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Graduate Courses

CEMERS Fall 2010 Course Offerings


MDVL 501R A World of Goods: Medieval/Early

Instructor: Nancy A Um

Drawing on interdisciplinary methods and historical, material, visual, and literary sources, this course examines how mobile commodities that were procured or produced in the southern and eastern hemispheres and consumed around the pre-modern world were charged with different registers of cultural, social, and economic value and meaning across space and time. Included on the list are comestible commodities such as spices and coffee and manufactured products such as Asian and Islamic textiles, Chinese porcelain, and “Oriental” carpets. The course looks across the spheres of production, circulation and consumption of these goods to suggest an important role for material goods in pre-modern world historical studies. Issues will include how technological innovations responded to market demands, the relationship between geography and goods, the sustained exoticization of foreign products, the development of local imitative markets, and the important role that foreign goods played in the conception of luxury registers of consumption. This seminar is open to graduate students in any field.

Also being taught as ARTH 530F

W 9:40am – 12:40pm  FA 225

HIST 551Q Renaissance & Reformation in 12C Europe

Instructor: Winston E Black

Renaissance and Reformation in Twelfth-Century Europe COURSE DESCRIPTION: The seminar will focus on the idea of a ‘Renaissance’ in twelfth-century western Europe, first popularized in the 1920s and still debated by medieval historians, as well as the concept of a religious ‘reformation’ in the same period. In this course students will examine the religious, literary, artistic, and scientific achievements of the ‘long twelfth century’ (roughly 1075-1215), and discuss the concepts of ‘renaissance’ and ‘reformation’ as they have been borrowed from the Early Modern period and applied to the High Middle Ages of western Europe. The format will be discussion and presentations, with occasional lectures on key topics. Assessment is based on oral reports (25%), a high level of preparation and participation (25%), and a 20-25 page research paper (50%) on a key aspect or historiographical issue of the twelfth-century renaissance.

W 7:00pm – 10:00pm  SW 308

HIST 552R Britain: Reform. to Revolution

Instructor: James R. Lothian 

Treats Britain from the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century to the loss of the "First" Empire in the American War. Topics to be covered include religious and constitutional transformations, civil war and revolution, economic changes, gender, and empire. Format: SEM - Seminar Course Restriction Explanation: HIST 481R is restricted to History Majors and Minors/Juniors and Seniors only. HIST 552R is a Graduate Course for History Graduate students only and MAT/MST, MASS,and other Harpur students with permission by instructor. No Seniors or Non-Matrics.

T 7:00pm – 10:00pm  SW 312

MDVL 561A Petrarch & Boccaccio

Instructor: Olivia W Holmes
Attributes: H - Humanities, J - Joined Comp and Oral Comm

Focuses on the major works of Petrarch, one of the greatest love poets of all time, and Boccaccio, whose short stories are sometimes outrageous, and always entertaining. Explores the relation of the two authors to one another, as well as their engagement of earlier authors such as Ovid, St. Augustine, and Dante. Themes covered include the authors' uses and portrayals of: language and desire, the pursuit of fame, story-telling and "reality," sexual expression in medieval society, chaos and order, and the role of women. Format: Lectures and discussions in English. Two oral presentations; two research papers; several shorter "response" papers and assignments. Students taking the course for credit toward an Italian major or minor are required to read the literary texts in Italian. Students taking the course for graduate credit will write a longer research paper. PREREQUISITE: Students taking course for Italian credit must have taken one 300-level Italian course. Also being taught as MDVL 462; ITAL 462; ITAL 561A

TR 2:50pm – 4:15pm  NRC 203

MDVL 561D Lit-Renaissance & the Baroque

Instructor: Thomas Austin O'Connor
Attributes: H - Humanities, W - Writing (Harpur Req)

General survey of drama, narrative and poetry of Spain's Golden Age. Includes the dramatists Lope de Vega, Tirso de Molina and Calderon de la Barca; the poets Garcilaso de la Vega, Fray Luis de Leon, San Juan de la Cruz, Gongora and Sor Juana; and such prose works as LAZARILLO DE TORMES and EL BUSCON. Format: Discussion. Grade based on term paper and two examinations. Books to be determined. PREREQUISITE: Primarily for seniors, or those who have already completed 400-level Spanish courses.

