Center for Medieval Studies Graduate Courses Spring 2015
MVST 5078 (4) Meditation, Contemplation, and the Spiritual Senses Call #25015 (Albin & Davis) W 5:00-7:30
The late Middle Ages saw an astonishing proliferation of texts, practices, and styles of devotion seeking to draw human beings closer to God through the body. New emphasis on Christ’s humanity and Aristotelian natural philosophy prompted the rediscovery of the five corporeal senses and their cognitive processes in devotional literature. In this course, we will examine the languages, knowledges, desires, and anxieties surrounding the senses in a diverse corpus of texts, probing them for their theological import as much as for their literary design. Major authors: Aristotle, Augustine, Origen, Hugh of St. Victor, Bonaventure, Richard Rolle, Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Meditationes Vitae Christi.
ENGL 5261 (3) Sir Thomas Malory:Political, Religious, and Literary Cultures of the Fifteenth Century Call # 25016 (Wogan-Browne) M 5:30-8:30
Malory’s vast Morte Darthur and the wide multilingual reading that went into it is both object of study and the gateway into the troubled fifteenth century in this course. After relative critical neglect, the fifteenth century is now increasingly studied, often as part of rethinking early modern and late medieval periodizations. Clerical literary production of religious devotion and controversy, and interest in medieval neo-classicism and early modern humanism as an area of book history have been two of the main drivers of renewed attention. Malory is best known as the writer of one of the most enduring and most loved Arthurian works in English, but this course seeks to take a fresh look at Morte Darthur by not making Arthurian literature its framing concern. Instead, the course looks at Morte Darthur as a work of secular culture composed within a period of richly various literary production amidst political and ideological crisis. Malory’s representation of political stability and governance, of conquest and other internal and foreign relations, treason law, and chivalry’s investments in eucharistic theology will be some of the issues explored in this wider context, alongside questions of manuscript-print interrelations, the valence of secular and sacred chivalric discourses, and the challenges posed by Malory’s powerful and sometimes puzzling work to various conceptions of literary form. Reception, both in terms of the audiences for Malory’s text and modern critical paradigms for Morte Darthur will also inform these explorations. No prerequisites (Malory’s French sources can be read in translation on this course).
HIST 6076 (4) Noble Culture and Society Call #25885 (Paul) M 5:30-8:00
The world of High Medieval Europe was politically, economically, and culturally dominated by a new kind of aristocracy, one whose special status was based on a combination of landholding, military dominance, exclusive bloodlines, and elaborate performances. The group who we designate as “nobility” shaped the medieval political landscape, just as often acting as the avowed enemies of the centralizing monarchies as they were its agents and the beneficiaries of the royal policies that enshrined their status and privileges in law. The nobility were also the primary patrons and consumers of courtly culture. They wrote law and poetry and spoke often of the laws of love. They were the nurturers of religious reform and dissent: some were crusaders, some heretics, and some both. This course will explore the recent scholarship on the nobility. Among other topics, we will explore the arguments surrounding the supposed feudal and familial crises that created the noble class, the meaning and exercise of violence by the aristocracy, the social function of courtliness, the relationship between chivalry and religious belief, and the response of the nobility to the threat of rising centralized government and the emergence of a wealthy merchant class in the later middle ages. We will read poetry, family histories, devotional texts, and knightly biography and consider art objects, landscape, and architecture.
HIST 8150 (4) Medieval Intellectual History Call #22491 (Novikoff) R 5:30-8:00
This course is a continuation of the pro-seminar from the previous semester. The course takes a broad approach to medieval intellectual history, focusing not just on the texts and ideas that were central to medieval intellectual life but also on the cultural conditions that enabled scholarship and creativity to flourish. Students enrolled in the seminar will under ordinary circumstance have taken the first part of the seminar/pro-seminar and be expected to work on a research paper of substantial size. Seminars will be principally devoted to discussing additional historiographical and methodological issues that arise from the study of medieval intellectual and cultural history.
