Fall 2014

Medieval Courses 

MSCP. 80500 – Interdisciplinary Approaches Late Medieval Lyric   GC: W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Stone, [25084] Cross listed with MUS 86800

The rise of vernacular poetry in Romance languages that took place between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries has been the subject of a wealth of interdisciplinary scholarship in the past couple of decades by historians of art, music and literature. Inspired by new cross-disciplinary areas of inquiry—gender studies, New Philology, sound studies, among others—scholars have transformed the way we think about the late medieval lyric, its social context, its compositional process, its transmission and reception. This seminar will survey recent writings across these disciplines that treat lyrics with and without music produced in late medieval Occitania, France and Italy from roughly the 12th-15th centuries: troubadour song; the French motet; the formes fixes lyrics of Guillaume de Machaut; the Italian lyric compilations of the fourteenth century. Students will engage in close readings of individual lyrics in a variety of Romance languages (translations will be available, though familiarity with at least one modern Romance language or with Latin will be helpful), and also in close readings of manuscripts from the level of the page to the level of the codex. We will take advantage of the new availability of medieval lyric collections online, through sites like the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s Gallica site, the British Library, and the consortial Digital Scriptorium, as well as color print facsimiles such as that of the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the late trecento Squarcialupi codex. We will also visit the Morgan Library to examine their illuminated troubadour manuscript, M.819.

Requirements: weekly readings and short writing assignments; one 5-page paper due mid-semester and one final project, read in class as a 20-minute conference-style paper, and then submitted as a 10-15 page research paper. All primary and secondary readings will be available in English translation. Students may choose to research lyrics in languages other than those treated in the seminar.

Note: this two-hour, three-credit seminar will be extended by one hour and one credit (required of music students and optional for others) to deal specifically with the musical notation of late medieval lyrics: learning how to read it, and considering how its presence participated in making meaning in the context of the song as a whole.

ART. 82000 – Ancient Medieval Art at the Dawn of the Classical Age GC: R, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Kousser, [25092] Course open to Art History Ph.D. students only Permission required by all others

This course will meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This Mellon seminar will explore the artistically rich and globally interconnected world of the ancient Mediterranean in the early first millennium B.C.E. It draws on a major loan show, “From Assyria to Iberia: Crossing continents at the dawn of the Classical age,” as well as the Metropolitan Museum’s rich permanent collections of Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Etruscan art. The course will combine close study of rarely accessible objects with discussions with curators and conservators involved in the exhibition; the goal is an enhanced understanding of Iron Age Mediterranean art. Though less familiar than the later Classical era, the Iron Age was a critical period in the development of the ancient Mediterranean. It was significant above all due to three interrelated developments: the growth of the Assyrian empire; Phoenecian exploration from North Africa to Spain; and the transformation of Greece during the so-called Orientalizing era. This course examines the three developments in tandem; in doing so, it challenges the disciplinary boundaries that generally separate the study of European art from that of the Ancient Near East.

Topics to be addressed include the creation of an imperial Assyrian identity through art; artistic exchange via Phoenecian trade networks; local artistic responses to imperial and colonial activity; Greek self-fashioning in light of Near Eastern precedents; ancient and modern collecting practices; and the ways Biblical and Homeric scholarship have both reflected and helped to construct contemporary analyses of Iron Age art. Auditors accepted.

Preliminary reading:

Mies van de Mieroop, A history of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 B.C. (Oxford, 2004), Chapters 11-12

Sarah Morris, “Bridges to Babylon: Homer, Anatolia, and the Levant,” in Beyond Babylon: Art, trade, and diplomacy in the second milennium B.C., ed. Joan Aruz, Kim Benzel, and Jean Evans (New York, 2008).

ART. 83000 – Thingness & Matter in Medieval Objects GC: T, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Hahn, [25093] Course open to Art History Ph.D. students only Permission required by all others  

Art history has returned to the object and “materiality” with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, our approach to the object is not/cannot be unmediated. This course will explore medieval materiality through the use of “Thing Theory,” a multi-disciplinary consideration that will include the “social life of things,” philosophy’s “speculative realism,” and historical investigations of matter and material. We will read Appadurai, Bynum, Harman, and others. Students will choose an object or group of objects to re-vision using these methodological approaches, examples might include reliquaries and other art objects of “use” from the Middle Ages (or other eras with permission).

Preliminary Readings:

Bryant, Levi, Nick Srnicek, and Graham Harman, eds. The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Victoria, Australia: re.press, 2011.

Bynum, Caroline. Christian Materiality: an Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe, New York: Zone Books, 2011

CLAS. 85300 – Latin Poetry Seminar GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Ancona, [25019] Course open to CUNY students only.

