JANUARY TERM 2014
CLAS 3559: Medieval Manuscripts at UVA
An introduction to the study of medieval manuscripts, built around the holdings of the Small Special Collections Library at UVA. We will look at the production and use of books in medieval culture and at some particular types of manuscript (Bibles, Books of Hours). We will also consider the manuscript as an object of collecting in the modern age and the problems (including ethical issues) involved with manuscript fragments. We will conclude with the move from manuscript to print in the fifteenth century, and the impact on manuscripts of the “post-print” culture of the twenty-first. On a concrete level we will practice reading the three most common medieval script families (Carolingian, Gothic and Humanistic). Most days will include hands-on time in Special Collections. Student responsibilities will include secondary reading and some transcription exercises, plus a short (3 pp.) writing assignment. As a culminating project, each student will give a 20-minute illustrated presentation on a manuscript or fragment in the UVA collection. No previous familiarity with manuscripts is assumed. Some knowledge of Latin would be handy, but is not a prerequisite. Note that this class does not overlap with LATI 5050 (Latin Palaeography), to be offered in the spring; the two courses are best thought of as complementary and students who take CLAS 3559 would be well equipped for LATI 5050.
RELC 2559: The Spiritual Life: Visions, Contemplations, and Mystical Experiences
This course introduces students to spirituality, primarily as expressed in the Christian tradition yet with reference to other religious traditions. In particular, it concerns itself with three modes of the spiritual life: visions, contemplations, and mystical experiences. Students are invited to consider the spiritual or inner life in two ways: (a) texts, and (b) problems that arise from those texts. The main texts to be read and discussed are works by Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Meister Eckhart, and the Cloud-Author: two English authors, one Spaniard, and one German; two women and two men. Among the questions to be considered are these: What differences are there between visionary, contemplative, and mystical writings? Do all these refer to experience in the same ways? Do male and female writers speak of the same things? What sense may we give to “transcendence”? Is spiritual life at the center or at the margin of institutional religious life? Does the spiritual life in Christianity resemble in important ways the spiritual life in other world religions? Attention will also be given to historical changes in the understanding of the spiritual life, especially the formation of the modern notion of “mystical experience.”
SPRING SEMESTER 2014
Undergraduate (1000-4000 level)
ARH 3103/7103/ARTH 3559: On Haj with Ibn Jubayr: Reconstructing the 12th Century Mediterranean
Our seminar will embark on a journey around the Mediterranean with Ibn Jubayr, a twelfth century Spanish Muslim who recorded his experiences during his pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in a remarkably lively and detailed account. From his shipwreck on the coast of Sicily to his performance of the rituals associated with his visit to Mecca, Ibn Jubayr provides an unusual perspective on the built environment, culture and people he encounters throughout his travels. We will read the translation of his travels as a class with background lectures provided on the visual culture of the sites he visits, such as Palermo, Damascus, Alexandria and Mecca. Integrated with our discussion of the twelfth century travels of Ibn Jubayr will be an introduction to digital humanities tools such as Neatline ( www.neatline.org) and Google Earth which we will use to analyze the history of this critical region and its built environment.
ARTH 3151: Art and Science in the Middle Ages
During the medieval period, the Christian church exerted a hegemonic influence over all aspects of western medieval and Byzantine life. When Charlemagne was honored in 800 as the Emperor of the Romans at Saint-Peter’s church in Rome, the political implications of a union between church and government were clear. Power and knowledge relied upon the approval and support of churchmen. Rather than demonstrate a division between science and the spiritual culture of the middle ages, this unification in Christendom revealed an interpenetration of science and religion that found expression in exceptional works of art. Recent research has investigated the relationship between sacred and secular aspects of life in the Middle Ages. In this thematic survey of the kinds of artworks, which express a relationship between scientific and spiritual themes during the medieval period, we will examine objects of fine distinction, illuminated manuscripts, and building sites. Although the primary focus of this course is upon the development of western medieval Christian intellectual traditions, the myriad contributions of Arabic, Islamic, and Jewish scholars to creative and historic confrontations between science and art are everywhere celebrated. Investigated topics include medieval alchemy, astronomy, astrology, bestiaries, the construction and use of Books of Hours, calendars, celestial globes, diagrams, encyclopedias, herbals, mapmaking in the Middle Ages, medicine, monstrous races, wandering wombs, and zodiacal synagogue floor mosaics.
