Fall 2014

Medieval Courses

MED 227/HUM 227   The World of the Middle Ages
Professor Sara S. Poor
MW 11:00-12:20
An introduction to medieval culture in Western Europe from the end of the classical world to ca. 1400. The course focuses on themes such as the medieval concepts of self, humanity, and God; nation-building, conquest and crusade; relations among Christians, Jews, and Moslems; literacy, heresy, and the rise of vernacular literature; gender, chivalry, and the medieval court. Material approached through various cultural forms and media; some lectures by invited guest lecturers. Seminar discussion format with some lecturing.

NES 245/HIS 245/MED 245   The Islamic World from its Emergence to the Beginnings of Westernization
Professor Michael A. Cook
T TH 3:00-4:20
Begins with the formation of the traditional Islamic world in the 7th century and ends with the first signs of its transformation under Western impact in the 18th century. The core of the course is the history of state formation in the Middle East, but other regions and themes make significant appearances. The course can stand on its own or serve as background to the study of the modern Islamic world.

COM 311/MED 311   Reading Medieval Culture
Professor Marina S. Brownlee
TH 1:30-4:20
Medieval culture, literature and literary theory, as well as Modern critical debates currently being stages, highlight the diversity of cultural production in the European Middle Ages. This course explores such topics as Medieval textuality and reading, text and image, subjectivity and spirituality, premodern sex and gender, and myths a realities of Medieval nation-building.

HIS 428/HLS 428/MED 428   Empire and Catastrophe
Professor Teresa Shawcross
TH 1:30-4:20
Catastrophe reveals the fragility of human society. This course examines a series of phenomena – plague, famine, war, revolution, economic depression etc. – in order to reach an understanding of humanity’s imaginings of but also resilience to collective crises. We shall look in particular at how political forces such as empire have historically both generated and resisted global disasters. Material dealing with the especially fraught centuries at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period will be set alongside examples drawn from antiquity as well as our own contemporary era.

NES 502/MED 502   An Introduction to the Islamic Scholarly Tradition
Professor Michael A. Cook
M 1:30-4:20
The course offers a hands-on introduction to such basic genres of medieval scholarship as biography, history, tradition, and Koranic exegesis, taught through the intensive reading of texts, mostly in Arabic. The syllabus varies according to the interests of the students and the instructor.

GER 508/MED 508   Middle High German Literature: An Introduction
Professor Sara S. Poor
T 10:00-12:50
Introduction to Middle High German language and literature 1100-1300. Selections from Arthurian romance (Parzival, Tristan) epic (Nibelungenlied), lyric (Minnesang), and mysticism (Meister Eckhart, Mechthild von Madgeburg). Additional readings on history and culture also examined.

CLA548/HLS548/ART548/PAW548 Ancient and Medieval Numismatics
Dr. Alan M. Stahl (Recipient of the 2010 Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society)
Thursdays 1:30-4:20 p.m.
Firestone Library 1-8-H

A graduate seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis. The Western coinage tradition will be covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, the coinages of Byzantium, the Islamic world and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students will research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Also open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

For further information: astahl@princeton.edu