CUNY Medieval Studies Courses Spring 2014

MSCP. 80500 – Ecology, Animals, and Culture in the Middle Ages (and Afterwards) GC:   M, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Steel, [23040] Cross listed with ENGL 80700. 

“For anyone who doubts that a horse is by its very nature better than wood, and that a human being is more excellent than a horse, should not even be called a human being.” Anselm, Monologion

This course will explore two countervailing strands in medieval thought. The first is anxious to prove the superiority of humans to every other living thing. In keeping humans at the center of its concerns, it is a key resource for the ongoing insistence that only humans or quasi-humans are worthy of direct ethical consideration, and that others, whether animals or animalized humans, are fit only for exploitation or charity. The other strain, however, is willing to admit that humans inhabit and make a world with other things as one grouping among many. In being willing to think of all of us as at once caring subjects and as food for worms, or even in being entirely indifferent to us, this second strain offers resources for building a more generous and unpretentious nonhumanism.
In exploring these two strains, the course will serve both as an introduction to some main strands in critical animal theory and ecocriticism and as a wedge to open these critical methods to the range of texts and ways of thought offered by medieval cultures. For the most part, we will be examining medieval literary works, though we will also consider medieval manuscript and sculptural art and a wide range of medieval nonfiction. Apart from theoretical readings from thinkers like Jane Bennett, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Cora Diamond, Timothy Morton, and Cary Wolfe, our reading will focus mostly on works from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. We will read dream visions by Chaucer, fables by Robert Henryson, lais by Marie de France, and a wide set of other works, including a romance about a serpentine woman, a failed epic about the French encounter with the Canary Islands, a story of Alexander the Great’s debate with vegetarian philosophers, and an Icelandic saga. Works originally written in Latin, French, and Old Norse will be read in translation, and those in Middle English in their original language.    
ART. 74000 – Islamic Art & Architecture GC:   R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Macaulay Lewis, [23222] This section open to Art History students only. Permission required for all others. Cross listed with MES 78000 & MALS 74400.        

Since the emergence of Islam in seventh century Arabia, the world of Islam, which spans continents and centuries, has produced art and architecture that is as remarkable as it is diverse. However, what is Islamic art is a more complex question. Unlike Christian, Jewish or Buddhist art, the art produced in the lands where Islam was a dominant religious, political or cultural force is commonly referred to as “Islamic art”. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the art and architecture of the Islamic world from its earliest monuments, such as the Dome of the Rock, to those of the early modern Islamic Empires: the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals. The course introduces the major theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of Islamic art and architecture and focuses on the development of critical visual skills. This course will present an overview of a period or dynasty in Islamic art, and then focus on an extended discussion of a monument or object in each class. The class will also visit the Islamic Galleries in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rather than write a traditional final research paper for this course, students will be required to create and complete a digital project. Requirements: Completion of all readings, attendance at class and informed participation in class; participate in weekly blogging; Object / Building Report; Final Digital Project; SmartHistory essay or video.

Preliminary Readings:
• Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, and Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. The Art and Architecture of Islam: 650-1250. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001.
• Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, The art and architecture of Islam 1250-1800. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994.
ART. 83000 – The Reliquary Effect GC:   T, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Hahn, [23233] Course open to PH.D Art History students only.  Permission required for all others.

If the reliquary can be said to be a container, a box, it is akin to the gift box. As it performs its function of presentation, it is erased in the “presence” of the relic. Thus, precisely as the medieval reliquary is materiality glorified, sparkling silver, gold and gems, it simultaneously denies its own existence, standing only as a setting or context for the staging of the relic. Such a theatrical ‘reliquary effect’ makes use of a number of strategies—viewer involvement, the exploration of text-image relationships and visual effects (and opacities), the creation of meaningful spaces and controlled POV, and the exploitation of materials. We will consider reliquaries from the early to late middle ages, as well as touch on those from other periods and cultures. No auditors permitted.

Requirements: Weekly readings and discussion, museum visits, student presentations and papers

Preliminary Readings: • Cynthia Hahn, Strange Beauty, Penn State Press, 2012.

