Fall 2017

Art History and Archaeology

1110 and 1110W Ancient and Medieval Art
Marcus Rautman and Anne Stanton. TT 2:00–2:50 plus discussion section, Geology 123

This course is an introductory survey of the architecture, sculpture and painting of the ancient Near East, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and Medieval Europe.

3520W Early Medieval Art and Archaeology
Marcus Rautman. TT 9:30-10:45, Swallow 101

An investigation of the arts of western Europe during the first millennium, when the unifying traditions of Rome were transformed by the diverse cultures of her Northern neighbors. Recommended: AR_H_A 1110 or equivalent.

4630/7630-1 The Renaissance Artist
Alisa Carlson. F 10-12, Swallow 110

Our modern notion of the artist as ‘genius’ emerged during the late medieval and early modern periods. This seminar aims to examine ‘the cult of the genius’ by exploring representations and legacies of both northern and southern European artists from ca. 1300 to ca. 1600. Through readings, lectures, discussions, and research papers, we will consider various topics related to artistic identity, including depictions of artists and the arts, self-portraiture, self-collecting, the artistic temperament, artists’ status and social and professional networks, workshop and guild practices, early biographical and art historical literature, as well as reception and historiography. Our case studies in class will focus on such artists as Jan van Eyck, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Albrecht Dürer. We will also consider anonymous masters, ‘minor’ masters, and ‘schools’ to round out our exploration of what it meant—and means—to be a Renaissance artist. Prerequisites: A basic familiarity with Renaissance art history (either Northern or Italian) is expected. Contact Dr. Alisa Carlson for permission to enroll:

8520 Seminar in Medieval Art: Devotional Manuscripts
Anne Stanton. M 3-5, Swallow 110

This seminar will focus on the illuminated prayer books that were produced in quantity from the 13th through the 16th centuries, when individualized prayer and parallel developments in literacy and wealth made them prized possessions for individuals and families. The course will include class discussions, presentations, and a term paper.

Classical Humanities

1060 Classical Mythology
Michael Barnes. MWF 1-1:50, Anheuser-Busch Nat Res 111
James Crozier. MWF 12-12:50, Anheuser-Busch Nat Res 111

Myths of Greece and Rome in literature and art.


Latin 9787 Seminar in Latin Antiquity: Cult of the Saints
Dennis Trout. TT 3:30-4:45, Strickland 304

There is little doubt that the “cult of the saints” significantly shaped the contours of late ancient Christianity and early medieval society. Saints and their cults were central to both popular piety and civic identity from the Constantinian revolution of the early fourth century through the post-Roman decades of Lombard, Byzantine, and Papal Italy. This course will explore the rise and articulation of the cult of the saints. It will draw on as many media and methodologies as seem helpful in order to ask and answer questions about the definition, nature, and roles played by the relics, tombs, and shrines of the martyrs and saints in the definition and re-definition of society and religion in this transformational period. In addition to common themes and assignments, students will also pursue individual projects for presentation and seminar papers. Topics can range from the literary to the material but interdisciplinary approaches will be encouraged. Possible subjects include hagiography, poetry, reliquaries, church architecture, topography, miracles, devotional images, gender, opposition to the cult of relics, and burial ad sanctos. Cities to be visited include Ravenna and Milan as well as Rome. Likely authors and texts include Paulinus of Nola, Ambrose of Milan, Prudentius, Gregory the Great, and the many anonymous passiones and hagiographies of the age. Knowledge of Latin is assumed and a portion of time will be devoted to reading and translation.


2006-1 Studies in English Beginning to 1603: Wisdom Literature of the Silk Road
Ray Ronci. TT 9:30-10:45, Middlebush 11

Just about everything we know today about philosophy, religion, math, science and literature had its origins in the ancient world along the slender threads that connected the East and the West known as the Silk Roads. This course traces the origins of the wisdom literature of the ancient world that shaped the ideas, values and beliefs of our present world and that reveal our common humanity. People from all around the world are more alike than they might think and these texts prove that.

Among the texts to be studied are: Gilgamesh, The Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the Analects of Confucius, the Gospel of Thomas (a Gnostic gospel), The Ceasing of Notions, (a Buddhist text from the Dunhuang caves), The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, The Last Days of Socrates (Plato), The Poems of Rumi.

