||The Stage and the City: Performance and Daily Life in Renaissance London
Between the years 1500 and 1660, London developed into an urban superpower. By 1660, London was boasting a population of 350,000, which was nearly six times its population in the early sixteenth century (~60,000). This course asks what it was like to live in London as it evolved into something equal parts new, exciting, and frightening. We will be considering this question through three city comedies set in London and written between 1609 and 1640. City comedies are particularly good at detailing the perils, thrills, and novel sensoria of an expanding metropolis. We will use these plays as a testing ground to articulate for ourselves what central issues have been raised by London-living over the centuries. What was it like to go to an early iteration of a shopping mall? How were categories of disability, race, gender, and sexuality negotiated through this dense and diverse population? How have city dwellers dealt with plague or famine? Students will be asked to use the issues drawn from this historical context to formulate their own research project about any period of London's history. Throughout the course, the class will take field trips to London neighborhoods, an archive, a theatre performance, and several museums. By engaging with the resources and experiences available in 21st-century London, students will use their imagination and research skills to travel back in time and discover the various "Londons" that have emerged over this city's history.
*This course is a part of the 2021 London: British Literature and Culture study abroad program.*
Equivalent Course: ENGL 23304
Building Renaissance Italy: A Survey of the Built Environment
This introductory course surveys the major patrons, architects, and building programs that defined the spatial contexts of the Renaissance in Italy. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, the political aspirations of governments, popes, princes, and merchants demanded a more articulated architectural environment that would facilitate increasingly complex modes of public and private life. They were aided in this endeavor by the emergence of a newly professionalized class of architects, who turned their eyes towards both a systematic study of the classical past and a critical assessment of their contemporary world. Renaissance urban palaces—both civic and private—and rural villas provided the stages upon which a new art of living could be performed. New inventions in military engineering responded to rapidly advancing technologies of warfare. Urban planning techniques created new topographies of spiritual and political triumph and reform, while treatises on ideal cities laid the foundations for the modern integrated multi-functional city. Between Venice, Florence, Rome, and their rural surroundings, this course will focus on a range of important patrons such as Roman popes, Venetian doges, princely courts, and private merchants, and will explore what made the works of such architects as Filippo Brunelleschi, and Andrea Palladio so creative, innovative, and influential well into our own contemporary architectural landscape.
||The Art of Leonardo da Vinci
The central focus of this course will be on the small, damaged and disputed body of paintings that Leonardo has left to us, the wealth of his drawings that help us make sense of that problematic heritage and provide the most direct route into his creative thinking, and the hundreds of pages of text in the form of notes that comment on art and many other subjects. Our structure will be roughly chronological, including his late fifteenth-century Florentine artistic and social context, his two long periods in Milan as a court artist, his triumphant return to Florence and rivalry with Michelangelo, and the little known, mythic final years in France. Among the themes that will be critically examined are: Leonardo's role in the creation of what is still grandiosely called the High Renaissance; the value and problematic aspects of thinking of him as the quintessential artist-scientist; the significance of the fact that he has been a figure of such obsessive art-historical and broader cultural significance for over 500 years; the ways in which recent scientific and digital imaging have shed new light on his art. Through the concentrated art-historical material studied, the course will attempt to introduce students with little or no background in art history to some of the major avenues for interpretation in this field, including formal, stylistic, iconographical, psychological, social, feminist, theoretical and reception. Readings are chosen with that diversity in mind.
Equivalent Course: FNDL 21414
||Introductory Biblical Hebrew I
||This course is the first of a two-quarter sequence designed to introduce students to the language of biblical Hebrew, with special emphasis on the fundamentals of its morphology, syntax, and vocabulary. The course follows a standard textbook supplemented by lectures, exercises, and oral drills aimed at refining the student’s grasp of grammatically sound interpretation and translation. At the conclusion of the two-quarter sequence students will be prepared to take a biblical Hebrew reading course in the spring quarter
||Introductory Koine Greek I
In this two-course sequence, students will learn the basic mechanics of Koine Greek and begin reading texts from the Greek New Testament and Septuagint. The autumn course and the first three-fourths or so of the winter course will introduce the vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and style of the Greek New Testament, and to a limited degree those of the Septuagint, after which point we will focus on reading and interpreting a New Testament document in Greek at length. Upon the conclusion of the sequence, students will be able to read and comprehend entire passages of Koine Greek text with the aid of a dictionary. This sequence aims to prepare students to successfully participate in a Greek exegesis course
||Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization I: Greek and Roman Science
This undergraduate core course represents the first quarter of the Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization sequence. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This quarter will focus on aspects of ancient Greek and Roman intellectual history, their perceived continuities or discontinuities with modern definitions and practices of science, and how they were shaped by the cultures, politics, and aesthetics of their day. Topics surveyed include history writing and ancient science, the cosmos, medicine and biology, meteorology, ethnography and physiognomics, arithmetic and geometry, mechanics, taxonomy, optics, astronomy, and mechanical computing.
