Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements | Summary of Requirements | Grading | Honors | Minor Program in Medieval Studies | Courses

Department Website: http://medieval.uchicago.edu

Program of Study

The undergraduate program in medieval studies offers an interdisciplinary major that allows students to explore the history, philosophy, theology, and cultural production of the Middle Ages in an integrated and nuanced fashion, through engagement with a diverse array of textual and material artifacts.

Program Requirements

Students interested in majoring in medieval studies must consult the program coordinator by Autumn Quarter of their third year. Twelve courses are required, including at least two courses historical in nature, two courses in language or literature, two courses in either art, archeology, architecture, or music, two courses in philosophy or theology, one course in methods and materials, and at least two electives. Students should determine these courses in consultation with the program coordinator.

The program also requires all students to participate in a one-quarter reading and research course, usually in Autumn or Winter Quarter of their fourth year. This course is typically conducted as an independent study with the student's BA paper advisor. The program requires completion of a BA paper of around 25 pages to be submitted by the sixth week of the quarter in which the student is graduating. All papers require a faculty director and a second reader.

Summary of Requirements

Two courses in history200
Two courses in medieval language or literature *200
Two courses in art, archeology, architecture, or music200
Two courses in philosophy or theology200
Two electives200
One course in methods and materials **100
One reading and research course100
BA paper000
Total Units1200
*

Medieval language may include such courses as Old French, Old English, Occitan, or Medieval Latin. Students may also enroll in literature courses taught in the target language or in translation. Students who think they may wish to apply to graduate school in a field related to medieval studies are strongly advised to acquire reading competence in at least one medieval language.

**

Students may take courses such as paleography, codicology, manuscript studies, or epigraphy, that will allow them to engage directly with medieval source materials and objects. Alternatively, students may enroll in a course like literary theory, aesthetics, or historiography that will help them develop their methodological orientation.

Grading

All courses must be taken for a quality grade.

Honors

Consideration for honors is individually arranged with the program coordinator. For candidacy, a student must have completed a BA paper of the highest quality, and have a GPA of at least 3.0 overall and at least 3.5 within the major.

Minor Program in Medieval Studies

The undergraduate program in medieval studies offers an interdisciplinary minor that allows students to explore the history, philosophy, theology, and cultural production of the Middle Ages in an integrated and nuanced fashion, through engagement with a diverse array of textual and material artifacts.

Students interested in the minor in medieval studies should consult the program director as early as possible in order to design a program of study that meets the student's intellectual interests and goals. The minor requires six courses chosen from the College Catalog or the program website (medieval.uchicago.edu/baCourses.shtml), divided among subject areas as follows:

One course in history100
One course in medieval language or literature *100
One course in art, archeology, architecture, or music100
One course in philosophy or theology100
Two electives200
Total Units600
*

Medieval language may include such courses as Old French, Old English, Occitan, or Medieval Latin. Students may also enroll in literature courses taught in the target language or in translation. Students who think they may wish to apply to graduate school in a field related to medieval studies are strongly advised to acquire reading competence in at least one medieval language.

Students choose courses in consultation with the undergraduate adviser. Students must complete an approval form for the minor program (available on the program website, at medieval.uchicago.edu/minor_consent_form.pdf), which requires the signature of the director of the undergraduate program in medieval studies. Students must submit a copy of the signed approval form to their College adviser by the deadline on the form.

Courses in the minor (1) may not be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors and (2) may not be counted toward general education requirements. Courses in the minor must be taken for a quality grade, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

Courses

Students completing a major or minor in medieval studies may take courses from across the University. Course offerings may include those listed below. For an updated listing of courses being offered in a given quarter please consult medieval.uchicago.edu/baCourses.shtml.

ARME 10501. Introduction to Classical Armenian. 100 Units.

This course focuses on the basic structure and vocabulary of the Classical Armenian language of Grabar, which is one of the oldest Indo-European languages. Course work enables students to acquire the alphabet, phonology, and grammar to achieve basic reading skills in the Classical Armenian language. Reading assignments include a selection of original Armenian literature. This course is recommended for students who intend to conduct research in Armenian studies, Indo-European studies, or general linguistics.

Instructor(s): H. Haroutunian     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): ARAM 10103

ARTH 14200. From Missionary Images to Image Explosion: Introduction to Medieval Art. 100 Units.

