Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies 
Graduate Courses Spring Semester 2014 

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

Spring  2014 Courses

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

MVST 5078 (4): Medieval Books and Materials
Call #22183    (Gyug)   W 5:00-7:30

The handwritten sources of the medieval period, whether records, chronicles, treatises, Bibles, or many other genres and types, are fundamental materials for medieval studies. Using examples from a range of documentary and literary sources, the course will consider the purposes, preparation, transmission, and preservation of written sources from the period. The emphasis will be on how such materials can be used for medieval studies and the tools important for their study.

ENGL 6216 (3): Late Medieval Autobiography: T. Hoccleve, O. Bokenham, M. Kempe
Call # 22514  (Erler)    M 2:30-5:00

Margery Kempe’s Book is often called the first female autobiography in English but the writing of her fifteenth-century contemporaries Thomas Hoccleve, a London scribe and bureaucrat, and Osbern Bokenham, an East Anglian friar, also offer a personal voice. We will explore the social and theological context of each author as we read their work in Middle English.

ENGL 6250 (3): Postcolonial Middle Ages
Call # 22515   (Yeager)   R 2:30-5:00

Postcolonial study has been a productive scholarly approach for decades.  But the accuracy of the term, “postcolonial,” with reference to premodern literature, has been on ongoing subject of debate.  According to accepted, critical definitions, postcolonial literatures are products of colonizing communities and previously colonized cultures, rising in the wake of periods of colonization; moreover, postcolonial study has been linked to modern European communities which formed global empires.  These expectations and others have made the “postcolonial” Middle Ages appear controversial.  In spite of these controversies, productive understanding of premodern culture has emerged from research under the postcolonial lens, encouraging the study of displaced cultures, and of minority and subjugated voices within the medieval period, the production and performance of identity, and the ways in which communities define, remember, and perpetuate themselves.  This course will focus on medieval texts produced in England, France, and the Levant under changing premodern regimes, and will explore the varied literary responses to colonization, diaspora, and displacement that occurred long before the Age of Empire. Texts to be read in Middle English include the Croxton Play of the Sacrament, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Man of Law’s Tale and Prioress’s Tale, along with premodern work in translation, such as The Letter of Prester John, the Beauvais Play of Daniel, the Chanson de Roland, and Fulcher of Chartres’ history.  These works offer complex views of alterity, conquest, place, space, and performance which are foundational in discussing how the Middle Ages can be viewed as postcolonial.

HIST 5201 (4): Twelfth Century Renaissance
Call #22485   (Novikoff)    R 5:30-8:00

This seminar examines the renaissance of the twelfth century from multiple historiographical angles: as a medieval “renaissance” in the sense famously popularized by Charles Homer Haskins in 1927, as a “reformation” or “European revolution” formulated by historians of religion in the later twentieth century, and as a “long twelfth century” preferred by cultural historians today. Readings of secondary and select primary sources will cover a wide range of ideas, institutions, and personalities associated with intellectual life (broadly conceived) from Anselm of Canterbury to the first universities. Participants will be invited in writing assignments and discussions to challenge older paradigms, introduce new ones, and consider alternate and cross-disciplinary approaches to studying this enduringly fascinating epoch in medieval civilization

HIST 8150 (4) Seminar: Medieval England
Call #22491  (Kowaleski)    T 4:00-6:30

Students continue to work on the research project they defined in the Proseminar to this course. They also learn to design and use a computer database that includes data gathered in the course of research on the final paper, participate in seminars to improve their academic writing and public speaking skills, and familiarize themselves with professional standards for writing a scholarly article, giving a talk at an academic conference, and writing an academic curriculum vitae. They complete the seminar by giving a 20-minute conference paper on their research project and writing a thesis-length original research paper that could be published as a scholarly article.

LATN 6521 (3) Latin Palaeography                                               
Call # 23011  (Clark)   F 4:00-6:00

“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.

PHIL 5010 (3) Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas
Call # 18395      (Davies)    M 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 look at 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 positions on various topics. It will also try to relate what Aquinas says to what other philosophers, especially modern and contemporary ones, have had to say. The course will not presuppose any previous knowledge of Aquinas on the part of the student.

PHIL 5012 (3) Introduction to St. Augustine
Call #18396  
(Klima)  F 2:00-5:00           

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.

THEO 5300 (3) History of Christianity I                               
Call #22913   
(Lienhard)    M 5:15-7:45          

This course is meant to introduce students to the history of Christian doctrine and theology from the end of New Testament times to 1500. The course will run on two parallel tracks. One track will be lectures, which will treat three principal doctrines of Christian faith: the doctrine of the one God whose name is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; the doctrine of the person of Jesus the Christ, true God and true man; and the doctrine of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The second track, intended to enhance participants’ knowledge of the greatest theologians and movements of the period, will consist of reading eight relatively short books and reporting on them in writing.

THEO 6365 (3) Cappadocian Fathers                                           
Call #22910 (
Demacopoulos) M 9:00-11:30        

This course is designed to provide a thorough introduction to the writings, interaction, and significance of the Cappadocian fathers.  Although we will cover a number of theological, literary, and scholarly themes, we will pay special attention to their writings (and the scholarly debates about their writings) on anthropology, gender, asceticism, philanthropy, and the Nicene cause. Special Note:  PhD students working in late antiquity are strongly encouraged to take the corresponding course in Cappadocian Greek, which will be offered by Dr. Dunning later the same day.  The two courses have been redeveloped to be taught in conjunction with one another.

THEO 6461 (3) Mystical Theology                                                             
Call #22917  (
Davis) W 11:45-2:15       

Examines the influences of Neoplatonic philosophy and the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius on medieval Latin Christianity, with attention to both “negative” theological language and reflection on the paths to and modes of union with God. Modern deconstructive, psychoanalytic, and feminist approaches to mysticism will also be considered.

FREN 5090  (0) French for Reading                                                     
Call#23272   (Lynch)  
W 11:30-2:00

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