CLAS. 70200 – Latin Rhetoric and Stylistics Ford: R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Thibodeau, [23009] Permission of Executive Officer required.  Course meets at Fordham Lincoln Center campus.

This course provides students advanced reading proficiency in Latin through the study of morphology and syntax, stylistic analysis of Caesar, Cicero, and other classical authors, and exercises in prose composition.
CLAS. 72400 – Latin Elegy NYU::  M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Landrey, [23013] Course meets at NYU:. 

CLAS. 72600 – Latin Palaeography Ford: F, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Clark, [23014] Course meets at Fordham University Rose Hill campus. 

C L. 70700 – Medicine/Medieval Intellectual Debates: a Scientific Thread in XIII Century Italian Literature   GC:   T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Ureni, [23274]

Medical thought deeply contributes to medieval intellectual debates about the definition of the human soul and its happiness and specifically about the relationship between intellectual activity and the individual soul. The presence of medical thought in Dante’s writings (as well as other medieval literary texts) raises questions that pertain to both philosophical and theological fields. The scientific nature of medical investigation prompts to question the interaction between corporeal and intellective dimensions, and more specifically the nature of human intellection, its location, and its eventual limits.

This course will explore the impact of medicine on philosophical and theological debates, as well as the literary response to such discussion. More specifically, we will focus on the resurgence of Galenic tradition and the renewed interest in Galenic texts which significantly characterize for instance, medical teaching in Bologna during the 13th century, and particularly within the circle of Taddeo Alderotti. We will highlight how this rise of Galenism in medieval medicine went together with the rediscovery of Aristotelian natural science: based on their mutual scientific approaches and demonstrative methodologies the renewed diffusion of both Aristotelian and Galenic texts in the 13th century proceeds along parallel lines that sometimes intersect. We will consider Galenic and Aristotelian trends through the medical works of Taddeo Alderotti, Bartolomeo da Varignana, Avicenna, Averroes, and Albert the Great. Besides its dialogue with Aristotelianism, we will consider medicine in relation to the broader philosophical and theological discussion through the analysis of literary texts as well; among others, we will focus on authors such as Guido Cavalcanti, Dante Alighieri, and Cecco d’Ascoli. Through the focus on the literary level, we will address the question of whether the rhetorical level of medieval poetry allows the simultaneous presence of a plurivocal knowledge, which includes intellectual, mystical, and medical discourses. We will finally hint at the possible legacy of this medical discourse even in later authors – such as Boccaccio – and in the later philosophical discussion that involves both Aristotelian and Neoplatonic trends.  

ENGL. 89500 – Darwinian Philology: The Evolutionary Model and Textual Authority GC:   W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Sargent, [23083]

In this course, we will explore the dominance of what Michel Foucault identified as the “modern epistémè” of evolutionary development in the establishment of textual authority in late nineteenth and twentieth century critical editions of medieval texts. Using recent editorial work on three much-discussed texts, Piers Plowman, Ancrene Wisse and Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection, we will examine the strengths and shortcomings of recensionist and other forms of textual criticism, focusing particularly on the work of Joseph Bédier, Bernard Cerquiglini, Sebastiano Timpanaro, Edward Said, Allen J. Frantzen, Jerome McGann and David Greetham, and the interventions in textual critical theory of George Kane, Lee Patterson, Ralph Hanna, Bella Millet and others. We will also look at the mirror-image of the establishment of the authoritative pre-modern text in examination of post-medieval texts and “avant-textes” in present-day Genetic Criticism. Our aim throughout will be to question the assumptions and methods that bring “authoritative” texts before our eyes: to ask what it is that authorization consists in, who it is who performs the cultural work of authorization, and how this work is done. Our concern will not be just with the disembodied, ideal text, but with the self-presentation of the actual textual artifacts that we hold in our hands, and how they came to present themselves as they do.  

MES. 78000 – Classical/Medieval/Renaissance Culture GC:   M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Akasoy, [23026] Cross listed with MALS 70500.   