This course provides an introductory survey of art produced during the European Middle Ages. Beginning with the fusion of Christian and Imperial images under the Roman Empire and ending with the introduction of print in the fifteenth century, this course considers works of art across a variety of media (architecture, sculpture, painting, textiles, metalwork, stained glass) and in a range of historical and cultural contexts. We will address the complex social, religious, and political motivations that informed artistic production during the Middle Ages, and we will focus on the question of how images were seen and understood by medieval viewers. The course is organized chronologically and is structured around a set of broad thematic concerns such as the relationship between art and power, changing theorizations of the image, the re-use of the past, the body in art, the relationship of the secular and the sacred, and the role of art in public and private devotion. Readings will include medieval sources in translation and selected works of modern scholarship.

Instructor(s): A. Kumler     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, any ARTH 14000 through 16999 course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

ARTH 14700. Building Renaissance Italy: A Survey of the Built Environment. 100 Units.

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, Giuliano da Sangallo, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio, Michelangelo, Jacopo Sansovino, and Andrea Palladio so creative, innovative, and influential.

Instructor(s): N. Atkinson     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

ARTH 16709. Islamic Art and Architecture, 1100 to 1500. 100 Units.

This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from 1100-1500. In that period, political fragmentation into multiple principalities challenged a deeply rooted ideology of unity of the Islamic world. The courts of the various principalities competed not only in politics, but also in the patronage of architectural projects and of arts such as textiles, ceramics, woodwork, and the arts of the book. While focusing on the central Islamic lands, we will consider regional traditions from Spain to India and the importance for the arts of contacts with China and the West.

Instructor(s): P. Berlekamp     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, any ARTH 14000 through 16999 course meets the general education requirement in the arts.
Equivalent Course(s): NEAA 10630,NEHC 16709

ARTH 17311. Art of the Book in the Middle Ages. 100 Units.

Many of the greatest works of art from the Middle Ages come in the form of illuminated books. This course will introduce students to the history of the art of the book in the medieval West, exploring what kinds of books were made by medieval scribes and artists, how they were made, and what they meant to the men and women who gazed at their pages. We will meet in the Special Collections Research Center of the Regenstein Library, allowing us to explore the history of medieval book arts through close examinations of original medieval books and rare facsimiles. A wide range of illuminated books will be discussed—from those used in church rituals to those made for private aristocratic amusement.

Instructor(s): A. Kumler     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. For nonmajors, any ARTH 17000 through 18999 course meets the general education requirement in the arts.

ARTH 23310. Renaissance Geographies: Travel and the Geographic Imagination. 100 Units.

In his 15th century diary, the Florentine merchant and traveler, Benedetto Dei, described his encounter with the Sultan in Istanbul. He noted that if the Ottomans ever invaded the Italian peninsula, its warring states would forget their differences and form a united front to protect their common shores. This Italian “identity” expressed as a temporal unity against a common enemy betrays the complex and fluid nature of the multiple imagined geographies in which Early Modern Italians lived. Benedetto also delineated his idea of Europe, while he mapped out each street in his local neighborhood of the Oltrarno. These are only several of the numerous ways in which travelers came to terms with both familiar and foreign places, mapping out the psycho-geographies of their lives at home and abroad. Consequently, this course investigates the transactions between the local and the “global” in the spatial imaginations of travelers who created their own micro- and macrocosmic orders in which to live and understand the worlds around them. Consequently, the course will be looking at travel literature from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Europe, in particular how these texts mapped out intercultural relationships in the Mediterranean world through descriptions of cities, their customs, and their physical environment.

Instructor(s): N. Atkinson     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 33310

ARTH 24110. Venetian Painting from Bellini to Titian. 100 Units.

The works of Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and other major figures are studied in the context of the distinctive Venetian version of the Renaissance. The course will explore the patterns of patronage, iconography, and practice as they are impacted by the Venetian cult of the state, the role of the great charitable institutions in Venetian society, and the conservative Venetian guild and workshop organization. Some of the major art-historical themes will include the understanding of Giorgione and Giorgionism as a decisive turn towards modernity in European art; the complex place of the long-lived Titian throughout the entire period; the role of drawing in an art most noted for its light, color, and touch; and the complex interaction of Venetian and Tusco-Roman visual cultures throughout the Renaissance.

Instructor(s): C. Cohen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Any 100-level course in art history or visual arts.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 34110

EALC 17211. Arts of Medieval Japan. 100 Units.

