Spring 2015 Courses in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Art History:

ARTH 23500-01, 02 ART IN EUROPE, 1500-1800 LA HU CA 3b g h [CA Perspective; Theme(s): World of Systems]
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Germann, Gannett G113, Ext. 4-1527, jgermann@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 28 per section
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Students with little or no experience in art history, but with a significant interest in understanding the history of European art from the Renaissance through Neoclassicism.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the visual culture of early modern Europe between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries covering Renaissance art through the Revolutionary era. This course will survey a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and architecture, as well as the decorative arts. We will also be charting the development of important art institutions, including art academies, public exhibitions, and museums. Satisfies the “art, visual culture, or architecture from 1400 to 1750" requirement in the major.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular class attendance and participation. Written assignments and exams. The grades for this course will be determined by class participation, assignments, and exams.

ARTH-33102-01 ANCIENT TO RENAISSANCE: THE GOTHIC CATHEDRAL LA HU FA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Stephen Clancy, Gannett G117, Ext. 4-1261, clancy@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 12
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the fine arts or humanities, including at least one art history course; sophomore standing or above.
STUDENTS: Students of all disciplines with an interest in architecture, art history, and the Middle Ages are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Gothic cathedrals were the culminating achievements of medieval architecture. The many great churches constructed between the 12th and the 16th centuries not only challenged the technology of an age to its limit, but also gave tangible expression to the rapid and often contradictory social, economic, political and cultural changes of the late Middle Ages. This course will place Gothic cathedrals within their rich cultural context, viewing them from the differing perspectives and demands of those who ordered their construction, those in charge of building them, and those who worshipped in and used them after their completion.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, and in-class work with images and other digital materials.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Based on attendance and participation in class discussions; exams; reading responses; and a research project.

English:

ENGL 21900-01, -02 SHAKESPEARE 3a h HU LA
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS (pending): Theme: 1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective: Humanities
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: When Shakespeare’s fellow actors assembled Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies in 1623 – arguably the most important book in the English language – they divided thirty-six plays into the broad categories of comedy, tragedy, and history. But is Shakespeare’s complex dramatic art so easily encompassed by this tripartite scheme? When Polonius in Hamlet separates the drama into “tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, tragical-comical-historical-pastoral” (2.2.396) one senses Shakespeare held a rather more complex view of the way genres tend to interpenetrate each other. This course invites students to read a selection of the major plays (The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Winter’s Tale) while engaging with critical questions about dramatic genre in the time of Shakespeare. What ancient and medieval theories of comedy and tragedy did Shakespeare inherit—and how did he adapt these to his own purposes? How did writing for a commercial repertory theater influence his approach to theatrical convention? What cultural and philosophical concerns underlie Elizabethan and Jacobean sub-genres such as “revenge tragedy” and “tragicomedy”? And why ultimately do Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies remain so compelling to us now, four centuries after they were first staged?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, formal essay.

ENGL 21900-03. -04 SHAKESPEARE 3a h HU LA
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS (pending): Theme: 1) Identities or 2) Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation; Perspective: Humanities
INSTRUCTOR: David Kramer, Muller 322, ext. 4-1344.
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section.
PREREQUISITE: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing, or permission of the instructor. This course may be repeated for credit provided there is no duplication of the plays studied.
OBJECTIVES: This course will introduce Shakespeare’s theatre to both initiates and novices. As we read the plays themselves we will study the political, religious, cultural, and scientific beliefs of Shakespeare’s time; what biography we possess and can conjecture; the workings of the Elizabethan theatre; Shakespeare’s poetic craft; his contemporary and subsequent reputation and that of individual plays; the vexed history of the texts themselves; and the forms and procedures of individual works as well as those of the genres of tragedy, comedy, romance, and history. Using both the background of context and the foreground of the texts, we will approach larger questions of meaning, both for Shakespeare’s time and for our own. Substantial emphasis will also be placed on the question of pleasure–why these plays pleased and still do; and on the question of cultural function, both in Shakespeare’s time and in our own.
STUDENTS: Required of English majors and minors and some Theater Arts majors, but all are welcome.
FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lecture.
REQUIREMENTS: Close reading of seven plays; completion of all assigned readings (quizzes will be given at each class); one written response each class; participation in classroom discussion, memorization of fifty lines of student’s choice.

ENGL 23200-01 MEDIEVAL LITERATURE3a h HU LA
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS: Writing Intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Michael Twomey, Muller 329, Ext. 4-3564, twomey@ithaca.edu.
ENROLLMENT: 20.
PREREQUISITE: Three courses in the humanities.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The modern world was made in the Middle Ages. Systems of law, nation-states, international trade, monetary exchange, and university education; the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religions as we know them today; the mass-production technology of printing, and even the eyeglasses that people need in order to read the fine print—all are medieval creations. This course examines medieval literature both as a reflection of the culture that made the modern world, and as the originator of modern literary forms. We will (re)discover genres and subjects that first became popular in the Middle Ages, and with which English and American writers have been working ever since: lyric poetry, romances, sagas, tales, and fables. Each unit features one major text:The Táin Bó Cuailnge; Laxdaela Saga; The Romance of Silence, The Death of King Arthur; Dante’s Inferno; selections from Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales and Boccaccio’s Decameron. Additional short readings will be available in a course packet.
COURSE FORMAT AND STYLE: Discussion and lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Regular attendance and participation in class discussions, two 5-page essays, short response pieces, a final exam.

ENGL 27100 RENAISSANCE LITERATURE 3a h HU LA
3 credits
ICC DESIGNATIONS (pending): Writing Intensive
INSTRUCTOR: Christopher Matusiak, Muller 326
ENROLLMENT: 20 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences, or sophomore standing.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period known as the English Renaissance. We will closely read major works of poetry, prose, and drama by Sir Thomas Wyatt, Christopher Marlowe, Queen Elizabeth I, John Donne, Lady Mary Wroth, Ben Jonson, Margaret Cavendish, and John Milton, with close attention to their social, religious, and political contexts. What impact did ground breaking developments such as Humanism, the Reformation, and the English Civil Wars have on the English literary imagination? What led the period’s artists to creatively redefine inherited genres like the erotic lyric, stage tragedy, pastoral, and epic? In what ways were literary and dramatic works published and performed? As we formulate answers to these and other questions, we will see how English culture underwent a radical transformation within the context of a pan-European Renaissance inspired by continental authors such as Petrarch, Castiglione, and Montaigne.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active class participation, close-reading exercises, formal essay, commonplace book.

History:

HIST 29102-01 ST: in European History: Society and Sovereignty in France, 1500-1815 H HU LA
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Karin Breuer, Muller 418, Ext. 4-1489
ENROLLMENT: 27
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: Open to all students.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this class, we will examine political, cultural, and social transformations in France across three centuries. We will begin with a discussion of the treatment of minorities during the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). We will then discuss theories of absolutism. After that, we move to a discussion of the “High Enlightenment” and “Low Enlightenment,” considering in particular the ways in which the culture of peasants and the middling estates transformed during “The Age of Reason.” Finally, we consider continuities and changes in governance, social institutions, and human rights during the decades of revolutionary and Napoleonic rule.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Primarily discussion, some lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Course grade is based on participation, essays, and a take-home final.