MUS. 87000 - Mdvlsm/Modrnlt Mus Imagntn GC:   W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. GSUC3389, 3 credits, Prof. Stone, [23426]

 

CUNY Renaissance Studies Courses Spring 2014

RSCP. 82100 – Research Techniques in Renaissance Studies GC:   W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3/4 credits, Prof. Carroll, [23061]

The course is designed to help students work on their own research for their dissertations, orals, or research papers in Renaissance Studies or in early modern studies more broadly defined as 1450-1700. Students are not required to be members of the Renaissance Certificate Program to take the class.
We will study how the material conditions of texts influence their transmission and interpretation. Readings will include articles on the history of the book, as well as on literary and cultural history. We will also study the representation of books and printing in early modern texts, including Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Milton’s Areopagitica.
We will also closely examine and read primary texts in manuscript and early printed form. Students will receive instruction in topics specifically related to research in the early modern period: codicology, paleography, textual editing and analytical bibliography. There will also be a attention to the history of reading—marginalia, descriptions of reading, and of reading practices.
The major assignment for the course is an annotated bibliography.  Other assignments include exercises in paleography, analytical bibliography, and an oral report related to one of the readings.
We will make visits to the Manuscript and Rare Book Collections at the Morgan Library.
Reading list (texts from which weekly readings will be selected, and useful reference works): Michelle P. Brown, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts; Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts A. Cappelli, Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane; Roger Chartier, Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book David Kastan, Shakespeare and the Book James A. Knapp, Illustrating the Past in Early Modern England Andrew Pettegree, The Book in the Renaissance Brian Richardson, Manuscript Culture in Renaissance Italy Bill Sherman, Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England Articles by Robert Darnton, Anthony Grafton, Arthur Marotti, and Peter Stallybrass.

ART. 75000 – Class Mythology/Ren/Afterlife   GC:   R, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Saslow, [23223] Course open to PH.D Art History students only.  Permission required for all others.     

This course will examine the myth and literature of Greco-Roman antiquity as a primary iconographic component of Renaissance art, part of a mode of monumental, classicizing, literary art that persisted in the Academic tradition into the 20th century. Original texts and surviving antique artworks will be discussed as inspirations. We will trace the rise of mythic subject matter to visual predominance in the 15th to 17th centuries and its long afterlife as a language of official political and cultural institutions, despite the disdain of emergent avant-gardes. Mythology will be examined through psychological and sociological lenses, to reveal how and why it developed into a widely familiar historical legacy, and then survived radical changes in society and representation from the time of David and Ingres to Leighton, Redon, and Cézanne. Auditors accepted up to room capacity.

Requirements: Weekly assigned readings for discussion; one brief in-class critique of a reading assignment; mid-term and final exams, including slide IDs and essays.  

ART. 83000 – The Reliquary Effect   GC:   T, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Hahn, [23233] Course open to PH.D Art History students only.   Permission required for all others.
If the reliquary can be said to be a container, a box, it is akin to the gift box. As it performs its function of presentation, it is erased in the “presence” of the relic. Thus, precisely as the medieval reliquary is materiality glorified, sparkling silver, gold and gems, it simultaneously denies its own existence, standing only as a setting or context for the staging of the relic. Such a theatrical ‘reliquary effect’ makes use of a number of strategies—viewer involvement, the exploration of t ext-image relationships and visual effects (and opacities), the creation of meaningful spaces and controlled POV, and the exploitation of materials. We will consider reliquaries from the early to late middle ages, as well as touch on those from other periods and cultures. No auditors permitted.

Requirements: Weekly readings and discussion, museum visits, student presentations and papers

Preliminary Readings: • Cynthia Hahn, Strange Beauty, Penn State Press, 2012.  

ART. 85050 – The Baroque GC:   T, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Wunder, [23235] Course open to PH.D Art History students only.  Permission required for all others.   