The arts of medieval Japan are known for their material luxury and otherworldly splendor, as in images of Buddhist paradise, and, conversely, for their rusticity and understatement, as exemplified by developments in ink painting, architecture, and ceramics. This course will examine the worldviews, historical circumstances, and practices of making and appreciation that underscore both trends. We will explore how the aesthetic tensions within and between objects relate to the social and political tensions among groups during this age of unrest and instability. The course spans the period between 1200 and 1550.

Instructor(s): C. Foxwell     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Students must attend first class to confirm enrollment. This course meets the general education requirement in the arts.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 17211

ENGL 15500. Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales. 100 Units.

This course is an examination of Chaucer's art as revealed in selections from The Canterbury Tales. Our primary emphasis is on a close reading of individual tales, with particular attention to the intersection of literary form with problems in ethics, politics, gender, and sexuality. (C, E)

Instructor(s): M. Miller     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 25700

ENGL 15600. Medieval English Literature. 100 Units.

This course examines the relations among psychology, ethics, and social theory in fourteenth-century English literature. We pay particular attention to three central preoccupations of the period: sex, the human body, and the ambition of ethical perfection. Readings are drawn from Chaucer, Langland, the Gawain-poet, Gower, penitential literature, and saints' lives. There are also some supplementary readings in the social history of late medieval England. (C, E)

Instructor(s): M. Miller     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 15600

FNDL 20700. Aquinas on God, Being, and Human Nature. 100 Units.

This course considers sections from Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica. Among the topics considered are God's existence; the relationship between God and Being; and human nature.

Instructor(s): S. Meredith     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Required of all incoming Fundamentals majors
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 23712,RLST 23605

FREN 22210. Introduction à la littérature arthurienne. 100 Units.

“La matière de Bretagne est vaine et plaisante”, écrit Jean Bodel au 12e siècle. Dans ce cours nous découvrirons cette matière – qui a saisi l’imagination de lecteurs, d’écrivains, et de metteurs en scène pendant des siècles – en explorant la légende du roi Artu, de la reine Guenièvre, et des chevaliers de la table ronde depuis ses origines dans les textes fondateurs de Wace et de Chrétien de Troyes, jusqu’à l’effondrement du monde arthurien décrit dans La Mort du roi Arthur.

Instructor(s): D. Delogu
Prerequisite(s): FREN 20500 or consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 22211

HIST 12101. Comparative Kingship: Rulers in Twelfth-Century Europe. 100 Units.

The purpose of this course is to examine the different forms that kingship took in the Latin Christian kingdoms of Europe during the twelfth century. In the first half of the course we will read and discuss a broad range of primary and secondary sources that will give us the opportunity to analyze critically kingship in England, France, and Germany (the Holy Roman Empire). In the second half of the course we will broaden our discussion to consider how other kingdoms in Europe, including Scotland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Sicily, Aragon, and Castile, do and do not conform to more general models of twelfth-century European kingship.

Instructor(s): J. Lyon     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): First-year students welcome.

HIST 21701. Byzantine Empire, 330–610. 100 Units.

A lecture course, with limited discussion, of the formation of early Byzantine government, society, and culture. Although a survey of events and changes, including external relations, many of the latest scholarly controversies will also receive scrutiny. There will be some discussion of relevant archaeology and topography. Readings will include some primary sources in translation and examples of modern scholarly interpretations. Midterm and final examination.

Instructor(s): W. Kaegi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 34306,CLCV 24306,HIST 31701,ANCM 34306

HIST 21702. Byzantine Empire, 610–1025. 100 Units.

A lecture course, with limited discussion, of the principal developments with respect to government, society, and culture in the Middle Byzantine Period. Although a survey of events and changes, including external relations, many of the latest scholarly controversies will also receive scrutiny. Readings will include some primary sources in translation and examples of modern scholarly interpretations. Midterm, final examination, and a short paper.

Instructor(s): W. Kaegi     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Graduate students may register for grade of R (audit) or P (Pass) instead of a letter grade, except for History graduate students taking this as a required course.
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 34307,CLCV 24307,HIST 31702,NEHC 21702,NELC 31702,ANCM 34307

HIST 22110. Renaissance Demonology. 100 Units.

In this course we analyze the complex concept of demonology according to early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term ‘demon’ in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities, and Neo-platonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine’s and Thomas Aquinas’s treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a recent translation of the infamous "Malleus maleficarum," the most important treatise on witch-hunt. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch-craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau’s "The Possession at Loudun." We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino’s "Platonic Theology" and Girolamo Cardano’s mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton’s "Anatomy of Melancholy" and Cervantes’s short story "The Glass Graduate" ("El licenciado Vidriera").