ARTH 3591: Monuments of Japanese Art
The course focuses on key monuments and artistic traditions that have played a central role in Japanese art and society. Topics range from art and architecture of Shinto and Buddhism of the classical period, late Heian court art, Zen paintings and garden architecture, and also decorative paintings and woodblock prints of the later period.
ARTH 4591: Paris and Prague—Twilight of the Middle Ages
Late medieval Paris and Prague were united historically and genealogically by ties between the royal families of each city and artistically by the international Gothic style of the year 1400. In this course, we will survey the transformative era of the 14th and early 15th centuries, examining what the artistic record informs us about patronage, artistic styles, everyday life, science, and courtly culture in the late medieval period.
Beginning with a brief examination of the Capetian court and Louis IX’s Sainte-Chapelle (ca. 1248), the seminar explores artistic evidence for the rise of the Valois and the social pressures or transformations which gave rise to masterful manuscripts, ascendant architecture, and intellectual innovation during their dynasty. A scholarly review of the patronage of Charles V and Jean, Duke of Berry, inter alia, provides an important introduction to key artists of the late medieval period, and focuses class discussion upon major themes of significance for the later middle ages, including courtly culture, lay literacy, the expansion of vernacular literatures, burgher domesticity, university life, mysticism and astrology, and late medieval developments in the liberal arts and theology.
Rather than focus exclusively upon the French courts linked to Valois princes, however, this course radically interrogates and reviews the relevance of outlying centers of medieval influence like Prague. The courtly culture of Prague under Charles IV of France’s nephew, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Bohemia, and his prodigal progeny, Wenceslas IV, experienced an efflorescence around the year 1400. The spiritual, intellectual, ideological, and aesthetic aspects of the Beautiful Style will be evaluated, underscoring the pivotal and central place of Prague in the development of European artistic traditions, as the sun set on the fact and fiction, framing conceptions of the medieval world.
ENMD 3110: Medieval European Literature in Translation
[Description not yet available]
ENMD 3250: Chaucer I: The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote one of the most influential collections of fiction ever published. This course introduces you to a selection of vivid Canterbury narratives, to reading and speaking Middle English, and to the literary practice of close analysis. You will learn to “explicate” short passages of text — to describe rather technically how words, images, genre, tropes, figures of speech and so forth work to produce the effects we call meaning. At the same time, we will investigate the work as a series of puzzles and thought experiments, with attention to questions of sexual difference, political society, mastery, love, violence, and consent. No previous experience with Middle English or Chaucer is required. It’s fine to take this if you’ve already had ENMD 326 (Chaucer II); this is a good course for first to fourth-years, beginners and Chaucer adepts alike. Quizzes, two exams and two short papers.
ENMD 4500/ENRN 4500: Prayer
So many of the most powerful texts of the English late middle ages and renaissance are prayers. We’ll consider prayer texts as aesthetic artifacts and also in their social context of thought, emotion, faith, equipment of various sorts (beads, tombs, incense, books, altars), postures, and architectural settings (gardens, churches, closets) during a time when they were life or death matters — from medieval England through the Reformation and into the seventeenth century. Probable authors include Chaucer, Lydgate, Mary Sidney, Philip Sidney, Spenser, Katherine Philips, Shakespeare, Donne, Herbert, Crashaw. This will be an experimental seminar, responsive to group interests, but will certainly stress learning to read texts closely in relation to the built environment — an excellent preparation for further work in poetry. Open to all, but first and second years and non-English majors should contact Prof. Fowler at email@example.com to discuss how best to make it work for you.
ENMD 4500/ENRN 4500: Fathers and Daughters, Medieval to Early Modern
In this new course we shall explore, in some works by medieval and early modern poets, the varying forms taken by the father-daughter relationship as a nexus of conflicting attitudes and emotions—authority enforced or relinquished, submission, rebellion, affection, desire. Medieval texts to be studied will include a popular romance, a saint’s life, the dream-poem Pearl, some tales by Chaucer (especially those of the Man of Law and the Physician), and some treatments of father-daughter incest by Chaucer’s contemporary John Gower. Early modern texts will include the Tudor romance The Squyr of Lowe Degre and some plays by Shakespeare (especially Pericles, King Lear, and The Tempest). We shall also consider Jacques Demy’s delightfully odd musical film version of the fairy tale Peau d’Âne (Donkey Skin), in which a princess flees from her father’s wish to marry her. Requirements: an oral presentation, a short paper, a long paper, a final exam.
