Courses in the fields of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern studies will be posted here as they become known. If you know of a course that should be listed here, please contact email@example.com.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MED-REN GRADUATE COURSES Spring 2013
List updated November 13 2012
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Courses
MRST G6020: Medieval/Renaissance Philology, Independent Study
MRST G6999: MA Thesis, Independent Study
MRST G6990: Directed Individual Readings, Independent Study
Other Courses of Interest
AHIS W4385: Renaissance Architecture History and Theory, T 10:10am-12:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: F. Benelli
A survey of Renaissance Architecture in Italy through its buildings and its theory, from Brunelleschi to Palladio and the influence to other European country.
AHIS W4480: Art and the Age of Reformation, TR 10:10am-11:25am
Points: 3 Instructor: P.K. Moxey
Explores the ways in which the culture and social functions of artistic production in Germany and the Netherlands were transformed as a consequence of the dissemination of the ideologies of humanism and the Reformation. STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR A DISCUSSION SECTION AHIS 4482
AHIS G8474: The Invention of Oil Painting: Fifteenth Century Netherlandish Art
Points: 3 R 2:10pm-4:00pm Instructor: D. Freedberg
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor
This course, often taught under the rubrics of “Early Netherlandish Painting” or even “Northern Renaissance Painting”, might also be described as “Art in the Age of Van Eyck” or “Painting from Van Eyck to Bosch”. It will begin with manuscripts, and deal with the contribution of great sculptors like Sluter as well. The claim implicit in the title is that the techniques pioneered and perfected by the Van Eycks affected all the other arts too – even though the most original and compelling achievements of the century are probably those of painting, which will form the chief focus of this class. Attention will also be paid to the social and historical contexts of the main works discussed. Several museum visits will be included. Application due by 12/1.
English and Comparative Literature
ENGL W4092: Beowulf, MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
Points: 3 Instructor: P. Dailey
Throughout the course of the semester we will be translating the Old English epic poem Beowulf. Each student will work through his or her own individual translations from Old English to Modern English over the course of the semeseter. Prerequisite: Introduction to Old English, as students need to have a working knowledge of the language. Our primary text is Klaeber’s edition of Beowulf. We will also compare various translations (Liuzza, Heany, Donaldson) with our own. Secondary materials will include _The Postmodern Beowulf_ as well as other materials to familiarize us with historical context, contemporary scholarship, and literary sources.
ENGL W4101y: Literature of the 1590s, MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
Points: 3 Instructor: A. Stewart (Lecture).
This course examines the literature of the turbulent final years of the sixteenth century in England, from the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. It ranges over prose, drama, and verse of the period, often read in the context of other historical documents. Topics will include debates about the succession; the perceived threats from Spain and Roman Catholicism; economic hardships; immigration; the challenge posed by the earl of Essex; and concerns about Ireland and the Irish. Texts will include works by Edmund Spenser, Thomas Nashe, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker, William Shakespeare, and Francis Bacon, among others.
ENGL G4920y: Scholarly Editing, T 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: D. Yerkes
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). No prerequisites. We each will choose something to edit (it may be something you already are editing), and we all will help each other edit. Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Yerkes (firstname.lastname@example.org) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Intro to Scholarly Editing seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
ENGL G6200y: Early Modern Keywords, Wednesday 9-10.50 a.m
Points: 3 Instructor: A. Stewart
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar)
Early Modern Keywords explores the literature and culture of early modern England through a thematic focus on terms that were central to the period: commonweal, husbandry, credit, usury, friends, office, popularity, society. The course encourages students to pursue these “keywords;” themes through historically-informed close reading of both literary and non-literary texts from the period. It also draws on substantial secondary reading in social history, economic history, and literary criticism. We will be studying texts by Thomas More, Christopher St German, Thomas Wilson, Thomas Smith, George Gascoigne, Isabella Whitney, George Puttenham, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Lucy Hutchinson and Margaret Cavendish. Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Stewart (email@example.com) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Early Modern Keywords seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
ENGL G6631: Medieval Culture of the Book, R 10:10am-12:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: C. Baswell
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor–Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Baswell (CBaswell@barnard.edu) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Cultures of the Book seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
CLEN G6537: Theories of Embodiment, W 12:10pm-2:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: P. Dailey
This course explores how the body, the senses, interiority, and materiality are constructed in ancient and medieval literary, philosophical, and religious texts and how they are connected with hermeneutic and cognitive practices. Texts from antiquity include Aristotle, Paul, Philo, Plotinus, Origen, and Augustine; texts from the Middle Ages include the Old English Body and Soul and The Ruin, Old English riddles, William of St. Thierry, Rudolf von Biberach, Guigo II, Marguerite d’Oingt, Hadewijch, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Victorine texts. The course will also look at how medieval readings of embodiment dialogue with, are commensurate to, or differ from readings of materiality and embodiment in Hegel, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Lévinas, Derrida, Nancy, Lyotard, Negri, Agamben, and Butler. Given the tendency in the wave of phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty) to think of embodiment as a kind of radical inter-pentetration of world and body, what differences do we find in the revision to phenomenology evidenced by thinkers such as Lyotard, Derrida, and Nancy? How do the “materialities” in medieval mystical texts and their theological counterparts compare? Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Dailey (firstname.lastname@example.org) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Embodiment seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.