Instructor(s): A. Maggi      Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Taught in English
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 27602,RLST 26501,ITAL 26500

HIST 22115. Carolingian Renaissance. 100 Units.

The Carolingian Renaissance flowered thanks to the leadership of a new royal (AD 751) and then (from Christmas 800) imperial dynasty. Expansive political and cultural initiatives reshaped Europe into a distinct space, not least, though paradoxically, through its fragmentation after AD 843. We shall study the actors and trends at play, the important role of Classical models and Latin book culture, and consider the relevant sources in all their physical, textual, and imaginative variety.

Instructor(s): M. Allen     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 32115,HIST 32115,RLST 21610,CLCV 22115

HIST 25701. North Africa, Late Antiquity to Islam. 100 Units.

Examination of topics in continuity and change from the third through ninth centuries CE, including changes in Roman, Vandalic, Byzantine, and early Islamic Africa. Topics include the waning of paganism and the respective spread and waning of Christianity, the dynamics of the seventh-century Muslim conquest and Byzantine collapse. Transformation of late antique North Africa into a component of Islamic civilization. Topography and issues of the autochthonous populations will receive some analysis. Most of the required reading will be on reserve, for there is no standard textbook. Readings in translated primary sources as well as the latest modern scholarship. Midterm and final paper.

Instructor(s): W. Kaegi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 30200,CLCV 20200,CMES 30634,CRES 25701,HIST 35701,NEHC 20634,NEHC 30634

HIST 25704-25804-25904. Islamic History and Society I-II-III.

This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence surveys the main trends in the political history of the Islamic world, with some attention to economic, social, and intellectual history. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.

HIST 25704. Islamic History and Society I: The Rise of Islam and the Caliphate. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 600 to 1100, including the rise and spread of Islam, the Islamic empire under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, and the emergence of regional Islamic states from Afghanistan and eastern Iran to North Africa and Spain.

Instructor(s): F. Donner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general eduation requirement in civilization studies.
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30501,HIST 35704,ISLM 30500,RLST 20501,NEHC 20501

HIST 25804. Islamic History and Society II: The Middle Period. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 1100 to 1750, including the arrival of the Steppe Peoples (Turks and Mongols), the Mongol successor states, and the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. We also study the foundation of the great Islamic regional empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Moghuls.

Instructor(s): J. Woods     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first-year students
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30502,HIST 35804,ISLM 30600,NEHC 20502

HIST 25904. Islamic History and Society III: The Modern Middle East. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 1750 to the present, focusing on Western military, economic, and ideological encroachment; the impact of such ideas as nationalism and liberalism; efforts at reform in the Islamic states; the emergence of the "modern" Middle East after World War I; the struggle for liberation from Western colonial and imperial control; the Middle Eastern states in the cold war era; and local and regional conflicts.

Instructor(s): A. Shissler     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first-year students
Note(s): This course does not apply to the medieval studies major or minor.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 35904,ISLM 30700,NEHC 30503,NEHC 20503

HIST 29902. Tolkien: Medieval and Modern. 100 Units.

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular works of imaginative literature of the twentieth century. This course seeks to understand its appeal by situating Tolkien's creation within the context of Tolkien's own work as both artist and scholar and alongside its medieval sources and modern parallels. Themes to be addressed include the problem of genre and the uses of tradition; the nature of history and its relationship to place; the activity of creation and its relationship to language, beauty, evil, and power; the role of monsters in imagination and criticism; the twinned challenges of death and immortality, fate and free will; and the interaction between the world of "faerie" and religious belief.

Instructor(s): R. Fulton     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Students must have read "The Lord of the Rings" prior to first day of class.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 24901,RLST 22400

ITAL 22210. Italian Renaissance Epic. 100 Units.

This course examines the evolution of Italian Renaissance epic from Pulci to Marino. The course will emphasize the intertextual nature of this genre and its significant borrowings from classical sources. The course will not be limited to the most famous texts but will also include epics that have not received the critical attention they deserve, such as for example Lucrezia Marinella's "Enrico."

Instructor(s): A. Maggi     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 32210

ITAL 22600. The Making and Unmaking of Petrarch's Canzoniere. 100 Units.