The purpose of this course is to provide training in (1) the research and performance skills involved in producing and delivering oral papers, (2) the research skills involved in producing publishable writing, and (3) some of the relevant professional skills needed for career and research development. Course Requirements: Attendance and Class Participation•Use of Blackboard•Weekly Assignments: Writing of a Paper Abstract to be submitted to a conference•One Oral Paper (written and delivered) 15 minutes (6 double-spaced typed)•One Publishable Paper (written), length as appropriate (probably 10-30 pages)

ENGL. 80900 – The Vernacularity Debate GC: M, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Sargent, [25042]

The role of literature in the vernacular was strongly contested at the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century in England – including particularly the theoretical debate over the appropriateness of the translation of scripture. According to one school of modern literary criticism, the debate was definitively ended by the ecclesiastical authorities with the promulgation of Archbishop Arundel’s Lambeth Constitutions of 1409. Yet we must also observe the expansion of literary translation into English throughout this period, including not just the French literature that had often been translated into English throughout the medieval period, but also, e.g., translations of Italian literature by Chaucer and others.

PHIL. 76200 – Early Medieval Philosophy GC: R, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Lackey, [25285]

PHIL. 76600 – Naturalism in the Philosophy of Science GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Cordero, [25286]

Naturalist projects grant exceptional cognitive status to the empirical sciences. In this course we’ll focus on major naturalist moves in recent philosophy of science and the debates around them. About one third of the sessions will be on background seminal papers. The other two-thirds will be devoted to naturalism in action in ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, and empirical philosophy.

Renaissance Courses

RSCP. 72100 – Introduction to Renaissance Studies: Cultural Exchanges in the Renaisssance   GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3/4 credits, Prof. Schwartz, [25083] Cross listed with C L 71000 & SPAN 82000

This course will examine some Italian encounters with the ancient classics, which fostered the invention of new literary forms and new literary voices, and their impact on sixteenth-century French and Spanish literature. It will focus on the shaping of this movement promoted by Petrarch, and on its development in the following centuries with the works of Alberti, Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Erasmus and other famous humanists. Special attention will be given to the function fulfilled by translators of texts written in Greek into Latin, and of both Greek and Latin into the modern languages, who helped disseminate philosophical theories and literary forms of expression after the invention of the printing press, thus becoming mediators between classical and Renaissance authors. Translation will be also considered in its propaedeutic function as a first step in the practice of imitation, which ruled the composition of artistic works and constituted a main tenet of Renaissance aesthetics.

New literary voices and cultural figures to be explored will encompass the Neoplatonic lover, the humanist and the courtier; among new literary forms, Menippean satire, as composed after the model of Lucian, which became very influential after the fifteenth century.

Readings will include poems by Francesco Petrarca, Pierre de Ronsard and Garcilaso de la Vega; Ficino’s Dell’amore; Alberti’s Momus; Erasmus’s Colloquies; Castiglione’s Il cortegiano, and Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares.

ART. 75020 – Sacred & Profane Early Netherlandish Painting GC: M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Lane, [25086] Course open to Art History Ph.D. students only Permission required by all others

An investigation of the current controversy over the meanings and purposes of paintings produced in Flanders and the northern Netherlands in the fifteenth century. Lectures will examine recent challenges to traditional interpretations of major works by Robert Campin, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hugo van der Goes, Hans Memling, and Hieronymus Bosch, and will involve students in the debate over the concept of “disguised symbolism.” Problems of sources, attribution, chronology, and technique will also be considered. 5 auditors will be accepted.

Preliminary Reading:

Lane, Barbara G. The Altar and the Altarpiece: Sacramental Themes in Early Netherlandish Painting. New York,1984 (ND 635 .L36 1984).

Panofsky, Erwin. Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character. 2 vols. Cambridge, MA [1953], 1971, ch. 5: “Reality and Symbol” (ND 635.P35 1971).

C L. 85000 – The Rake’s Progress: Libertinism: Italy, France, England GC: R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Fasoli, [25254]

If in common parlance the word libertinism conveys a sense of socially disapproved rakishness, then “erudite libertinage” or philosophical free-thinking is a definition that applies to a variety of 17th and 18th thinkers, usually connected through academic circles, who challenged the core cultural, political, and religious institutions of ancien régime Europe. These heterodox philosophers, novelists, and satirists were fierce critics of post-Reformation Catholicism and of then-popular political doctrines (reason of state, absolutism) and, in some cases, of sexual normativity and even of the new epistemological discourses emerging in early modern Europe.

Among the authors studied in this course will include Ferrante Pallavicino, Lorenzo da Ponte, Pierre Gassendi, Giulio Cesare Vanini, Gabriel Naudé, Cyrano de Bergerac, Donatien Alphonse De Sade, John Wilmot, and Aphra Behn.

