An interdepartmental program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Last updated: April 2, 2018 at 5:03 p.m.

The Medieval and Renaissance studies program provides students with a broad introduction to the development of Western civilization from the end of antiquity to the seventeenth century. It is founded on the principle that an interdisciplinary perspective is the most profitable way to gain an understanding of the formation of early modern Europe. In order to develop a multifaceted picture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, all students select one of two core courses in history, and they are encouraged to explore a variety of disciplinary perspectives provided by various national literatures, fine arts, and philosophies. The exact balance of these approaches depends on a student's interest. The program offers a useful complement to many majors, and it is a good foundation to graduate study in a variety of fields.

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor provides students with a broad introduction to the emergence and formation of Western civilization, including development from and engagement with Islamic civilization in the Mediterranean, from the end of antiquity to the 17th century. The program is founded on the principle that an interdisciplinary perspective is the most profitable way to gain an understanding of the formation of Europe.

Knowledge
1. Students will gain broad knowledge of the history of Western civilization in the Medieval and/or Renaissance periods.
2. Students will develop a multifaceted picture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by exploring a variety of disciplinary perspectives including national and transnational literatures, fine arts, philosophy, religious studies, and specialized history courses.
3. Students will gain proficiency in at least one of the languages of the Medieval and Renaissance periods (including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, Russian, Arabic or Hebrew).
4. Student training may include the interaction between the Christian and Islamic worlds as well as the significance of religious minorities in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.

Core Skills
Students in Medieval and Renaissance Studies acquire core skills that can be used in graduate study in a number of disciplines or in a variety of professions. Critical thinking, writing, using library resources, and research methods are emphasized in almost every class. Students will be able to frame questions, investigate problems, and evaluate conclusions using one or more academic disciplines or approaches (e.g., literary and artistic criticism, historical analysis, philology, and religious studies). Students will implement interdisciplinary methods by completing one of several capstone courses or an independent research project such as a senior thesis.

After Graduation
The program maintains that knowledge of the past as well as shifting representations of the past in the present are key components of a liberal arts education that allow one to reflect upon the contemporary world in a sophisticated manner. The knowledge and skills the minor provides will lay the foundation for a fuller, more productive, and engaged life after college. Exposure to the diversity of religious, ethnic and cultural aspects of the Medieval and Renaissance periods will contribute to greater understanding in the service of a more peaceful and just society.

The most important requirement for taking part in the program is an interest in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students may enter the program at any time in their undergraduate careers, but an early start maximizes a student's range of choice, because a number of courses are offered at different intervals. Students should consult with their adviser and the chair of the program to map out their particular plan of study.

Sarah Mead, Chair
(Music)

Jonathan Decter
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Karen Desmond
(Music)

William Flesch 
(English)

William Kapelle
(History)

Charles McClendon
(Fine Arts)

Michael Randall
(Romance Studies)

Govind Sreenivasan
(History)

Ramie Targoff
(English)

Jonathan Unglaub
(Fine Arts)

Cheryl Walker
(Classical Studies)

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or program)
Suleyman Dost (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Carl Sharif El-Tobgui (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
ChaeRan Yoo Freeze (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)
Arthur Holmberg (Theater Arts)
Thomas King (English)
Marya Lowry (Theater Arts)
James Mandrell (Romance Studies)
Paola Servino (Italian Studies)
Eugene Sheppard (Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

A. Core course: HIST 110b (The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages) or HIST 123a (The Renaissance).

B. Students in the program must complete the university language requirement in one of the following: French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, Russian, Arabic, or Hebrew.

C. In order to promote an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, three courses, each from a different area of study, must be chosen from the MERS elective course listing. Two semesters of MUS 80 (a or b) may fulfill one elective course.

D. Capstone: In addition to the core history course and electives, students choose one of the three options for fulfilling the capstone of the minor:

1. The completion of an independent study on a medieval or Renaissance topic (MEVL 98a or b) with one or more members of the program faculty.

2. A senior thesis in the student’s major, with an emphasis on some aspect of medieval or Renaissance studies, read by at least two faculty members in the program.

3. MERS colloquium. These are medieval and Renaissance program electives that are either (a) seminar classes with a research paper, or (b) taught in a foreign language and/or use predominantly original foreign language texts.

E. No grade below a C will be given credit toward the minor.

F. No course taken pass/fail may count toward the major requirements.

Please note that MUS 10a and b yield half-course credit each; therefore, two semesters of MUS 10 are required to equal one full-semester course, that is one elective course. 

