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FALL 2014

MSCP. 80500 - Interdisciplinary Approaches Late Medieval Lyric   GC:  W, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Stone, [25084] Cross listed with MUS 86800

The rise of vernacular poetry in Romance languages that took place between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries has been the subject of a wealth of interdisciplinary scholarship in the past couple of decades by historians of art, music and literature.  Inspired by new cross-disciplinary areas of inquiry—gender studies, New Philology, sound studies, among others—scholars have transformed the way we think about the late medieval lyric, its social context, its compositional process, its transmission and reception. This seminar will survey recent writings across these disciplines that treat lyrics with and without music produced in late medieval Occitania, France and Italy from roughly the 12th-15th centuries: troubadour song; the French motet; the formes fixes lyrics of Guillaume de Machaut; the Italian lyric compilations of the fourteenth century.  Students will engage in close readings of individual lyrics in a variety of Romance languages (translations will be available, though familiarity with at least one modern Romance language or with Latin will be helpful), and also in close readings of manuscripts from the level of the page to the level of the codex. We will take advantage of the new availability of medieval lyric collections online, through sites like the Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s Gallica site, the British Library, and the consortial Digital Scriptorium, as well as color print facsimiles such as that of the Cantigas de Santa Maria and the late trecento Squarcialupi codex. We will also visit the Morgan Library to examine their illuminated troubadour manuscript, M.819.
Requirements: weekly readings and short writing assignments; one 5-page paper due mid-semester and one final project, read in class as a 20-minute conference-style paper, and then submitted as a 10-15 page research paper. All primary and secondary readings will be available in English translation. Students may choose to research lyrics in languages other than those treated in the seminar.
Note: this two-hour, three-credit seminar will be extended by one hour and one credit (required of music students and optional for others) to deal specifically with the musical notation of late medieval lyrics: learning how to read it, and considering how its presence participated in making meaning in the context of the song as a whole.

ART. 82000 - Ancient Medieval Art at the Dawn of the Classical Age  GC:  R, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Kousser, [25092] Course open to Art History Ph.D. students only Permission required by all others

This course will meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This Mellon seminar will explore the artistically rich and globally interconnected world of the ancient Mediterranean in the early first millennium B.C.E. It draws on a major loan show, “From Assyria to Iberia: Crossing continents at the dawn of the Classical age,” as well as the Metropolitan Museum’s rich permanent collections of Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Etruscan art. The course will combine close study of rarely accessible objects with discussions with curators and conservators involved in the exhibition; the goal is an enhanced understanding of Iron Age Mediterranean art. Though less familiar than the later Classical era, the Iron Age was a critical period in the development of the ancient Mediterranean. It was significant above all due to three interrelated developments: the growth of the Assyrian empire; Phoenecian exploration from North Africa to Spain; and the transformation of Greece during the so-called Orientalizing era. This course examines the three developments in tandem; in doing so, it challenges the disciplinary boundaries that generally separate the study of European art from that of the Ancient Near East.

Topics to be addressed include the creation of an imperial Assyrian identity through art; artistic exchange via Phoenecian trade networks; local artistic responses to imperial and colonial activity; Greek self-fashioning in light of Near Eastern precedents; ancient and modern collecting practices; and the ways Biblical and Homeric scholarship have both reflected and helped to construct contemporary analyses of Iron Age art. Auditors accepted. 

Preliminary reading:

Mies van de Mieroop, A history of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 B.C. (Oxford, 2004), Chapters 11-12

Sarah Morris, “Bridges to Babylon: Homer, Anatolia, and the Levant,” in Beyond Babylon: Art, trade, and diplomacy in the second milennium B.C., ed. Joan Aruz, Kim Benzel, and Jean Evans (New York, 2008).

ART. 83000 - Thingness & Matter  in Medieval Objects  GC:  T, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Hahn, [25093] Course open to Art History Ph.D. students only Permission required by all others    

Art history has returned to the object and "materiality" with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, our approach to the object is not/cannot be unmediated. This course will explore medieval materiality through the use of "Thing Theory," a multi-disciplinary consideration that will include the "social life of things," philosophy's "speculative realism," and historical investigations of matter and material. We will read Appadurai, Bynum, Harman, and others. Students will choose an object or group of objects to re-vision using these methodological approaches, examples might include reliquaries and other art objects of "use" from the Middle Ages (or other eras with permission).

Preliminary Readings:

Bryant, Levi, Nick Srnicek, and Graham Harman, eds. The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Victoria, Australia:, 2011.

Bynum, Caroline. Christian Materiality: an Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe, New York: Zone Books, 2011

CLAS. 85300 - Latin Poetry Seminar  GC:  W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Ancona, [25019] Course open to CUNY students only. 

The purpose of this course is to provide training in (1) the research and performance skills involved in producing and delivering oral papers, (2) the research skills involved in producing publishable writing, and (3) some of the relevant professional skills needed for career and research development. Course Requirements: Attendance and Class Participation•Use of Blackboard•Weekly Assignments: Writing of a Paper Abstract to be submitted to a conference•One Oral Paper (written and delivered) 15 minutes (6 double-spaced typed)•One Publishable Paper (written), length as appropriate (probably 10-30 pages)

ENGL. 80900 - The Vernacularity Debate  GC:  M, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 2/4 credits, Prof. Sargent, [25042]

The role of literature in the vernacular was strongly contested at the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth century in England – including particularly the theoretical debate over the appropriateness of the translation of scripture. According to one school of modern literary criticism, the debate was definitively ended by the ecclesiastical authorities with the promulgation of Archbishop Arundel’s Lambeth Constitutions of 1409. Yet we must also observe the expansion of literary translation into English throughout this period, including not just the French literature that had often been translated into English throughout the medieval period, but also, e.g., translations of Italian literature by Chaucer and others.

PHIL. 76200 - Early Medieval Philosophy  GC:  R, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Lackey, [25285]

PHIL. 76600 - Naturalism in the Philosophy of Science GC:  M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 4 credits, Prof. Cordero, [25286] 

Naturalist projects grant exceptional cognitive status to the empirical sciences. In this course we’ll focus on major naturalist moves in recent philosophy of science and the debates around them. About one third of the sessions will be on background seminal papers. The other two-thirds will be devoted to naturalism in action in ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, and empirical philosophy.