This course is an intensive reading of Petrarch's influential and groundbreaking self-anthology. Petrarch's collecting and ordering of his own work is in many ways without precedent. We examine in particular the historical redactions of the Canzoniere, its status as a work-in-progress, what Petrarch excluded from its various forms (especially the Rime disperse), early drafts, and authorial variants. The emergence of a new role for the vernacular author and the shifting space of handwriting and the book are central concerns in our discussions, and we make frequent use of facsimiles and diplomatic editions.

Instructor(s): J. Steinberg     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taught in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 32600,REMS 32600,FNDL 22601

ITAL 26200. Renaissance and Baroque Fairytales and Their Modern Rewritings. 100 Units.

We study the distinctions between myth and fairy tale, and then focus on collections of modern Western European fairy tales, including those by Straparola, Basile, and Perrault, in light of their contemporary rewritings of classics (Angela Carter, Calvino, Anne Sexton). We analyze this genre from diverse critical standpoints (e.g., historical, structuralist, psychoanalytic, feminist) through the works of Croce, Propp, Bettelheim, and Marie-Louise Von Franz.

Instructor(s): A. Maggi     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Class conducted in English.
Equivalent Course(s): ITAL 36200,CMLT 26700,CMLT 36700,REMS 36200

ITAL 29600. The Worlds of Harlequin: Commedia Dell’arte. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to the Italian art of theatrical improvisation or commedia dell’arte, a type of theater featuring masked characters and schematic plots. We will look at the influence of Boccaccio’s Decameron on the formation of stock-characters, the introduction of women into the realm of theatrical professionalism, the art of costume and mask making, and the Italian knack for pantomime and gestural expression. Readings include such masterpieces in the tradition of comic theater as Machiavelli’s The Mandrake and Goldoni’s Harlequin Servant of Two Masters, as well as their renditions in film.

Instructor(s): R. Rubini     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Language to be determined by class makeup
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 28480,ITAL 39610

NEAA 20501. Introduction to Islamic Archaeology. 100 Units.

This course is intended as a survey of the regions of the Islamic world from Arabia to North Africa, from Central Asia to the Gulf. The aim will be a comparative stratigraphy for the archaeological periods of the last millennium. A primary focus will be the consideration of the historical archaeology of the Islamic lands, the interaction of history and archaeology, and the study of patterns of cultural interaction over this region, which may also amplify understanding of ancient archaeological periods in the Near East.

Instructor(s): D. Whitcomb     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): NEAA 30501

NEHC 20501-20502-20503. Islamic History and Society I-II-III.

This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies. This sequence surveys the main trends in the political history of the Islamic world, with some attention to economic, social, and intellectual history. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.

NEHC 20501. Islamic History and Society I: The Rise of Islam and the Caliphate. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 600 to 1100, including the rise and spread of Islam, the Islamic empire under the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs, and the emergence of regional Islamic states from Afghanistan and eastern Iran to North Africa and Spain.

Instructor(s): F. Donner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general eduation requirement in civilization studies.
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30501,HIST 25704,HIST 35704,ISLM 30500,RLST 20501

NEHC 20502. Islamic History and Society II: The Middle Period. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 1100 to 1750, including the arrival of the Steppe Peoples (Turks and Mongols), the Mongol successor states, and the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. We also study the foundation of the great Islamic regional empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Moghuls.

Instructor(s): J. Woods     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first-year students
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30502,HIST 25804,HIST 35804,ISLM 30600

NEHC 20503. Islamic History and Society III: The Modern Middle East. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 1750 to the present, focusing on Western military, economic, and ideological encroachment; the impact of such ideas as nationalism and liberalism; efforts at reform in the Islamic states; the emergence of the "modern" Middle East after World War I; the struggle for liberation from Western colonial and imperial control; the Middle Eastern states in the cold war era; and local and regional conflicts.

Instructor(s): A. Shissler     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Not open to first-year students
Note(s): This course does not apply to the medieval studies major or minor.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25904,HIST 35904,ISLM 30700,NEHC 30503

NEHC 20601-20602-20603. Islamic Thought and Literature I-II-III.

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. Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required.

NEHC 20601. Islamic Thought and Literature I. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 600 to 950, concentrating on the career of the Prophet Muhammad; Qur‘an and Hadith; the Caliphate; the development of Islamic legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical discourses; sectarian movements; and Arabic literature.

Instructor(s): A. El Shamsy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30601,RLST 20401,SOSC 22000,HIST 25610,HIST 35610,ISLM 30601

NEHC 20602. Islamic Thought and Literature II. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 950 to 1700, surveying works of literature, theology, philosophy, sufism, politics, history, etc., written in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, as well as the art, architecture and music of the Islamicate traditions. Through primary texts, secondary sources and lectures, we will trace the cultural, social, religious, political and institutional evolution through the period of the Fatimids, the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, and the "gunpowder empires" (Ottomans, Safavids, Mughals).

