Center for Medieval Studies Graduate Courses Spring 2016

(updated 9 November 2015)


For more information, contact the center at (718) 817-4655 or


MVST 0912         Requirement Prep                                (0 credits)              Call #20402
MVST 0930         PhD Cert. Comp Exams                       (0 credits)              Call #22509

MVST 0936         Master’s Comp Exam                            (0 credit)               Call #19510
MVST 0937         Research Paper Preparation              (.5 credit)              Call #19512
MVST 8500         Independent Research                         (2 credits)              Call # 22484


MVST 5905 (4) Medieval Pilgrimage                                                              Call#28764           (Gyug, Yeager)                     R 2:30-5:00

“Medieval Pilgrimage” is a new graduate seminar, team taught by Dr. Richard Gyug (History) and Dr. Suzanne Yeager (English).  Over the course of the semester we will focus on a variety of medieval pilgrims and their destinations, ranging from the well-known shrine at Compostela to those places mainly frequented by local audiences such as the shrine of St. Foy.  In this seminar, we conceptualize pilgrimage broadly, entertaining a variety of aims for travel, and also considering the pilgrimage form as a purely conceptual exercise (seen, for instance, in The Travels of Sir John Mandeville) as well as those with more practical aims – such as the pilgrim’s guide to Jerusalem supplied by William Wey.  We will also consider relics and the process of shrine-making and promotion in translatio accounts.  Through the work of medieval as well as contemporary scholars of pilgrimage, we will consider pilgrimage anthropologically as well as a component of a variety of religious and political ideals of the Middle Ages.  Readings include Egeria’s Letter, Guibert of Nogent’s treatise on relics, promotional materials of the crusading era, The Marvels of Rome, the Liber Sancti Jacobi, the Mandeville writer, the Voyage of St. Brendan, Edith and Victor Turners’ twentieth-century work on pilgrimage, and many others.


MVST 6209 (4) Themes in Preconquest Literature                                   Call#27331           (Chase)                                 T 11:30-2:00

This course is an advanced-level seminar on the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon England. We will read (in Old English) a variety of texts from the period, including poetry, homilies, saints’ lives, and chronicles. Substantial attention will also be given to Anglo-Saxon palaeography and relevant critical literature, with the aim of providing students with the resources needed for the scholarly study of Old English. Prior knowledge of Old English is expected.


ENGL 6215: (3) Medieval British Historical Writing                                 Call#27483            (O’Donnell)                                           M 2:30-5:00

History-writing was fundamental to medieval and early-modern literary sensibilities, but in its relation to truth, genre, and identity, medieval history differs dramatically from contemporary understandings of the discipline of history.  This course will introduce you to the major historiographical thinkers and practitioners of the English Middle Ages and include selections from Gildas, Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Dudo of Saint-Quentin, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Matthew Paris, and the Middle English Brut.


HIST 5202 (4) Medieval Interfaith Relations                                                Call#28270           (Novikoff)                              T 5:30-8:00

Interfaith relations are today a valuable and potentially urgent category of historical analysis. This seminar explores the relations among Christians, Muslims, and Jews across Europe and the Mediterranean from early medieval papal policy to rise of the Ottoman Turks, with a particular focus on religious, intellectual, and cultural instances of interfaith conflict and coexistence. Attention will especially be given to historiographical models that have attempted to understand how such relations are useful to the modern world.


HIST 5553 (4) Book History: Texts, Media, Communication                    Call#27257            (Rigogne)                                             W 5:30-8:00

This course explores the history of media and communication in general, as well as textual scholarship. Topics range across time periods and continents, with particular focus on the medieval and early modern transitions, as well as on more recent “media revolutions.” It will introduce graduate students to key works, concepts and methodologies that analyze how communication media of all sorts (from manuscripts to printed books, newspapers and images, from songs and rumors to audiovisual and digital media) have been a driving force in history, and have shaped all historical research. We will study texts and methods drawn from a wide variety of historical fields, as well as from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, literary criticism, art history, bibliography and media studies, all of which provide historians with powerful insights and indispensable tools and skills.


HIST 8110 (4) SEM: Church Law and Medieval Society                              Call#27255           (Müller)                                W  2:30-5:30
The course forms the second part of a two-semester pro-seminar/seminar sequence and invites graduate students to pursue original research projects in the field of medieval church law.  Their inquiries may address a wide range of issues, such as legal theory, judicial practice, and the medieval uses and perceptions of canonical justice.  The previous pro-seminar has provided an introduction to the field and helped formulate appropriate study agendas.  This seminar will offer a forum for the presentation, discussion, and refinement of each participant’s scholarly work-in-progress.  The ultimate goal will be to submit a fully annotated 30 to 40-page essay which successfully analyzes select source material.