A careful study of these books reveals that many of the cultural differences that shape peoples from around the world are fairly superficial. Dig deeply enough and you can see those differences disappear and our common humanity shine through. Marcus Aurelius, for example, would have had a great time hanging out with Confucius; Lao Tzu and Socrates could easily have been pals. The Jesus figure in The Gospel of Thomas would have been right at home with the Buddhist monk in The Ceasing of Notions. There’s a little bit of Gilgamesh in all of us. And I would bet that any of us would appreciate a friend like Arjuna’s Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita.

3200-1 Survey of British Literature, Beginnings to 1784
Stephen Karian. MWF 11-11:50, Tate 111

This course will examine major works of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through the eighteenth century. We will study these works in relation to three major topics: heroism, love, and travel. The structure for this course will therefore permit a comparative approach that allows us to understand the changes and continuities evident in early British literature, and specifically how British writers and readers grappled with ideals of heroism, patterns of romantic attachment, and the fictional uses of travel narratives. We will also examine the problematic aspects of each of these topics.

4166/7166, Shakespeare's Histories and Comedies: Trauma and Transformation: Hard Change in Shakespeare’s Histories and Comedies
William Kerwin. MWF 10:00-10:50, Tate 111

      He that commends me to mine own content
      Commends me to the thing I cannot get.
      I to the world am like a drop of water
      That in the ocean seeks another drop,
      Who, falling there to find his fellow forth,
      Unseen, inquisitive, confounds himself.
      So I, to find a mother and a brother,
      In quest of them unhappy, lose myself.
            (Antipholus, The Comedy of Errors, I.ii.33-40.)

      Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
      And cry ‘Content!’ to that which grieves my heart,
      And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
      And frame my face to all occasions.
      I’ll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
      I’ll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
      I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
      Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
      And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
      I can add colours to the chameleon,
      Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
      And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
      Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
      Tut, were it farther off, I’ll pluck it down.
            (Richard, Henry the Sixth, part three, III.ii.182-195.)

In these two passages, speakers defines themselves in terms of changing forms—a lone drop of water swallowed by an ocean, and a political actor doing whatever it takes to get the power. The “I” struggles mightily, and eventually has to let to of an old and original self in order to find a new role. The goal is a new self, and the path includes epic barriers. Shakespeare’s comedies and histories both tell stories of change, with what at first looks like a very different focus: history plays are much more about the “public” realm, and comedies show us individuals and couples remaking themselves in their so-called “private” lives. But one of our projects will be looking at connections between those two parts of life, then and now. In particular, we will focus on the way plays in each genre show how painful change is, and how the attempt to create a new way of life, in private or in public, draws out all the sources of conflict in a culture. At its heart, Shakespeare's work is about change.

Shakespeare’s histories are all about power—who gets to rule, what makes for a successful ruler or soldier, and who gets to be part of the sharing of power. We will read four plays—Henry VI part 3, Richard III, Henry IV part 1, and Henry V—and we will especially consider what goes into consolidating power. You might at first find this genre off-putting, because of the sometimes dizzying concentration of names and historical details, but the poetry of the plays draws our attention to human passions that are still with us today. Shakespeare seems to emphasize that when people fight over politics, they draw on questions of gender, race, and sexuality, and the result is an often violent clash of groups. History for Shakespeare is often inseparable from tragedy. The plays also raise questions about how people can use the past: when is the past a proof of the need for obedience, and when is it a spur to skepticism, or even to revolution? How do politicians rely on memories, both their own memories and the cultural memories people share? When do leaders want us to forget? Is memory conservative? Can forgetting be creative?

A much more familiar genre, comedy had a long tradition before Shakespeare both in Renaissance England and in the classical world, and it also combines the public and the private realms. Shakespeare’s contributions to the tradition of comedy involve certain patterns and obsessions, as well as a tremendous poetic speaking style. Again we will read four plays: A Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, and Twelfth Night. All four of these plays portray rough and painful journeys toward love, and all have elements that have been called “festive” as well as others that have been described as “dark.” We will consider that mixture, as well as the mixture of the public and private. Shakespeare’s comedy seems to depend upon trauma or the threat of trauma, and we will pay especial attention to issues of identity and the pressures on it, and the range of conflicts and the varieties of violence involved in romantic and sexual relations.