Instructor(s): F. Lewis     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Taking these courses in sequence is recommended but not required. This sequence meets the general education requirement in civilization studies.
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30602,RLST 20402,SOSC 22100,ISLM 30602,CMES 30602

NEHC 20603. Islamic Thought and Literature III. 100 Units.

This course covers the period from ca. 1700 to the present, exploring works of Arab intellectuals who interpreted various aspects of Islamic philosophy, political theory, and law in the modern age. We look at diverse interpretations concerning the role of religion in a modern society, at secularized and historicized approaches to religion, and at the critique of both religious establishments and nation-states as articulated by Arab intellectuals. Generally, we discuss secondary literature first and the primary sources later.

Instructor(s): A. El Shamsy     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course does not apply to the medieval studies major or minor.
Equivalent Course(s): NEHC 30603,RLST 20403,SOSC 22200

NEHC 26016. The Medieval Persian Romance: Gorgani's Vis and Ramin. 100 Units.

This class is an inquiry into the medieval romance genre through the close and comparative reading of one of its oldest extant representatives, Gorgâni’s Vis & Râmin (c. 1050). With roots that go back to Late Antiquity, this romance is a valuable interlocutor between the Greek novel and the Ovidian erotic tradition, Arabic love theory and poetics, and well-known European romances like Tristan, Lancelot, and Cligès: a sustained exploration of psychological turmoil and moral indecision, and a vivid dramatization of the many contradictions inherent in erotic theory, most starkly by the lovers' faithful adultery. By reading Vis & Râmin alongside some of its generic neighbors (Kallirrhoe, Leukippe, Tristan, Cligès), as well as the love-theories of writers like Plato, Ovid, Avicenna, Jâhiz, Ibn Hazm, and Andreas Cappellanus, we will map out the various kinds of literary work the romance is called upon to do, and investigate the myriad and shifting conceptions of romantic love as performance, subjectivity, and moral practice. An optional section introducing selections from the original text in Persian will be available if there is sufficient student interest.

Instructor(s): C. Cross     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 26106,GNSE 26106,RLLT 26106,FNDL 26106

PERS 20006. Survey of Persian Poetry, 10th to 15th Century. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): F. Lewis     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): 2 Years of Persian
Note(s): Will cross list with SALC, Divinity, CMLT
Equivalent Course(s): PERS 30006

RLST 21107. Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed. 100 Units.

A careful study of select passages in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed focusing on the method of the work, its exegetical framework, and its major philosophical-theological themes, including divine attributes, creation vs. eternity, prophecy, the problem of evil and providence, law and ethics, and the final aim of human existence. There is no language requirement; all readings will be in English. There will be an extra optional session for students who want to read the text in the original.

Instructor(s): James Robinson     Terms Offered: Spring 2017
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 45400,FNDL 24106,RLIT 45402,NEHC 40470,JWSC 21107,HREL 45401,HIJD 45400

RLST 25903. Judah Halevi's Kuzari. 100 Units.

A close reading of select passages from this classic work of medieval Jewish philosophy and apologetics. The focus will be on Book 1, which presents the frame narrative -- a dialogue between the King of Kazaria and a philosopher, Christian, Muslim, and Jew -- along with the main ideas: the manifestation of the God of Israel in history, the chosenness of the people in the chosen land. The work will be read in light of its sources in the Islamic world (especially works of Ismaili and Sufi spirituality and anti-Aristotelianism) and the contemporary intellectual culture.

Instructor(s): James Robinson and Ralph Lerner     Terms Offered: Winter 2017
Equivalent Course(s): ISLM 45712,FNDL 25903,SCTH 45712,HIJD 45712

SPAN 21703. Introducción a las literaturas hispánicas: textos españoles clásicos. 100 Units.

This course involves careful reading and discussion of significant works from the Spanish Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Golden Age, including Juan Manuel's Conde Lucanor, Jorge Manrique's Coplas, the anonymous Lazarillo de Tormes, and the theater of Calderón.

Instructor(s): F. de Armas     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): SPAN 20300 or consent of instructor


Contacts

Undergraduate Primary Contact

Associate Professor and Program Chair
Jonathan Lyon
SS 510
773.834.0584
Email