and expansion of Europe’s  borders, and the confrontation between western Christendom and the  Islamic world during the Crusades. 

History 402.001 - Medieval Crusade and Jihad
Sarah Davis-Secord                                                               
TR 9:30–10:45

This course will provide a history of the crusading movement of Western Europe (ca. 1095–1291 C.E.) and its impact on the civilizations of the medieval  West and Middle East. Course material will address both the events and long-term legacies of the Crusades and counter-crusades (jihad) as well as the histories of the peoples and ideas involved. Students will be asked to reflect on the following questions, as presented in  lectures, readings, discussions, and writing assignments: What were the  motivations of the Christian crusaders? How did the Muslims and Jews of the Middle East view the Crusades, and how did  they respond to them? In what ways did the prolonged contact between these two major civilizations affect the societies, religions, and economies of each?