ENGL. 81500 – Science, Symphathy, and the Stage in Early Modern England GC: R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Pollard, [25051]

This course will explore early modern scientific models of bodies’ relationships with their environments, with attention to theories about the sympathies sparked by correlations between human, animal, and inanimate bodies, and the potent consequences of manipulating these sympathies. Readings will include Arden of Faversham; Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus; Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Tempest; Webster’s Duchess of Malfi; Middleton’s Changeling and The Witch; Jonson’s Epicoene and The Alchemist; Crooke’s Microcosmographia; and Wright’s Passions of the Mind in General.

ENGL. 88100 – History, Theory and Early Modern Sexualities GC: R, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Profs. DiGangi/Fisher, [25034]

This team-taught seminar will explore and expand the repertoire of scholarly methods for reading sexuality in early modern literature, with an eye to current debates and future directions for the field. We will consider how different theoretical and historical approaches have produced varying accounts of sexuality as an object of inquiry; we will engage various reading strategies for elucidating sexual meaning in dramatic texts; and we will reflect critically on questions of evidence, affect, gender, subjectivity, language, genre, theatricality, textual editing, and periodization.

The following kinds of questions will guide our discussions: What are the consequences of emphasizing historical alterity, as opposed to historical continuity, in the study of sexuality? Are concepts such as sexual identity, subjectivity, or community useful in analyzing early modern modes of eroticism? How might the field move beyond familiar sexual paradigms and taxonomies (i.e., homoeroticism/heteroeroticism) to access alternative forms of erotic knowledge, practice, and relationality in early modern culture? How do particular textual and performative elements (i.e., puns, soliloquies, gestures, costumes, voices, metatheatrical moments, offstage actions) convey or confound sexual meaning? In exploring these questions, we will draw on a range of primary texts (drama, poetry, and prose) from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

FREN. 82000 – Anxiétés et savoirs à la Renaissance: discours, récits, visions GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Sautman, [25117]

Malgré l’impression radieuse qui en est souvent projetée, la Renaissance, en France dans notre cas, a été aussi une période de grande anxiété. C’est sur cette dimension de la période que le cours se penche, mettant en rapport la recherche insatiable de la connaissance, des savoirs, avec ces anxiétés intellectuelles et culturelles. La littérature de l’époque se fait témoin de la soif de connaissance, des nombreuses questions posées sur la science, sur la place du corps et de la signification de la nature dans les arts et en philosophie. En même temps, elle prend acte de et s’investit dans les controverses et les conflits de religion, voire les plus violents. Enfin, cette époque voit aussi des tensions très fortes entre des expectatives souvent contradictoires de sexe et genre, alors que les femmes sont en principe strictement limitées mais qu’elles peuvent détenir des pouvoirs considérables au niveau supérieur de la société. Ce cours n’est pas centré sur UN ou même plusieurs auteurs, mais sur une série de problèmes, de perspectives particulières à certains genres et registres d’écriture, et à une thématique de la place contestée de l’individu, des communautés, et de l’identité sociale et culturelle dans l’écrit à cette époque.

Nous étudierons donc un nombre considérable d’auteurs, mais généralement sur la base de textes courts, avec quelques exceptions (Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre). Ces textes appartiennent aux genres narratif et polémique, à la poésie et au théâtre. Rabelais faisant l’objet de cours approfondis dans notre programme, il ne figure PAS dans ce cours. Par contre, nous étudierions des textes, parfois substantiels, souvent brefs, des auteurs suivants: Barthelemy Aneau, Agrippa d’Aubigné, Guillaume Salluste du Bartas, Joachim du Bellay, François de Belleforest, Catherine de Bourbon, Brantôme, Nicole Etienne, Robert Garnier, Marie Le Jars de Gournay, Marguerite de Navarre, Clément Marot, Montaigne, Georgette de Montenay, Etienne Pasquier, Pierre de Ronsard, Pontus de Tyard, Madeleine (Neveu) et Catherine des Roches, Jean de Sponde, Maurice Scève, Jean de la Taille, et Blaise de Vigenère. La liste complète et définitive, avec un début de lectures à faire, sera accessible avant la fin de ce semestre.

Si vous choisissez de suivre ce cours, vous devez vous attendre à ce qui suit : a) vous aurez, pour chaque réunion, une quantité imposante de textes primaires à lire (en général de deux ou trois auteurs) et moins de textes critiques comme lecture générale ; b) les lectures critiques, comme une partie du travail du cours, seront approfondies suivant des listes plus individuelles, selon les travaux et les intérêts ; c) votre participation sera non seulement en classe mais électronique, à travers un site du cours : il vous y sera demandé de partager vos projets et une partie au moins de vos travaux avec les autres membres du cours, et aussi, d’alimenter la discussion orale (virtuelle) par le blog du cours. Ceci est une dimension essentielle du cours, et non un élément facultatif.