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

MERS 98a Independent Study
Usually offered every year.
Staff

MERS 98b Independent Study
Usually offered every year.
Staff

Core Courses

HIST 110b The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Survey of European history from 1000 to 1450. Topics include the Crusades, the birth of towns, the creation of kingdoms, the papacy, the peasantry, the universities, the Black Death, and the Hundred Years' War. Usually offered every second year.
William Kapelle

HIST 123a The Renaissance
[ ss ]
Culture, society, and economy in the Italian city-state (with particular attention to Florence) from feudalism to the rise of the modern state. Usually offered every second year.
William Kapelle

Elective Courses

The following courses are approved for the minor. Not all are given in any one year. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes each semester.

CLAS 115b Topics in Greek and Roman History
[ hum wi ]
Topics vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Topics include the Age of Alexander the Great, the Age of Pericles, the Greekness of Alexander, and Imperialism in Antiquity. See the Schedule of Classes for the current topic. Usually offered every year.
Cheryl Walker

CLAS 166a Medieval Literature: A Millennium of God, Sex, and Death
[ hum wi ]
A survey of medieval Latin literature in translation, beginning with the fourth-century church fathers and ending with the early Renaissance. Includes Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Egeria, Jordanes, Gregory of Tours, Isidore of Seville, Bede, Alcuin, Einhard, Hroswitha, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Hildegard, Anselm, and others. Usually offered every fourth year.
Cheryl Walker

COML 123a Perfect Love?
[ hum ]
The conflict between "perfect” and carnal love has inspired artistic works from the Middle Ages through the present. This course studies how perfect love runs afoul of more human desires in works by authors, composers, and film makers like Chrétien de Troye, Marguerite de Navarre, Hawthorne, Monteverdi, di Sica, and Wong Karwai. Usually offered every second year.
Michael Randall

COML/ENG 149a Dante's Hell and Its Legacy
[ hum ]
Studies the Classical underworld and its reworking in English verse. Topics include the descent to the underworld, the ambiguous Satan, the myths of Orpheus and Penelope, and the psychological Hells of the modernists. Usually offered every second year.
Laura Quinney

COML/HUM 21a Renaissance Literary Masterpieces
[ hum ]
Introduces students to some of the greatest works written in Europe during the Renaissance. Readings will include works by Dante, Petrarch, Michelangelo, Luther, Erasmus, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Rabelais, and Cervantes. All readings will be in English. Usually taught every third year.
Ramie Targoff

ECS 100b European Cultural Studies Proseminar: Making of European Modernity
[ hum wi ]
Investigates how the paradigm of what we know as modernity came into being. We will look at the works of writers and philosophers such as Descartes, Aquinas, Dante, Ockham, Petrarch, Ficino, Rabelais, and Montaigne. Artwork from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will be used to understand better what "the modern" means. Usually offered every spring semester.
Michael Randall

ENG 33a Shakespeare
[ hum ]
A survey of Shakespeare as a dramatist. From nine to twelve plays will be read, representing all periods of Shakespeare's dramatic career. Usually offered every year.
William Flesch or Ramie Targoff

ENG 43a Pilgrims, Queens, and the Garden: English Literature from Chaucer to Milton
[ hum ]
Beginning with Chaucer’s pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales and ending with Milton’s Garden of Eden in Paradise Lost, this course explores the works of some of the major British authors from the late fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. From wandering pilgrims and powerful queens to fruitful gardens, this course surveys early modern English culture via its poetry and prose. Our course may include the works of authors such as Margery Kempe, Thomas Wyatt, Edmund Spenser, Philip Sidney, Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, John Donne, Amelia Lanyer, and George Herbert. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

ENG 50a Love Poetry from Sappho to Neruda
[ hum ]
This course explores the relationship between love and poetry. Starts with the ancient Greek poet Sappho and proceeds through the centuries, reading lyrics by Catullus, Ovid, Propertius, Petrarch, Dante, Shakespeare, Donne, Rossetti, and others. Usually offered every third year.
Ramie Targoff

ENG 133a Advanced Shakespeare
[ hum wi ]
Prerequisite: ENG 33a or equivalent.
An intensive analysis of a single play or a small number of Shakespeare's plays. Usually offered every third year.
William Flesch and Thomas King

ENG 152b Arthurian Literature
[ hum ]
A survey of (mostly) medieval treatments of the legendary material associated with King Arthur and his court, in several genres: bardic poetry, history, romance, prose narrative. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