FREN 4510: Advanced Topics in Medieval Literature
In the Middle Ages, stories about saints were one of the most popular forms of entertainment. Transvestism, marvelous journeys to heaven and hell, spectacular sins and helpful animals were just a few of the exciting elements the authors used to draw their audiences in. For more sophisticated readers and listeners, they offered edgy commentaries on contemporary hot topics (e.g., virginity vs. marriage) and eternal issues (e.g., the conflicting goals of parents and children). Saints’ Lives can thus tell us much not only about medieval theological concerns, but also about secular interests, literary trends, and the quest of both ecclesiastical and lay people to fulfill their spiritual and their terrestrial responsibilities. In this course, we will focus on French Lives written in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (including those of the wise Catherine of Alexandria, Marie l’Égyptienne the harlot, and Louis IX, king of France), but we will conclude with one or more recent works, such as Flaubert’s “Légende de saint Julien l’Hospitalier” or Anouilh’s Becket, to see what has become of medieval saints in the modern literary world.
Readings will be in modern French translation (with consideration of the Old French original). Requirements for the course include active participation, a short textual commentary, a research paper of 12-15 pages, and a final exam.
Pre-requisites: FREN 3032 and at least one FREN 3000-level course beyond 3032 (or the equivalent).
HIEU 3131: The World of Charlemagne
This course examines the political, social and cultural history of continental western Europe in the period c. AD 750 to 850, with a particular emphasis upon Charlemagne’s reign (769-814). Moving chronologically from the rise to dominance of the Carolingian dynasty through the formation of the Carolingian empire to Charlemagne’s imperial coronation of 800 and beyond we will explore in depth the political, religious, intellectual and economic history of the period through a mix of textual and archaeological evidence, and much current scholarship. Sources will be in English translation. The thought and works of a number of Carolingian authors, including Alcuin and Einhard will come under particular scrutiny. This class will also set the Carolingian achievement in its wider contemporary context as we examine both neighbouring polities and peoples (Saxons, Bretons, Lombards) as well as the Byzantine Empire in the age of Empress Eirene (797-802) and the early Abbasid Caliphate.
Classes will be a hybrid of lecture and discussion. Students will write two 2,000 word essays, post online annotations/commentaries to online readings as a basis for discussion through ‘NowComment’ or similar software and take a final exam.
This course meets the Second Writing Requirement. It cannot be taken C/NC.
HIEU 3231/RELC 3231: Reformation Europe
This course explores the history of religion in Europe from c. 1450 to c. 1650. At the beginning of this period, the overwhelming majority of Europeans were bound together by a commonly-held Christian culture. In the sixteenth century, these bonds were shattered as Europeans debated what “Christianity” meant. In order to defend their answers, children disowned their parents, princes waged wars, and martyrs faced violent deaths. By the seventeenth century, Europeans lived in a world divided by religion. How did these divisions take shape? And how did they shape the lives of early modern European individuals, families, and communities? Throughout the semester, we will explore these questions through a combination of lectures and discussions. Most importantly, we will read primary sources from the sixteenth century. Central themes include the formation of divergent Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and Catholic communities; persecution and toleration; the effects of religious reform on art and culture; and the interplay between Reformations in Europe and the exploration of the wider world.
HIME 3192: From Nomads to Sultans: the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1700
By the mid-seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the gates of Vienna in the west to Iran in the east, from Poland and the Crimea in the north, to Arabia and the Sudan in the south. Its territory encompassed the contemporary Middle East, most of North Africa, Turkey, Central and Southeast Europe. Its population was a polyglot mixture of religions and cultures.