PHIL 5010 (3) Intro to Aquinas                                                                       Call#18395           (Davies)                                W 7:00-9:00

This course will be a general introduction to Aquinas’s philosophical thinking.We shall pay special attention to his philosophy of God. We shall also turn to what he says about questions such as the scope of human knowledge, the nature of the human being, and the nature and significance of human action. As well as being expository, the course will consider the cogency of Aquinas’s position on various topics. It will also try to relate what Aquinas says to what other philosophers, especially modern philosophers, have had to say. The course will not presuppose any previous detailed knowledge of Aquinas on the part of students.



PHIL 5012 (3) Intro to Augustine                                                                    Call#5012              (Pini)                                    W 11:30-1:30

This course will provide a survey of some of the key aspects of St. Augustine’s thought. Topics will include faith and reason; divine ideas; the theology of the Holy Trinity; mind; skepticism; divine foreknowledge and predestination and human free will; the problem of evil; original sin and divine grace; happiness; human history and society. These topics will be approached by studying relevant sections from Augustine’s major works. Ideally, each class will consist of an introductory lecture (first hour) and discussion on the readings (second hour). This format may vary according to what the material requires and the needs of students. Students are expected to complete the readings in advance and take an active role in the discussion.


PHIL 7042: (3) Buridan on the Soul                                                                Call#27519                           (Klima)                  T 1:30-3:30          

This course will be based on the recently completed edition and translation of Buridan’s “Questions on Aristotle’s On the Soul” and its companion volume comprising a number of essays that place Buridan’s thought in its own historical context, while always reflecting on what we can learn from this outstanding thinker on the borderline of late-scholastic and early modern thought about our own contemporary problems in the philosophy of mind.


LATIN 6521: (4) Latin Paleography                                                                                Call#27196                           (Clark)                   R 6:30-8:30

“From Script to Print”: A study of the development of Latin handwriting from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Includes a study of the manuscript as book (codicology) and as cultural artifact. Some consideration of textual transmission and critical editing. There will be hands-on practice in reading the various scripts. Weekly transcriptions, some outside reading, a final examination, and a final palaeographical project are course requirements. The final project will involve transcribing and identifying an original manuscript leaf from the Fordham collection, although advanced students, with specific needs, may, with permission, develop their own final palaeographical projects.


GERM 5002: (0) Graduate Reading in German II                                          Call#17960           (Hafner)                                                TF 11:30-12:45

ITAL 3050 Art, Politics & Literature in Italian Humanism                                                          (Barsella)                                             MR 4-5:15pm
This course is directed to students with interests in Literature, Humanities, History, Politics, and Art History. Students will explore the development of humanist ideas from the XIV to the early days of the Florentine Republic in the beginning of the XV century. This period witnessed an epochal redirection from a medieval theocentric view of the world to an anthropocentric humanist vision centered on ethical and political speculation directed to the construction of the “ideal city.” Through different disciplines, students in this course will investigate how the development of humanist thought prepared the grounds for the elaboration of ideas that are still at the roots of modern Western civilization. Among the topics included are: humanist political theories; the debate on the arts and the reform of the education; humanist theology and the seeds of religious reformation movements; and the ideas of “universal man” and “ideal city.” Readings include authors such as Giovanni Boccaccio, Francesco Petrarca, Coluccio Salutati, Poggio Bracciolini, Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus. Cross-listed with Comparative Literatures and Medieval Studies. Please contact the instructor Susanna Barsella:, for more information.

ITAL 5090: (0) Italian for Reading                                                                 Call#25070           (TBD)                                     W 8:30-11:00




Summer 2016


MVST 5201 (4) The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century                                                           (Novikoff)             Session I, MW 3:00-6:00

This graduate seminar explores the religious, intellectual, literary, and cultural contours of the “long” 12th Century, with equal weight given to the diversity of medieval sources that survive and to modern historiographic interpretations. The class will include visits to the Cloisters museum and to the Morgan library.


MVST 8999 (1-4) Tutorial: Study Tour of Medieval Spain                                                         (Myers)                                                 (TBA)

One of the great medieval pilgrimage routes, the Camino de Santiago crosses northern Spain from the passes of the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. This study-tour will consider the legends of the Camino, some of its many surviving monuments, and the modern revival of the pilgrimage by walking for two weeks with the peregrinos/-as from Leon to Santiago de Compostela. This class will meet periodically at Fordham before the walk to discuss reading assignments and prepare. A journal is required at the end of the course. Fees and travel costs not included.


LATIN 5090 (0) Latin for Reading                                                                   Call# 10072          (Sogno)                  Session I, TR 6:00-9:00


LATN 5093 (3) Ecclesiastical Latin                                                                                Call#10073           (Clark)                   Session II, MW 6:00-9:00

Study of the grammatical structure, form and vocabulary of Church Latin, focusing on the Bible, the Church Fathers, and medieval thinkers.


FREN 5090 (0) French for Reading- Taught at RH Campus                       Call#10251           (Latour)                Session I, TR 1:00-4:00


SPAN 5090 (0) Spanish for Reading – Taught at RH Campus                     Call#10250           (Méndez-Clark)   Session I, TR 1:00-4:00