ENG 173a Spenser and Milton
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: ENG 10a, 11a, or HUM 10a (may be taken concurrently) or by permission of the instructor.
A course on poetic authority: the poetry of authority and the authority of poetry. Spenser and Milton will be treated individually, but the era they bound will be examined in terms of the tensions within and between their works. Usually offered every third year.
William Flesch

ENG 183b Gods and Humans in the Renaissance
[ ca hum ]
Examines the relationship between gods and humans in literature and art from the Renaissance, exploring how classical gods and goddesses, as well as biblical figures of the divine, are represented by major European artists and authors. Usually offered every fourth year.
Ramie Targoff and Jonathan Unglaub

FA 33b Islamic Art and Architecture
[ ca nw ]
Through case studies of cities, sites, and monuments, the course presents an overview of the art and the architecture of the Islamic world beginning from the seventh century up to the present. Some of the themes include, but are not limited to, Islamic material culture, orientalist imaginations, systems of governance and the colonial present, search for the local identity, urban modernity and nationalism, and globalization. Usually offered every second year.
Muna Guvenc

FA 42b The Age of Cathedrals
[ ca ]
Architecture, sculpture, and painting (including stained glass) in Western Europe from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, with particular attention to the great churches of medieval France. Usually offered every second year.
Charles McClendon

FA 45a Early Renaissance Art in Tuscany from the Age of Dante to the Medici
[ ca ]
Examines the development of late Medieval and Renaissance Art and Architecture between 1200 and 1500, with an emphasis on the centers of Siena and Florence, and artists who worked in these cities. Offered as part of Brandeis in Siena Study Abroad program.
Jonathan Unglaub

FA 45b Art of the Early Renaissance in Italy
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 45a in prior years.
Examines major painters, sculptors, and architects in Florence, Rome, and Venice from Giotto to Bellini (1290-1500). Important themes include the revival of Antiquity, the visual arts and the culture of Humanism, the Rise of the Medici, art and the ideal of the Republic, the development of art theory and criticism, Naturalism and the Sacred image, and the relation of artists and patrons during times of crisis (black death, Pazzi Conspiracy, and Savonarola). Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Unglaub

FA 46b High and Late Renaissance in Italy
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 58b in prior years.
Examines the major works of art produced in Italy in the sixteenth century. It focuses on the principal centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice. The foremost artists of the age, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian, receive in-depth coverage. The course also considers the social institutions, ecclesiastical, courtly and civic, that furnished the patronage opportunities and promoted the ideas that occasioned, even demanded, new artistic forms of grace and harmony, energy and torsion. Usually offered every year.
Jonathan Unglaub

FA 47b Renaissance Art in Northern Europe
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 54b in prior years.
A survey of the art of the Netherlands, Germany, and France in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Cultural developments such as the invention of printing, the Protestant Reformation, and the practices of alchemy and witchcraft will be considered through the work of major artists. Usually offered every fourth year.
Jonathan Unglaub

FA 48a Baroque Art and Architecture in Italy
[ ca ]
Examines the artistic spectacle of Papal Rome, focusing on the works and legacy of Caravaggio and Bernini as the prevailing artistic forces, with major contributions by the Carracci, Poussin, Borromini, and Cortona. Apart from Rome and the patronage strategies of successive Popes, we will consider artistic and architectural production in such diverse centers as Venice, Naples, Bologna, and Turin. Usually offered every third year
Jonathan Unglaub

FA 143a The Art of Medieval England
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 43a in prior years.
A survey of art and architecture from the end of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. Particular concern for the synthesis of native and foreign cultures and their artistic styles, resulting from the barbarian invasions, the Norman conquest, and political rivalry with France. Usually offered every fourth year.
Charles McClendon

FA 145a St. Peter's and the Vatican
[ ca ]
The history, growth, and development of Christendom's most famous shrine, with particular concern for the relationship between the design and decoration of the Renaissance/baroque church and palace complex and their early Christian and medieval predecessors. Usually offered every second year.
Charles McClendon

FA 149a The Age of Rubens and Rembrandt
[ ca wi ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took FA 63a in prior years.
Explores the major figures of seventeenth-century painting in the Netherlands and Flanders: Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. During this time, the ideal of Renaissance painter/courtier gives way to the birth of the modern artist in an open market, revolutionizing the subjects, themes, and styles of painting. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Unglaub