The impact of Ottoman rule continues to be felt today from the Balkans to the Arab world, and its story is an essential and inseparable part of world history and the history of pre-modern and modern Europe. Nevertheless, the Ottoman Empire continues to be caricatured in popular culture, forced uncomfortably into Orientalist stereotypes animated with bloodthirsty pashas, religious zealots, and tempting odalisques and presented as the antagonist in a Eurocentric triumphalist narrative—the mortal threat to Christian civilization that was ultimately defeated and defanged. At the same time, nationalist historians in the former Ottoman lands (including Turkey) have played a key role in (mis)shaping popular understandings of Ottoman history. We will confront the myths and misrepresentations head-on, tracing the history of the Ottoman Empire from its obscure Anatolian origins through to the end of the Empire’s expansionary period around 1700. In addition to introducing the major political and military events, we will explore some aspects of the social, economic, and cultural life of the Empire.
Readings are a mix of primary sources and scholarly writings. There are regular response papers, a midterm, and a take-home final exam.
RELA 3900/RELI 3900: Islam in Africa
This course offers an historical and topical introduction to Islam in Africa. After a brief overview of the central features of the Muslim faith, our chronological survey begins with the introduction of Islam to North Africa in the 7th century. We will trace the transmission of Islam via traders and clerics to West Africa. We will consider the medieval Muslim kingdoms; the development of Islamic scholarship and the reform tradition; the growth of Sufi brotherhoods; and the impact of colonization and de-colonization upon Islam. We will also consider distinctive aspects of Islam in East Africa, such as the flowering of Swahili devotional literature, and the tradition of saint veneration in the Sudan and Somalia.
Readings and classroom discussions provide a more in-depth exploration of topics encountered in our historical survey. Drawing on ethnographical and literary materials, we will explore questions such as the translation and transmission of the Qur’an, indigenization and religious pluralism; the role of women in African Islam; and African Islamic spirituality. One prior course on Islam or African religions is recommended.
RELC 1220: New Testament and Early Christianity
MW 11:00-11:50 + section
Studies the history, literature, and theology of earliest Christianity in light of the New Testament. Emphasizes the cultural milieu and methods of contemporary biblical criticism.
RELC 3559: Gender and Power in Medieval Christianity
Why were women excluded from the priestly hierarchy of the church? How did male clerics subsequently circumscribe women’s roles in the church? And how did women respond? These are the questions that we will explore in this course on the intersection between gender and power in pre-modern Christianity.
RELJ 3300: The Jewish Mystical Tradition
A historical, textual, and practical introduction to the Jewish mystical traditions: from the visions of Ezekiel, to rabbinic quests after the Throne of God, to medieval and later schools of color, light, alphabet and creation mysteries: Zoharic, Abulafian, Lurianic, Hasidic and philosophic streams of Kabbalah.
SPAN 3400: Survey of Spanish Literature I (Middle Ages to 1700)
[Description not yet available.]
SPAN 4210, History of the Spanish Language II
This course traces the historical development of the Spanish language from its origins as a spoken Latin variety to the present. Class discussions and presentations will be based on textual scrutiny of authentic documents coming from all periods of Spanish, with particular attention given to the writings composed during the High Middle Ages (8th-13th century). Course conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 3200 or 3000.
SPAN 4704: Islamic Iberia
The course offers an introduction to Islam and a cultural history of al Andalus (Islamic Iberia) from 711 until the expulsion of the Morsicos from early modern Spain (1609-1614). It will concentrate on several major moments: The Emirate/Caliphate of Córdoba and Islamic hegemony in the peninsula; the fragmentation of the Caliphate and the cultural splendor of the taifa kingdoms in the eleventh century; the advent of Moslem fundamentalism from the Maghreb in the eleventh and twelfth centuries; the phenomenon of mudejarismo (Islamic subjects that live under Christian rule) after the Christian conquest of Seville and Córdoba in the thirteenth century; the contradictions posed by Islam in Granada, a client state of Castile during most of its history, after the decline of Islam in the rest of the peninsula (1250-1492); and the problems created by the presence of Muslim culture in a Christian state during the sixteenth-century.
Graduate (5000-level and up)
[NB: Some 5000-level courses may be open to undergraduates]
ARH 9510/ARAH 9510: Stained Glass in Later Medieval Architecture
Stained glass windows are an integral part of medieval churches. They transform interiors, relay messages about religious doctrine and patronage and reveal the high level of craftsmanship medieval society devoted to ecclesiastical structures by medieval society. This seminar will explore the use of stained glass in medieval ecclesiastical buildings ranging from parish churches to cathedrals with an emphasis on England.