This course explores the integrated interdisciplinary arts of the Baroque in seventeenth-century Europe. Major topics include theatricality, naturalism, festivals and ephemera, fashion, ritual, material culture and conspicuous consumption. Some class sessions will meet at museums and libraries (including the Frick, Met, Hispanic Society, and New York Public Library), where we will examine painting, sculpture, textiles, furnishings, and printed illustrated books. Readings will include an overview of classic art historiography on the Baroque in Europe as well as recent writings that bring new perspectives to bear from other fields (especially literature) and outside of Europe. No prior experience in early modern or art history is required or expected; students from other fields and disciplines are warmly welcomed to contribute to the class.

Auditors may be accepted if there is room in the class after registration.  Preliminary

Readings: There is no required preliminary reading, but students are encouraged to read a general survey of seventeenth-century European history for context and background.

C L. 80900 – Cervantes/Crises in European Fiction GC:   T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Schwartz, [23269] 

This course will focus on the study of Cervante’s Don Quijote (1605-1615) as a text that recreates early modern literary forms, while questioning the writing of fiction, from the perspective of Aristotle’s Poetics and related Italian theories of the novel.  Cervante’s pastoral, picaresque and Moorish novels, Boccacio’s Decameron and other stories of adventures-and their philosophical contexts.

The function of madness as a fictional device will be also examined in connection with Erasmus’s The Praise of Folly.   Other aspects of this complex narrative to be considered inclue its rhetorical and ethical background, as well as the treatment of popular discourses and of classical adages.  Among the works to be read, in addition to Don Quijote, are Sannazaro’s Arcadia.  Lazarillo de Tormes, The Praise of Folly, and some novella of the Decameron.  

ENGL. 71100 – Early Modern Poetry & Poetics GC:   R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Profs. McCoy/Monte, [23077]     
This course will explore the explosion of poetic productivity in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and its justification as an essential activity. Sir Philip Sidney contends in his exuberant Apology for Poetry that the poet “lifted up with the vigor of his own invention” can make a world “better than nature bringeth forth.” Similarly, Edmund Spenser creates an idealized alternative world in The Faerie Queene and John Milton aspires in Paradise Lost to achieve “things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme” in Paradise Lost and to comprehend God’s “eternal providence.” Among many other works, the readings will include poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, George Gascoigne, Lady Mary Wroth, John Donne, and George Herbert; special attention will be paid to the poetry and poetics of Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Jonson, and Milton. To highlight issues of translation, intertextual appropriation, and competition, some consideration will be given to Italian and French poets such as Petrarch, Pierre Ronsard, and Louise Labé.   Other topics we might address include: 1) Ambivalent attitudes throughout the Renaissance and Reformation towards imagination and fantasy. 2) A comparison of early modern theories and defenses of poetry – Sidney’s Apology, Puttenham’s Art of English Poetry, Daniel’s Musophilus – with contemporary critical works such as John Hollander, Mark Edmundson, Marjorie Perloff, and Rita Felski, 3) The relationship of verse to its context in poetic miscellanies and commonplace books, prose satires like Gascoigne’s Master F. J. and Nashe’s Unfortunate Traveler, prose romances like Sidney’s Arcadia or Wroth’s Pamphilia to Amphilanthus, and plays with a wide variety of verse patterns such as Midsummer Night’s Dream. 4) The formation of circles, coteries, and other literary networks and the negotiation of manuscript circulation and authorized and supposedly unauthorized publication. 5) The establishment of the poet as an exalted cultural authority and the emergence of the author as a brand and cultural agent.    