Equivalent Course: HIST 17310
||History of European Civilization I
||The first part of the sequence examines the period from approximately 500 to 1700 in European history. It challenges students to question two-dimensional, rigid narratives about the fall of Rome, the Dark Ages, the Renaissance and Reformation, and the early Enlightenment by reading historical sources with empathy and attention to their authors' own perspectives. For example, we explore the entanglement of the political, economic, and religious by reading a chronicle written by a monk; we examine gender relations and daily life by reading men's and women's personal letters; and we investigate the earliest contacts between Europeans and the peoples of the Americas by reading eyewitness accounts of their interactions. In the process of recovering the lived experiences of medieval and early modern Europeans, the course engages with the sophisticated societies and cultures of premodern Europe, which many subsequent generations post-1700 would come to label backwards and uncivilized.
||Introduction to Russian Civilization I
||W. Nickells & Staff
The first quarter covers the ninth century to the 1870s; the second quarter continues on through the post-Soviet period. Working closely with a variety of primary sources-from oral legends to film and music, from political treatises to literary masterpieces-we will track the evolution of Russian civilization over the centuries and through radically different political regimes. Topics to be discussed include the influence of Byzantine, Mongol-Tataric, and Western culture in Russian civilization; forces of change and continuity in political, intellectual and cultural life; the relationship between center and periphery; systems of social and political legitimization; and symbols and practices of collective identity.
Equivalent Course(s): REES 26011, SOSC 24000
||Writing Christian Poetry
||R. Fulton Brown
Christianity begins with God's creative Word: "In the beginning was the Word." This course approaches the study of Christian poetry as an exercise in creativity, encouraging students to explore the history of Christianity as an expression of the poetic imagination. Readings will be taken from across the ancient, medieval, and modern Christian tradition, focusing particularly on works originally written in Old, Middle or modern English as models for writing our own poems, but drawing on a wide range of exegetical, liturgical, and visionary works to support appreciation of the symbolism and narrative embedded in these models. Is there such a thing as a distinctively Christian perspective on history, morality, beauty, and art? What role does irony play? Is Christian poetry fundamentally tragic or comic? What is the relationship between Christianity and culture?
Equivalent Courses: HCHR 32122, RLST 27517
||The course will emphasize the development of Latin handwriting, primarily as book scripts, from its origins to the waning of the Carolingian minuscule, ca. AD 1100. By mastering the foundational types of writing, the students will develop skills for reading all Latin-based scripts, including those used for vernacular languages and the subsequent Gothics and their derivatives down to the sixteenth century.
||Introduction to African Civilization I
African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part one considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic World. We will study the empires of Ghana and Mali, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and medieval Ethiopia. We will also explore the expansion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Equivalent Courses: ANTH 20701, HIST 10101, CRES 20701
||Islamic Thought and Literature I
||A. El Shamsy
This sequence explores the thought and literature of the Islamic world from the coming of Islam in the seventh century C.E. through the development and spread of its civilization in the medieval period and into the modern world. Including historical framework to establish chronology and geography, the course focuses on key aspects of Islamic intellectual history: scripture, law, theology, philosophy, literature, mysticism, political thought, historical writing, and archaeology. In addition to lectures and secondary background readings, students read and discuss samples of key primary texts, with a view to exploring Islamic civilization in the direct voices of the people who participated in creating it. All readings are in English translation. No prior background in the subject is required. This course sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.
Equivalent Courses: HIST 25610, SOSC 22000, NEHC 20601, RLST 20401
||Jewish and Islamic Ethics in al-Andalus
||J. Robinson and Y. Casewit
This course will include readings in Jewish and Islamic ethics from al-Andalus and the Maghrib with a focus on the writings of Maimonides (d. 1204) -- especially his "Eight Chapters" and Commentary on Avot (completed in the 1160s) and Ibn al-Mar'a of Malaga (d. 1214) -- especially his commentary on Ibn al-'Arif.
Equivalent Courses: HIJD 34592, ISLM 34592, RETH 34592, RLST 24592
The concept of ecstasy is often associated with an extraordinary experience of the philosophical, sexual, and religious varieties, but in what way is ecstasy also bound to rituals of the ordinary? In this course we will explore numerous ways that ecstasy and synonymous terms like “orgasm,” “bliss,” and “jouissance” have been conceptualized in philosophical, theological, and literary texts from late antiquity to the present. What does the figural relationship between ecstasy and orgasm suggest about the broader relationship between philosophy, theology, sexuality, and desire? What role do pleasure and pain play in philosophical and theological reflection? How has ecstasy been deployed both as a form of political resistance and as complicit in the perpetuation of histories of violence? Focusing on the Christian tradition and its impact on queer theory, our readings may include, but are not limited to, texts by Plotinus, Pseudo-Dionysius, Margaret Ebner, Hadewijch, Margery Kempe, Teresa of Ávila, Lacan, Glück, Edelman, and Muñoz.