FREN 142b City and the Book
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: FREN 106b or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
Analyzes the symbolic appearance of the city in French literature and film from the Middle Ages to the present day. The representation of the city in literature and film is contextualized in theoretical writings of urbanists and philosophers. Literary texts include medieval fabliaux, Pantagruel (Rabelais) and Nana (Zola) as well as theoretical texts by Descartes, Ledoux, Le Corbusier, Salvador Dalí, and Paul Virillo. Usually offered every second year.
Michael Randall

HIST 103a Roman History to 455 CE
[ hum ss ]
Survey of Roman history from the early republic through the decline of the empire. Covers the political history of the Roman state and the major social, economic, and religious changes of the period. Usually offered every year.
William Kapelle

HIST 110a The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Survey of medieval history from the fall of Rome to the year 1000. Topics include the barbarian invasions, the Byzantine Empire, the Dark Ages, the Carolingian Empire, feudalism, manorialism, and the Vikings. Usually offered every second year.
William Kapelle

HIST 110b The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Survey of European history from 1000 to 1450. Topics include the Crusades, the birth of towns, the creation of kingdoms, the papacy, the peasantry, the universities, the Black Death, and the Hundred Years' War. Usually offered every second year.
William Kapelle

HIST 112b The Crusades and the Expansion of Medieval Europe
[ ss ]
Survey of the relationships between medieval Europe and neighboring cultures, beginning with the decline of Byzantium. Topics include a detailed look at the Crusades, the Spanish reconquista, the Crusader kingdoms, economic growth, and the foundations of imperialism. Usually offered every third year.
William Kapelle

HIST 113a English Medieval History
[ ss ]
Survey of English history from the Anglo-Saxon invasions to the fifteenth century. Topics include the heroic age, the Viking invasions, and development of the English kingdom from the Norman conquest through the Hundred Years' War. Usually offered every third year.
William Kapelle

HIST 120a Britain in the Later Middle Ages
[ ss ]
Exploration of the critical changes in government and society in the British Isles from the late fourteenth to the sixteenth century. Topics include the Black Death, the lordship of Ireland, the Hundred Years' War, the Scottish War of Independence, economic change, the Tudors, and the Reformation. Usually offered every third year.
William Kapelle

HIST 121a Breaking the Rules: Deviance and Nonconformity in Premodern Europe
[ ss wi ]
Explores the ways in which "deviant" behavior was defined and punished by some, but also justified and even celebrated by others in premodern Europe. Topics include vagrancy, popular uprisings, witchcraft, religious heresy, and the status of women. Usually offered every second year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 123a The Renaissance
[ ss ]
Culture, society, and economy in the Italian city-state (with particular attention to Florence) from feudalism to the rise of the modern state. Usually offered every second year.
William Kapelle

HIST 123b Reformation Europe (1400-1600)
[ ss wi ]
Survey of Protestant and Catholic efforts to reform religion in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Topics include scholastic theology, popular piety and anticlericalism, Luther's break with Rome, the rise of Calvinism, Henry VIII and the English Reformation, the Catholic resurgence, and the impact of reform efforts on the lives of common people. Usually offered every third year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 126a Early Modern Europe (1500-1700)
[ ss ]
Survey of politics, ideas, and society in Western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Focuses on the changing relationship between the emerging modern state and its subjects. Topics include the development of ideologies of resistance and conformity, regional loyalties and the problems of empire, changing technologies of war and repression, and the social foundations of order and disorder. Usually offered every third year.
Govind Sreenivasan

HIST 221b Thematic Seminar in Premodern Legal History
A seminar in the comparative legal history of the pre-modern world. Explores a series of overlapping subthemes–courts, lawyers, crime, property, sexuality and colonialism–in Europe, the Americas, China, and the Indo-Islamic world, largely before the 19th century. Usually offered every year.
Govind Sreenivasan

IMES 104a Islam: Civilization and Institutions
[ hum nw ]
Provides a disciplined study of Islamic civilization from its origins to the modern period. Approaches the study from a humanities perspective. Topics covered will include the Qur'an, tradition, law, theology, politics, Islam and other religions, modern developments, and women in Islam. Usually offered every year.
Carl El-Tobgui