HIST W4083: Crime/Punishment/Middle Ages, M 2:10pm-4:00pm
Points: 4 Instructor: N. Senocak
HIST W4189: Composing the Self in Early Modern Europe, W 9:00am-10:50am
Points: 4 Instructor: C. J. Coleman
Prerequisites: Applications requires, see undergraduate seminar section of dept’s website
This course explores manners of conceiving and being a self in early modern Europe (ca. 1400-1800). Through the analysis of a range of sources, from autobiographical writings to a selection of theological, philosophical, artistic, and literary works, we will address the concept of personhood as a lens through which to analyze topics such as the valorization of interiority, the formation of mechanist and sensationalist philosophies of selfhood, and, more generally, the human person’s relationship with material and existential goods. This approach is intended to deepen and complicate our understanding of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and other movements around which histories of the early modern period have typically been narrated.
HIST W4434: Atlantic Slave Trade, R 9:00am-10:50am
Points: 4 Instructor: C. Brown
Prerequisites: Application required. Please see undergraduate seminar section of department’s website.
This seminar provides an intensive introduction to the history of the Atlantic slave trade. The course will consider the impact of the traffic on Western Europe and the Americas, as well as on Africa, and will give special attention to the experiences of both captives and captors. Assignments include three short papers and a longer research paper of 20 to 25 pages.
HIST G8214: The Book in the Early Modern World, W 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points: 4 Instructor: E. Carlebach
This graduate course will introduce students to the scholarly literature on the history of the book with a focus on the first centuries of print. Particular emphasis will be placed on the material aspects of late medieval manuscript culture and early printed books. The course will take place in the Rare Book and Manuscript division of Columbia’s Butler Library. The library’s collection contains many exemplary artifacts for the students to explore with the class and for their own projects. The course will be co-taught by Professors Michael Ryan, Director of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia, and Elisheva Carlebach, Baron Professor of History, Columbia.
HIST G9072: Medieval Science and Society, R 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: J. Kaye
ITAL W4092: Dante’s Divina Commedia 2, TR 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points: 4 Instructor: T. Barolini
Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of Italian
A year-long course in which the Commedia is read over two consecutive semesters; students can register for one or both semesters. This course offers a thorough grounding in the entire text and an introduction to the complexities of its exegetical history. Attention not only to historical and theological issues, but also to Dante’s mimesis, his construction of an authorial voice that generations of readers have perceived as “true,” and the critical problems that emerge when the virtual reality created in language has religious and theological pretensions.
Latin American and Iberian Cultures
SPAN G6750/CPLS G6750: Secularism: The Boundaries of Religion in Early and Late Modernity, F 1:10pm-3:55pm
Points: 3 Instructor: S. Kimmel
Course Description — One conventional narrative of European history charts a shift from medieval religion to modern secularism. But do we actually live in a “secular age,” as Charles Taylor has put it? Even if we do live in such an age, how has the process of secularization produced particular varieties of religious belief and practice? What range of roles, on the other hand, have Protestant reform, scholastic inquiry, Islamic revival, and other forms of theological reason played in defining the secular sphere from the early modern period to the present? How do contemporary debates about secularism and religion—not only in Europe and America, but also in the Middle East, South Asia, and elsewhere—overlap with discourses of imperialism, fundamentalism, or terrorism? In attempting to answer these questions by considering the history of concepts such as tolerance, natural law, multiculturalism, and religious freedom, this class traces the ambivalent contemporary legacy of early modern forms of scholarship, government, and community. Readings include works by Lorenzo Valla, Erasmus, Francisco de Vitoria, Ignatius de Loyola, Baruch Spinoza, and John Locke, as well as by scholars such as Talal Asad, José Casanova, Juan Donoso Cortés, Stathis Gourgouris, Saba Mahmood, Charles Taylor, Edward Said, Carl Schmitt, and others.
MUSI G8102: Seminar in Historical Musicology — Studies in Medieval Liturgy and its Books, Mondays 6-8pm, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Points: 3 Instructors: S. Boynton
This seminar is an introduction to medieval Western chant and liturgy. Students become familiar with major research questions, tools, and methods, and will have the opportunity to study medieval liturgical manuscripts in Columbia’s Rare Books Manuscript Library, where we will meet every week. Field trips will bring us to other collections in New York City.
RELI G8141: Colloquium on Papal Councils, Fri 2:10-4:00pm
Points: 3 Instructor: R. Somerville
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission. Examination of papal councils and their influence on canon law.
RELI W4170: History of Christianity, M 4:10pm-6:00pm
Points: 4 Instructor: R. Somerville
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission required. An examination of a series of episodes that are of special consequence for papal history in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Readings in both primary and secondary sources in English translation.
MedRen Graduate Courses Fall 2013
ENGL G6xxx Vernacular Theology (Eleanor Johnson) (seminar)
ENGL G6xxx [English Renaissance Poetry] (Molly Murray) (seminar)
ENGL W4xxx British Literature to 1500 (Susan Crane) (lecture)
ENGL W4xxx English Renaissance Prose (Alan Stewart) (lecture)
ENGL W4xxx Vernacular Paleography (Christopher Baswell) (lecture)
Courses listed above subject to change.
MedRen Graduate Courses Spring 2014
ENGL G6xxx England’s Antiquities (Christopher Baswell) (seminar)
ENGL G6xxx The Intelligence of Affect (Patricia Dailey) (seminar)
ENGL G6xxx The History Plays (Jean Howard) (seminar)
ENGL W4xxx Visionary Drama (Eleanor Johnson) (lecture)
CLEN W4xxx Classical Literary Criticism (Kathy Eden) (lecture)
CLEN G6000 Erasmus and Humanism (Kathy Eden) (seminar)
Courses listed above subject to change.