Equivalent Courses: CMLT 26102/36102
||Buddhist Poetry in India
The substantial Buddhist contribution to Indian poetry is of interest for what it teaches us of both Buddhism and the broad development of Indian literature. The present course will focus upon three phases in this history, with attention to what changes of language and literary genre tell us of the transformations of Indian religious culture from the last centuries B.C.E. to about the year 1000. Readings (all in translation) will include the Therīgāthā, a collection of verses written in Pali and the most ancient Indian example of womens’ literature, selections from the work of the great Sanskrit poets Aśvaghoṣa, Āryaśūra, and Mātṛceta, and the mystical songs, in the Apabhraṃśa language, of the Buddhist tantric saints.
Prerequisite: General knowledge of Buddhism is desirable
Equivalent Courses: DVPR 34300, SALC 34300, HREL 34300, RLST 26250, RLVC 34300
||Padavali: Vernacular Poetics in Eastern South Asia (ca. 14th-18th AD)
Padavali (vernacular lyric poetry) is one of the threads that tied together the cultural region of eastern India from Tripura to Bihar, and from Assam to Odisha. In this course, we will study the making of this tradition rooted in the courtly poems of Vidyapati (ca. 1370-1460, Mithila) and follow its spread in Nepal, Assam, Bengal, and Odisha. We will discuss the very close relation between form and content in this poetic tradition that was closely connected with music. We will also study the expressive use of a complex prosodic system that was never described in the form of treatises and the many debates around the trans-regional aspects of Brajabuli as an artificial vernacular poetic idiom. Moreover, we will compare padavali literature with other premodern traditions from Medieval Europe, especially Old Occitan troubadour poetry and lyric poetry in Andalusian Arabic. This comparative approach is motivated by the many parallels one can observe between Medieval southern Europe and eastern South Asia, starting with the conscious crafting of lyric vernacular traditions in multilingual contexts against the background of classical literary cultures.
Prerequisite: Two years of Bengali, or Hindi, or Sanskrit (with some basic knowledge of Middle Indic [Prakrit/Apabhramsha])
Equivalent Course: SALC 26250/46250
||Aquinas on Justice
We will work through as much as we can of Aquinas’s so-called Treatise on Justice — Summa theologiae II-II, qq. 57-79 — with the help of other passages from him and from his sources, especially Aristotle
Equivalent Course: FNDL 24304
||Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
Critical introduction to the genres, ideas, styles, and formation of the Hebrew Bible (the ancient Jewish treasury of literature from Israel, Judea, and Babylonia), framed by ancient comparative material and modern literary theory.
Equivalent Courses: NEHC 30504, HIJD 31004, BIBL 31000, NEHC 20504, JWSC 20120
||Islamicate Civilization I: 600-950
||A. El Shamsy
This course covers the rise and spread of Islam, the Islamic empire under the Umayyad and early Abbasid caliphs, and the emergence of regional Islamic states from Afghanistan and eastern Iran to North Africa and Spain. The main focus will be on political, economic and social history.
Equivalent Course: ISLM 30201
||The Apostolic Fathers
This course focuses on the general body of works whose authors are collectively known as the Apostolic Fathers, a remarkable group of theologians who lived and wrote during the late first and second centuries AD, immediately after the New Testament. Among the works and writers whom we will consider are the Didache, Clement of Rome (1 Clement), Ignatius of Antioch, and, as time permits, Diognetus or 2 Clement. We will carefully read the Greek text, with careful attention to the style of the Greek, how it compares to that of the New Testament, and its relationship to other important materials such as the Septuagint and the Greco-Egyptian papyri. This was a period of amazing ferment and intellectual diversity. Since no rigid standard of orthodoxy had yet been set, a wide array of ideas were put forth and examined on the theological market place. We will focus on the exegetical methods of Biblical interpretation used by the Fathers, their reflections on the person and work of Jesus, and their ideas on the structure and mission of the emerging Church as the body of Christ.
Prerequisite: Two years of Greek required.
Equivalent Courses: BIBL 47500, GREK 25700, GREK 35700
||History, Religion, and Politics in Augustine's City of God
||M. Allen and W. Otten
||Augustine's City of God is a major work of history, politics, and religion. Written after Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410, the work begins as an apologia (justification) of the empire's turn to Christianity and expands to offer a sweeping and deeply theological account of human history and society in terms of earth-bound versus heaven-centered community. Augustine's citizenship and politics entails living out membership in either fellowship while commingled on earth with the other. Augustine analyzes Roman history and politics as well as the new religion first encouraged and eventually imposed in the wake of Constantine's conversion. We shall read the entire work in translation, attending to historical observations, political stances, and religious views. Augustine made arguments of his own but saved huge swaths of Varro and other otherwise lost sources to fashion his historical critique of Rome, social analysis, and many ultimately fresh views on matters like human sexuality in paradise and in heaven.
||N. Blanco Mourelle
The Inquisition was, if not the most important juridical and religious institution of premodern Iberia, certainly the most emblematic. In truth, there was not one Inquisition, but many. Without them, terms such as heresy, conversion, or auto-da-fé would not have the currency they do today. These terms are best understood as tools for the disciplining of religious communities and the controlling of the circulation of ideas. This is a class designed to help students understand the Inquisition as a complex historical phenomenon that left a rich archive where anthropological research and theological debate were made to coexist.
Note: Taught in Spanish
Equivalent course: SPAN 35605