PHIL 5010 (3) Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas Call # 18395 (Klima) T 11:00-1:00
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) Introduction to St. Augustine Call #18396 (Cullen) R 2:30-4:30
At the age of nineteen a young man living in Roman north Africa discovered philosophy. The world has never been the same since. While the world of the late Roman Empire—a world known for its decadence and brutality—teetered on the brink of collapse all about him, this teenager gave himself wholeheartedly to the pursuit of wisdom; he developed into one of greatest philosophical geniuses of all time—a genius who did more to shape the thought and culture of the next millennium of history than perhaps any other single individual. This course is a survey of the philosophy of this singularly influential intellectual—Augustine of Hippo. The course will begin by discussing Augustine’s life, from his tumultuous and lurid youth in the streets of Carthage to his deathbed where he lay dying while the barbarians were literally at the gates. The course will discuss his intellectual struggle with Gnostic Manicheanism and skepticism. Attention will be given to the philosophical currents that shaped Augustine, especially Neo-platonism. The course will follow Augustine on his inner journey into the depths of the human soul. In addition to his teachings on being and truth, the course will examine his philosophy of education and his history-making intervention in the centuries-long battle between Socrates and the Sophists. The last section of the course will focus on Augustine’s ethical and political ideas. Particular attention will be given to those seminal doctrines that have had a pervasive influence, such as his teachings on society, the political order, war, and his philosophy of history.
PHIL 6460 (3) Intentionality Call #24988 (Klima) F 11:00-1:00
This course explores the key concept of intentionality both in its medieval and in its modern varieties, as it functions in various medieval and modern theories of cognition and mental representation.
THEO 6194 (3) History, Theory and Pre-Modern Christianity Call #24981 (Dunning) W 11:45-2:15
This course will provide a thorough introduction to recent developments in historiography and critical theory in light of the so-called “linguistic turn.” It will also explore the methodological relevance of these theoretical shifts for the study of pre-modern Christianity/historical theology.
THEO 6425 (3) Augustine in Context Call #24977 (M. Tilley) M 9:00-11:30
This course investigates the life and writings of Augustine of Hippo in the context of late antiquity including philosophical and religious influences upon him as well as the controversies and archeological remains of his ministry
THEO 6444 (3) Medieval Modernisms Call #24980 (Moore) T 4:00-6:30
In twentieth-century Europe, an astonishing range of intellectuals were animated and energized by the study of pre modern and early modern Christianity. For theologians, historians, philosophers, and literary figures, Christian medieval and patristic sources were galvanizing forces of transformation, and harbingers of ethical, theological, and political renewal. This course investigates the various appropriations of medieval and ancient Christianity from the Catholic nouvelle theologie movement (Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, M.D. Chenu, and Jean Danielou in particular), literature (Charles Peguy), philosophy, and historiography (Michel de Certeau), along with secondary works by Amy Hollywood and others.
Ital 5090 (0) Italian for Reading Call#25070 (Long) W 11:30-2:00
GERM 5002 (0) Graduate Reading in German II Call#17960 (Hafner) TF 11:30-12:45
MVST 5200 (4) Medieval Iberia (Novikoff) Session I, TR 4:00-7:00
This course examines and evaluates the interaction among the three religious cultures of medieval Iberia: Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. Readings and discussion will cover the successive historical periods of medieval Iberia (ca. 600-1500), but a major focus of the class will be a holistic approach to intellectual traditions and cultural interactions among the three groups. To this end, a substantial amount of attention will be devoted to considering the architectural, poetic, musical, and polemical interactions that shaped the countries we now call Spain and Portugal. This class will also take advantage of New York’s exceptional museum and library collections.
LATIN 5090 (0) Latin for Reading Call# 10072 (Sogno) Session I, MW 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 LC Campus Call#10251 (Latour) Session I, TR 6:00-9:00
SPAN 5090 (0) Spanish for Reading – Taught at LC Campus Call#10250 (Lenis) Session II, TR 6:00-9:00