ENGL. 81100 – Material Culture/Early Modern Privacy GC:   M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Elsky, [23069]  
As privacy is being redefined in the digital age, this cross-disciplinary course looks back at the material culture of privacy during its emergence in the early modern period, particularly its setting and material ornaments. We will look at the ideal of privacy from the viewpoint of its material realization in architecture and in its literary representation. Our core theme will be the historical differentiation between public and private realms and their material embodiment in domestic interior spaces. The course meshes the following topics: the emergence of privacy as a practice and ideal from the perspective of cultural and material history; the embodiment of the ideal of privacy in the new architecture and interior design; and the literary representations of domestic rooms as the performance spaces of emotion.   Our starting point will be the new architecture and the Renaissance reorganization of the house into differentiated common and intimate spaces, with special attention to the Renaissance invention of the private room (the studiolo or closet) in relation to new emerging social arrangements.  We will read some portions of foundational architectural treatises and literary texts describing the new design of the house whose common/intimate organization defines the social standing of the inhabitants. We will examine the culture of the studiolo/closet as the location of reading, contemplation, self-cultivation, and envy-provoking display, in short the space associated with the new personality types—male and female—represented in the literature of the period. We will consider the translation of the new architecture into literary genres which register, question, and reinterpret the new spatial and social arrangements. We will particularly consider the transformation of intimate space from the locus of self-realization to that of intense anxiety resulting from the unleashing of passions, as intimate space becomes the scene of loss of self through social disgrace and moral decline. Readings primary and secondary readings on architectural design and interior ornament; drama, romance, autobiography, and diary, country house poetry.
Because this is an interdisciplinary course, students can work on projects related to their home discipline.  

FREN. 73000 – Corps, sensibilite XVII siecle GC:   R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Koch, [23241] Course taught in French.   

In this course, we will examine the transformation of the understanding of the biological body during the seventeenth century and elaborate the profound effects of new corporal models on contemporary culture. Two new determinations of the biological body emerge in that period: the body is deemed the source and site of passion and sensibility; and affectivity becomes the product of forces of a universe of plenitude acting on the body. This course will trace the construction of that sensing body and the importance of corporal sensibility and passion in seventeenth-century French culture. Readings will include Descartes, Corneille, Mersenne, B. Lamy, Méré, Morvan de Bellegarde, Malebranche and Pascal. Readings and discussion in French. Students not pursuing a Ph.D. in French may write their papers in English.

MES. 78000 - Classical/Medieval/Renaissance Culture GC:   M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Akasoy, [23026] Cross listed with MALS 70500.               

PHIL. 76800 – Hume’s Philosophy of Science/Then & Now GC:   R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Pigliucci, [23123]
David Hume (1711-1776) was a highly influential modern philosopher in the empiricist tradition, writing on issues ranging from consciousness to the concept of causality, from the nature of induction to belief in miracles, and from suicide to standards of taste, among others. This course focuses on a subset of Hume’s writings having to do primarily with philosophy of science and allied fields (such as philosophy of mind). The goal is to achieve a better understanding of: a) what Hume actually wrote (via a partial examination of primary texts) and b) the still wide ranging influence he has in contemporary philosophy of science (via discussion of a number of recent papers covering several themes dear to Hume).  

SPAN. 82200 – The Invention of Love in Early Modern Spanish Poetry  GC:   R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Schwartz, [23279] Open to HLBLL students only, permission required for all others.         The development of Humanism led to the rediscovery, on the one hand, of Greek and Roman poetry, on the other, of Italian poetry of the Renaissance, which became a main model for different conceptions of love at the times. The example of Petrarch’s Canzoniere and his Italian followers in the sixteenth-century, Bembo, among others, combined with the enthusiastic reception of Neo-Platonism after the translations and writings of Marsilio Ficino, promoted a vision of love that was going to be recreated by Spanish Renaissance and Baroque poets for two long centuries. The purpose of this seminar will be to examine the relations between literary and philosophical theories and their re-contextualization in poetic texts, focusing on the constitution of the voices of the lover and on the portraits of the beloved, as they appear in individual poems and in the collections built as “cancioneros” after the example of Petrarch. Garcilaso’s and Herrera’s works,  historical precedents of Góngora’s and  Quevedo’s poetry will be studied in conjunction with readings of Neo-Platonic theory,  Ficino’s treatises and those composed by his most important mediator in Spain, León Hebreo in the famous translation of Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

The course will be taught in Spanish.

See Also:   MUS. 87000 – Mdvlsm/Modrnlt Mus Imagntn GC:   W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. GSUC3389, 3 credits, Prof. Stone, [23426]

- See more at: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Elements/Academics-Research-Centers-Initiatives/Certificate-Programs/Renaissance-Studies/Courses#sthash.cSxYFDv7.dpuf