Some previous experience with Shakespeare’s writing or other writing from the Renaissance will definitely help, but even more important is a willingness to explore in the culture and language of a very distant time period. Attention to the history of the period, and how it appears in the plays, will be a significant part of our work. People who haven't read a lot of Shakespeare, and even people who have actually DISLIKED Shakespeare in the past, often leave this course quite relaxed about the whole thing.

TEXTS:   The Norton Shakespeare, ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd edition.
READING:   Four history plays, four comedies.

8210 Place, Space, and Geography in Medieval Literature
Emma Lipton. Tuesday 4:30-7, Tate 310

In the work of Henri Lefebvre, “space is simultaneously material and metaphorical, a medium and an outcome of social life.” Reflecting the recent ‘spatial turn’ in literary criticism, this course focuses on medieval representations of space and place. We will examine literary depictions of medieval spaces such as the household and the anchorhold, the city and the courtly garden, considering the how space shapes and expresses social values and practices. We will investigate geographical constructions of the political entities of nation and city, and study the mapping of racial and cultural alterity. We will consider symbolic and allegorical spaces, such as depictions of heavenly Jerusalem. The course will also analyze the use of space in medieval media such as drama, dance and royal processionals. Readings will be drawn from a wide range of medieval genres, including travel and pilgrimage narratives, crusading romances, courtly poetry, and civic drama. Texts may include Mandeville’s Travels, The Book of Margery Kempe, Richard Coer de Lyon, The Ancrene Wisse, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, the York plays and selections from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

8220 Problems of Knowledge in Renaissance Drama
Anne Myers. Monday 7:00-9:30pm, Tate 310

Othello: By heaven, I’ll know thy thoughts.
Iago: You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
Nor shall not, while ‘tis in my custody.

This seminar will cover both Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean drama ranging from the late sixteenth through the mid seventeenth centuries. Along with discussing plays that will alternately shock, amuse, disgust, perplex and amaze you, we will explore some useful historical and cultural contexts for studying and teaching the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Given the influence of these playwrights on subsequent British and American literary traditions, the course should be of interest to many readers and writers of poetry, drama and fiction, in addition to those students more intensively focused on Renaissance literature and culture.

The guiding question for this course will be "How do you know?" and the dramas we examine will all grapple with epistemological crises of one sort or another. As the quotation from Othello given above suggests, Renaissance dramatists were both preoccupied and frustrated by the problem of interiority, the impossibility of knowing other minds and other hearts. Their questioning takes a variety of forms involving women's fidelity, the limits of scientific knowledge, the reliability of logic and language, and the suspicion that identity may be as much performance as it is truth or transparency. And in the end, one play teaches us, even if we take Iago at his word, rip out a heart, and hold it in our hands, we possess a heart, but not an answer.

The reading list for this course will likely include William Shakespeare's Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet, along with Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, George Chapman's The Widow's Tears, Ben Jonson's Epicoene, Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's The Changeling, John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, and John Ford's Perkin Warbeck and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, among other plays and relevant contextual readings.


1500-1 Foundations of Western Civilization
Lois Huneycutt. MW 10-10:50, MU Student Center 2501

Development of characteristic ideas and institutions of Western cultural tradition, from origin of civilization in ancient Near East to beginning of rapid social, political, intellectual transformation of Europe in 18th century.

3590 The Early Middle Ages
Lois Huneycutt. MWF 12-12:50. Strickland 307

This course focuses on the social, political, economic, and cultural development of Europe from roughly 300 to 1050.

4560: The Crusades
A. Mark Smith. TR 9:30-10:45, Strickland 123

Survey of the European crusading movement from its inception in the late eleventh century to its decline during the later Middle Ages.

Romance Studies

French 4410/7410 French Medieval Literature
Megan Moore. TT 2-3:15, Arts & Science Bldg 308

Survey of representative works from the principal literary genres of the Middle Ages: epic (La Chanson de Roland), courtly romance (Chretien de Troyes), chantefable (Aucassin et Nicolette), short story (lai, fabliau), theatre, and lyric poetry. This class is taught in French.