HIST. 76910- Renaissance Atlantic: Movement, Power & Difference in the Making of Early Latin America GC: T, 2:00-4:00 p.m. Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Bennett [25728]

This the course utilizes the concepts of movement, power, and difference to examine the formation of a Renaissance Atlantic 1400-1600 jointly configured by the Iberian and early Latin America experience. Framed as a question, I am asking: in what ways does recent scholarship on medieval and early modern Iberia call for a reconsideration of colonial Latin America history? Ostensibly a historiographical question, it has epistemic implications. In view that recent scholarship on the Iberian past has been transformative, what implications might this have on our thinking, approach, and writing of early Latin American history? Successive turns, most notably the imperial and Atlantic ones, complicate matters by underscoring how nineteenth-century nationalist fabrications conjured up a mythic Iberia with profound consequences for the foundational representations of colonial Latin America history.

Representative Texts:
Blumenthal, Debra. Enemies & Familiars: Slavery and Mastery in Fifteenth-Century Valencia. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009.
Caneque, Alejandro. The King’s Living Image: The Culture and Politics of Viceregal Power in Colonial Mexico. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Fuchs, Barbara. Exotic Nation: Maurophilia and the Construction of Early Modern Spain. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009.
Johnson, Carina J. Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe: The Ottomans and Mexicans. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Kagan, Richard L. Clio & the Crown: The Politics of History in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Kelleher, Marie A. The Measure of Woman: Law and Female Identity in the Crown of Aragon. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
MacCormack, Sabine. On the Wings of Time: Rome, the Incas, Spain, and Peru. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.
Martinez, Maria Elena. Genealogical Fictions: Limpieza de Sangre, Religion, and Gender in Colonial Mexico. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2008.
Mignolo, Walter D. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, & Colonization. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.
Phillips, William D. Jr. Slavery in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
Ruiz, Teofilo F. A King Travels: Festive Traditions in Late Medieval and Early ModernSpain. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012.
Schwartz, Stuart B. All Can be Saved: Religious Tolerance and Salvation in the Iberian Atlantic World. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.
Silverblatt, Irene. Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004.
Studnicki-Gizbert, Daviken. A Nation Upon the Ocean Sea: Portugal’s Atlantic Diaspora and the Crisis of the Spanish Empire, 1492-1640. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Vilches, Elvira. New World Gold: Cultural Anxiety and Monetary Disorder in EarlyModern Spain. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010.
HIST. 79200 – Political History of European Jewry, 1750-1850   GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Sorkin, [25229]

This seminar focuses on the tumultuous period in European history (Enlightenment, industrial revolution, partitions of Poland, French revolution and Napoleon, Restoration, revolution of 1848) that fundamentally altered the Jews’ status and is conventionally known as the era of “emancipation.” We will study these developments, especially the ideal of full equality yet, even more, the idea and practice of various forms of partial or conditional equality, through a combination of primary and secondary sources. Students will write a research paper on a relevant topic of their own choosing.

PHIL. 76000 – Science & Metaphysics from Descartes to Kant GC: T, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Wilson, [25283]

This is a course in the major figures of early modern/Enlightenment philosophy up to and including Kant. Topics to be covered include the mechanical philosophy and the problem of force; the laws of nature; sensory qualities; the animal machine and the status of the soul; the nature of matter, teleology, the problems of generation and adaptation, the existence of species, and the relationship between God and Nature. Readings are drawn from primary and secondary sources. Independent research is required from all students.

SPAN. 87100 – The Colonial Stage: Performing History, Love & Gender GC: T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Chang-Rodriguez, [25241]

Theater was for many decades one of the few means of massive communication in colonial Spanish America. This course will examine diverse theatrical practices through the analysis of key plays from America, Spain and the indigenous traditions (missionary theater, Quechua representations). Readings will include a selection of texts by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Calderón de la Barca, and Juan Pérez de Montalbán, Francisco del Castillo as well as representative works influenced by the Nahuatl and Quechua traditions. Plays will be grouped around a number of themes: 1) cross-cultural communication; 2) the encounter and its impact; 3) sacred and profane love; 4) the criollo gaze, 5) gender issues. Class discussions will be illustrated with visual materials and communication facilitated through Blackboard. There will be ample time for discussion and individual research. Among the general requirements are: Informed class participation (English, Spanish); team-work and oral reports; Mid-term exam; short papers (written in English, Spanish or Portuguese following MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers,7th ed.). The specific critical bibliography will be distributed in class. Taught in Spanish.

Texts to be purchased:
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Los empeños de una casa (Cátedra)
Calderón de la Barca, La aurora en Copacabana (Támesis)
Juan Pérez de Montalbán, La monja alférez (Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs)
Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, La verdad sospechosa (Cátedra or Josa’s ed. in Cervantes Virtual)
Other texts will be scanned and distributed in PDF format/or placed on reserve.