ENMD 8559/ENRN 8859: Chaucer and his Followers
Chaucer, a Renaissance poet in medieval guise, was the dominant force in the poetry of the century and a half after his death, as his followers exploited the new prospects he had opened for writing in English. Beginning with a study of some of the works of Chaucer that were most admired by his successors, this new course will trace the development of the central Chaucerian tradition in England and Scotland through the 15th and 16th centuries. Works by Chaucer himself will include the House of Fame, the Parliament of Fowls, the Knight’s Tale, and Troilus and Criseyde. These will be followed by his earliest imitators and admirers, Clanvowe (the Book of Cupid) and Hoccleve (the Complaint and Dialogue), and by major 15th-century poets such as Lydgate (the Siege of Thebes—a prequel to the Knight’s Tale—and selections from the Troy Book), Bokenham, Capgrave (who composed a saint’s life paradoxically modelled on Troilus and Criseyde), and Skelton. We shall then turn to the brilliant late-medieval Scottish poets, King James I, Henryson (whose Testament of Cresseid offers an alternative ending to Troilus and Criseyde), Dunbar and Douglas. The course will end at the point where Spenser in the Shepheardes Calender asserts his modernity by turning Chaucer into an archaic poet. Throughout, we shall be concerned not just with the Chaucerian elements in 15th- and 16th- century poetry but with the various ways in which the poets diverge from their great predecessor, sometimes learning from Chaucer to do what Chaucer had not done; and a recurrent theme will be the functions and effects of the “I” of writing. Requirements: an oral presentation, two papers, a final exam.
GERM 5500/GETR 3590: Jewish Literature of the Middle Ages
Survey of the main authors and genres of the Jewish Middle Ages, including Maimonides, Kabbalah, Arthurian literature, and the Jewish poets of Spain. Regular reading assignments. Two short interpretive papers and a final term paper. Students are expected to participate actively in discussion and interpretation.
ITAL 7425: Italian Literature from the Quattro- and Cinquecento
This course focuses on major themes in humanistic and Renaissance literature and culture, including the nature of man and woman, syncretism, love, beauty, art, fortune and virtue. Authors treated include Ficino, Poliziano, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Sannazaro and Pulci from the Quattrocento; for the Cinquecento Machiavelli, Castiglione, Ariosto, Tasso, and the Petrarchist poets.
ITTR 6559: Dante’s Inferno on Film
Ever since it first began circulating in the 1300s, Dante’s Inferno has been an inspiration to other artists working in a variety of fields, from literature to painting. In the 20th-century, filmmakers and television producers also joined in this tradition. In this course we will conduct a close-reading of the first volume of Dante’s legendary Divine Comedy, engage in an overview of the major theories of literary adaptation, and finally apply both of these topics to an analysis of several films and television shows which were either adapted from, or inspired by the poet’s original work. Films by de Liguoro, Otto, Lachman, Fincher, Meredith, Cook, and Williams. Selected episodes of The Sopranos and Mad Men. Taught in English.
LATI 5050: Latin Palaeography
An introduction to Latin script and manuscripts from antiquity through the 9th century. We will study the development of Latin handwriting and practice reading examples of various scripts. We will also look more broadly at the history of learning and culture in the early medieval period, and at the basic principles of Latin textual criticism. Some knowledge of Latin is recommended (ideally through the 3000-level or equivalent). Note that this course does not overlap with the J-Term course CLAS 3559 (Medieval Manuscripts at UVA); the latter will deal primarily with later medieval manuscripts and includes more hands-on experience. The two courses are independent but complementary, and students who have taken CLAS 3559 are welcome to take this one.
RELC 5551: After the New Testament
Early 2nd century Christianity in the literature of the Apostolic Fathers (esp. 1 Clement, Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle of Barnabas, the Didache, Martyrdom of Polycarp). Topics include emerging church orders, issues of legitimacy and authority, liturgical ideas and practices, uses of (Jewish) scripture , relations to Judaism, and the ethos of Christianity in the earlly second century.
RELI 5559: Ethical Traditions in Islam
[Description not yet available.]
SARC 5500: The Idea of Venice
We will read samples of English and American literature reflecting engagement with Venice, view films and related texts as well as works of art and architecture, including urban designs, and seek to build theses about what Venice has come to be in our common imaginations and how Venetian images and ideas work in the world around us.