ITAL 110a Introduction to Italian Literature: Love, Intrigues and Politics from Dante to Goldoni
[ fl hum oc ]
Prerequisite: ITAL 105a or 106a or permission of the instructor.
Surveys the masterpieces of Italian literature from Dante to Goldoni’s stage. Students will explore different themes such as love, conflict, and politics in Italian early masterpieces by analyzing and comparing genres, historical periods, and schools of thought. Since Oral communication skills are the core of methodology and pedagogy for Italian 110, students will work on primary texts through dynamic and guided discussions, interpretative textual analysis, and different styles of presentations. Usually offered every second year.
Paola Servino

ITAL 134b Nella cultura ebraica italiana: cinema e letteratura
[ fl hum wi ]
Prerequisite: ITAL 105a or 106a or permission of the instructor. Conducted in Italian. Materials fee: $20.
Analyzes Italian Jewish representations in Italian culture from medieval times to the founding of the ghetto in Venice in 1516 and leading Jewish figures of the Renaissance. Works of modern Italian Jewish writers and historians are examined as well as Italian movies that address Jewish themes within the mainstream of Italian culture. This course has an interdisciplinary approach while focusing on advanced Italian language skills. Usually offered every second year.
Paola Servino

MUS 37b Back to the Future: Digging for the Roots of Western Music
[ ca ]
Prerequisite: MUS 5a or basic knowledge of music notation.
Dig for the roots of polyphony in the Western tradition. Unearth new concepts (from half a millennium ago) for understanding, hearing, and making music of any period. Compose melodies, improvise counterpoint, and learn to hear intervals with fresh ears. Usually offered every second year.
Sarah Mead

MUS 80a Early Music Ensemble
Offered exclusively on a credit/no credit basis. Yields half-course credit. Open to singers and instrumentalists interested in learning about the historical ancestors of their modern instruments. Instrumental and/or vocal experience and competency in sight-reading required. A maximum of four course credits will be allowed for all enrollments in Ensemble (80a,b – 88a,b) alone or Private Instruction and Ensemble together. May be undertaken as an extracurricular, noncredit activity by registering in the XC section.
Examines the performance of music written before 1700. A large number of historical instruments are available for student use and instruction. Solo, ensemble, and one-on-a-part opportunities. Usually offered every year.
Sarah Mead

MUS 80b Early Music Ensemble
Continuation of MUS 80a. See MUS 80a for special notes and course description.
Usually offered every year.
Sarah Mead

MUS 131a History of Music I: Ancient through Early Baroque
[ ca ]
Prerequisites: MUS 101a and b, or by permission of the instructor. This course may not be repeated for credit by students who have taken MUS 131b in prior years.
A survey of music history from antiquity to the mid-17th century, considering major styles, composers, genres, and techniques of musical composition from a historical and analytical perspective. Topics include Gregorian chant, the motet and madrigal, Monteverdi and early opera, and developments in instrumental genres.
Karen Desmond

MUS 185a Proseminar in Music of the Renaissance
[ ca ]
An introduction to the fundamentals of Renaissance musical language. Investigation of selected topics in Renaissance musicology, such as editorial methods, archival research, printed and manuscript sources, historiography, and analytical approaches to Renaissance music. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

MUS 224b Seminar in Medieval Music
An in-depth study of a selected topic in medieval music. Usually offered every third year.
Karen Desmond

NEJS 140a Under Crescent and Cross: The Jews in the Middle Ages
[ hum ss wi ]
Surveys Jewish political, social and intellectual history in the domains of Islam and Christianity from the rise of Islam (622) to the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1497). Topics include the legal status of Jews, Jewish communal organization, persecution and response, inter-religious polemics, conversion, the origins of anti-Judaism, and trends in Jewish law, philosophy, literature, and mysticism. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 140b Early Modern Jewish History
[ hum ]
Examines Jewish history and culture in early modern Europe: mass conversions on the Iberian peninsula, migrations, reconversions back to Judaism, the printing revolution, the Reformation and Counter Reformation, ghettos, gender, family, everyday life, material culture, communal structure, rabbinical culture, mysticism, magic, science, messianic movements, Hasidism, mercantilism, and early modern challenges to Judaism.
ChaeRan Freeze or Eugene Sheppard

NEJS 144a Jews in the World of Islam
[ hum nw ]
Examines social and cultural history of Jewish communities in the Islamic world. Special emphasis is placed on the pre-modern Jewish communities. Usually offered every second year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 155a Maimonides: A Jewish Thinker in the Islamic World
[ hum ]
A study of the life, world, and thought of Moses Maimonides, the most significant Jewish intellectual of the Islamic world. This course traces his intellectual output in philosophy and Judaism, from its beginning in Islamic Spain to the mature works produced in Morocco and Egypt, in the context of the Arabic-Islamic milieu. Half of the course is dedicated to studying his Guide of the Perplexed, a Judeo-Arabic work that engages the demands of revealed religion and philosophical rationalism. Usually offered every third year.
Jonathan Decter