Also taught as MDVL 461; SPAN 461; COLI 512I; SPAN 562A

TR 1:15pm – 2:40pm SW 313

MDVL 561H Mdvl Spain:Culture/Convivencia

Instructor: Barbara Abou-El-Haj
Attributes: A - Aesthetic Perspective

Medieval Spain: Convivencia, Frontier Culture - or something in between This seminar will explore how the social and political history of Christians, Jews and Muslims in medieval Spain has been documented in sources and represented in scholarly literature. Polarities between cultural exchange -- (convivencia) and confrontation (antagonistic frontier cultures), between a shared literary and visual culture and a frontier culture whose forms visualize resistance and confrontation -- have been modified by recent research and publications. New research allows us to distinguish multiple sets of relations formed among different social sectors: the commercial ranks of society, for example, as opposed to the power struggles between and among religious and political elites, all of which changed dramatically over the centuries between conquest, settlements and expulsions. This history in all its variations is documented in the topography of medieval Spain, its palaces, mosques, churches and synagogues, the painted manuscripts and sculpture produced over centuries: from the extraordinary, large scale and densely illustrated manuscripts of Beatus’ Commentary on the Apocalypse to the equally remarkable Great Mosque of Córdoba, to the tiny Synagogue of Córdoba, which shares its decorative vocabulary with the vast Alhambra Palace. Format: Weekly readings and discussions. One 5-page historiographical paper on the sources and scholarly literature, edited and revised, that will serve as an introduction to a 10-page, conference-length research paper presented, edited and revised, and submitted at the end of the semester. Also being taught as MDVL 440G; ARTH 483A; ENG 450H; HIST 381Y; HIST 551M

M 1:10pm – 4:10pm  FA 225

MDVL 561T The Monstrous Baroque

Instructor: Karen Edis Barzman 

The Monstrous Baroque This seminar looks at “the Baroque” as a discursive formation, examining its invention, disjointed historiography, and critical fortunes. Its utter meaninglessness in early modern discourse renders it a slippery term, which is our point of departure in a study of the tensions at play in the literature – is “the Baroque” a discrete historical period or an aesthetic style? Is it both? Did it unfold at a particular time? Is it characterized by a particular set of cultural forms, or by a set of new spaces, both material (courts, academies, theaters) and imaginary (spaces of mystical ecstasy, Cartesian thought, nationhood)? What of the political institutions and subject positions inextricably bound with these new forms and sites of cultural production? That the Baroque is, in any case, identified with the grandiose, spectacular, bizarre, shocking, and sometimes freakish (both natural and artificial) is commensurate with its monstrous historiography and will frame our analysis of this elusive and indeterminate critical concept. Undergraduate assignments will focus on artists and architects typically identified as “Baroque,” from Caravaggio to Borromini, and on those aspects of their lives and work described as spectacular, bizarre, or freakish; short oral presentations and 20 pages of formal written work. Also taught as ARTH 440B; MDVL 440H; ARTH 540B

M 9:40am – 12:00pm  FA 225

ENG 565G Medieval Text/Postmodern Contexts

Instructor: Marilynn R Desmond

Medieval Texts/ Postmodern Contexts In this course we will explore the theoretical implications of the “radical familiarity” of medieval texts in post-modern contexts. We will consider especially the significance of medieval cultures and medieval literary theories for cultural studies, with a special emphasis on film theory and queer theory; we will address as well the extent to which critical theories challenge the historicist assumptions of medieval studies. Texts: The Romance of the Rose, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, York Mystery Plays, The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, The Sexual Subject: A Screen Reader in Sexuality, Boswell, John Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, Brooten, B. Women Loving Women, Dinshaw, C. Getting Medieval, Beckwith, S. Christ’s Body.

M 6:00pm – 8:50pm  TU 309

ENG 565K Shakespeare & Contemporaries

Instructor: Albert H Tricomi
Attributes:

Shakespeare & Contemporaries This course pursues the challenging idea that English Renaissance drama comprises a greater achievement in total than that accomplished by Shakespeare alone. Shakespeare, it contends, can best be understood in the context of his contemporaries. Accordingly, I have organized much of the course around a series of pairings--one Shakespeare play and one by a well-known contemporary. The course treats two plays by Christopher Marlowe, the medieval-seeming DR. FAUSTUS and then THE JEW OF MALTA, which is paired with Shakespeare’s MERCHANT OF VENICE. Shakespeare’s RICHARD II introduces a pervasive theme of “the tragedy of state.” The place of women in society is also a special theme of focus. Marriage and the nature of patriarchy will be examined in Shakespeare's MEASURE FOR MEASURE and John Webster's THE DUCHESS OF MALFI, and the problem of adultery in OTHELLO and Thomas Heywood's A WOMAN KILLED WITH KINDNESS. FORMAT: This Composition-Oral Speaking course features Team-Led Events (TLE) and a team project. It particularly emphasizes the creation of a community of learners, learning as a process, and the development of critical thinking skills. Students work in teams of 4 (or sometimes 3) to frame critical questions/issues, to which the class as a whole responds. Students come prepared for every play; each is responsible to her/his team and to the entire classroom community.

TR 1:15pm – 2:40pm  TBA

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Last Updated: 8/19/10