NEJS 188a The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800
[ hum nw ss ]
A historical survey of the Middle East from the establishment of the Ottoman Empire as the area's predominant power to 1800. Topics include Ottoman institutions and their transformation, and the Ottoman Empire as a world power. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

NEJS 194b Sufism: Mystical Traditions in Classical and Modern Islam
[ hum nw ]
An examination of the teaching and practices of the Sufi tradition. Explores the foundations of Sufism, its relation to other aspects of Islam, the development of Sufi teachings in both poetry and prose, and the manner in which Sufism is practiced in lands as diverse as Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India, Malaysia, and Europe. Usually offered every second year.
Suleyman Dost

NEJS 198a Islam and the West
[ hum ]
Explores the major political, socio-economic, and cultural changes in the Middle East from the rise of Islam to present times with emphasis on Islam's encounter with The West. Focuses on common roots and mutual influences and analysis of (mis)perceptions as historically constructed cultural categories and of their legacy in the modern world. Usually offered every second year.
Carl El-Tobgui

THA 11a Theater Texts and Theory I
[ ca ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took THA 100a in prior years.
The evolution of Western drama from its ritual origins through the mid-eighteenth century. Greek tragedy, Roman comedy, medieval drama, Italian humanism, Spanish Golden Age comedias, and French neoclassicism. Attention paid to theater history, dramatic theory, and performance. Usually offered every year.
Arthur Holmberg

THA 102b Shakespeare: On Stage and Screen
[ ca ]
Shakespeare wrote his plays to be seen and heard, not read. This course approaches Shakespeare as a man of the theater who thought visually as well as verbally. Explores Shakespeare's scripts in their original theatrical context, subsequent production history, and migration to film. Usually offered every second year.
Arthur Holmberg

THA 133b Acting the Classics
[ ca ]
Prerequisites: THA 11a, THA 11b and THA 21b or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
Explores specific approaches to rehearsing and performing in the heightened world of classical texts, including William Shakespeare. The course is designed to release the actor’s creative energies by stimulating an appetite for size, power and extravagant physical/vocal communication, to deepen the actor’s analytical skills and free the actor for greater intellectual and emotional engagement. You will develop a respect for and understanding of form while gaining ease and joy in the fully realized expression of heightened language texts. Usually offered every second year.
Marya Lowry

Elective Courses Counting as Colloquium Course

The following courses may count as medieval and renaissance studies colloquia for the capstone option as outlined in the requirement section; otherwise, they count as an elective.

ENG 32b Chaucer I
[ hum ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took ENG 132b in prior years.
In addition to reading Chaucer's major work The Canterbury Tales in Middle English, pays special attention to situating the Tales in relation to linguistic, literary, and social developments of the later Middle Ages. No previous knowledge of Middle English required. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

FA 191b Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Art
[ ca wi ]
Preference to Fine Arts majors and minors, Italian Studies minors, and Medieval and Renaissance minors only. Topics may vary from year to year; the course may be repeated for credit as topics change.
Usually offered every third year.
Jonathan Unglaub

HISP 120b Don Quixote
[ hum ]
Taught in English.
Don Quixote is: a) a compendium of prior literary genres; b) the first modern novel; c) a funny book; d) a deep meditation on the human condition; e) the best novel ever written; f) all of the above. Usually offered every second year.
James Mandrell

HISP 150a Staging Early Modern Spain: Drama and Society
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: HISP 109b or HISP 111b, or permission of the instructor.
Explores readings and representations of seventeenth-century Spanish drama in social and political contexts. Special attention to gender and violence in texts dealing with seduction, cross-dressing, revolution, and wife-murder, by writers such as Cervantes, Lope, Caro, and Calderón. Usually offered every second year.
James Mandrell

MUS 184b Proseminar in Medieval Music
[ ca ]
Broad coverage of the principal topics and research techniques of medieval music; structure of the liturgy, chant notation, oral transmission theory, tropes and sequences, polyphonic notation, and rhythmic modes. Introduction to standard bibliographic tools including editions, facsimiles, microfilms, liturgical books, and reference books. Usually offered every third year.
Karen Desmond