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Pre-Modern and Ancient World Studies

Art 110H 01.
4 semester hours
Glowski, J.

Selective chronological survey of architecture, painting, sculpture and decorative arts from the birth of art in the Prehistoric period through its development in the Middle Ages, with an emphasis on the Western tradition. Although this course focuses on art created in Western Europe, the survey will also include the art of the Ancient Near East and the Byzantine Empire. Every year.

 

Economics 231 –European Economic History
4 semester hours
Wishart, David

Prerequisite:  Economics 190S
This course examines the evolution of capitalism in Europe from the Paleolithic period to the present, the impact of European capitalism on economies and societies in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas, the rise and demise of centrally planned state socialist economies in Russia and the Eastern European countries, and European economic integration. The topics presented in this course will emphasize the use of principles of economics to understand historical change and methods of empirical analysis that are commonly used by economic historians. Grades will be determined by two exams, a final, and a 10-15 page term paper. Lecture/discussion format. Writing Intensive.

 

English 180A - “How Like a God”: Myth, Epic, and Metamorphosis
4 semester hours
Smith, J.

Prerequisite: ENGL 101E
This course will introduce the student to the work of Greco-Roman myth.  With intensive readings of The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and The Metamorphoses, this course not only will consider the various stories and ideas that myths construct and entail, but also will work to question the more modern myths by which we live today.  As a writing intensive section, this course will require a daily reading journal, several short essays, two examinations, and a final analytical paper.  The course will emphasize student engagement with the readings and ideas, so class sessions will entail lecture but rely heavily upon class participation.  The student will leave this course with a familiarity with the dominant myths of the ancients, as well as a broadened understanding of those myths by which we live—myths more naively known as reality.

 

English 280A - British Survey I
4 semester hours
Richards, Cynthia

Prerequisite:  ENGL 170H, ENGL 180A or ENGL 190A/C
In this course, we will read, discuss, and write about representative texts from the Middle Ages to the beginnings of the British novel in the eighteenth century.  We will also seek to locate these texts within the historical and ideological conditions which helped to determine their meaning for their contemporary readers.  The course will focus on several themes, such as the construction of the self and the relationship of literature to the state.  These themes will help us organize and familiarize a diverse, historical body of literature that can often feel quite foreign to the modern reader.  Early British attitudes toward the writer, the reader, and the text can also vary from our own and we will remain attentive to how these attitudes change over the centuries.  In the process, you will acquire a basic knowledge of literary terms, styles, forms, critical concepts and significant dates.  Finally, we will step back from these concerns to reflect on how English is made and why it is that we read these particular works as representative. Assignments include frequent response papers, two formal papers, a midterm exam and a final exam. Writing intensive.

History 105H/C 1W.   Pre Modern World
4.00 credits
Brooks Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:   Freshman Section Only.  
This course considers how in the world ancient history matters in shaping the modern world. We will discard memorization of dates to consider real questions that have historical importance in thinking about the past. We will develop skills in reading, debating and argumentation as we consider issues such as how telling stories about the world reflect core values of society, what medical beliefs about the body tell us about gender roles in the past, what beliefs were foundation to the Islamic empire, how Genghis Khan ushered in the modern age, and to what degree ancient religious beliefs predetermine the political and ethical history of a community. We will read primary sources from period, examine archaeological remains of material culture and read historical fiction as a way to engage with these questions and establish skills in thinking critically about the past.    This course counts toward the PAST minor.  Reading and writing intensive.

 

History 105H/C 2W.   Pre Modern World
4.00 credits
Brooks Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:   None  
This course considers how in the world ancient history matters in shaping the modern world. We will discard memorization of dates to consider real questions that have historical importance in thinking about the past. We will develop skills in reading, debating and argumentation as we consider issues such as how telling stories about the world reflect core values of society, what medical beliefs about the body tell us about gender roles in the past, what beliefs were foundation to the Islamic empire, how Genghis Khan ushered in the modern age, and to what degree ancient religious beliefs predetermine the political and ethical history of a community. We will read primary sources from period, examine archaeological remains of material culture and read historical fiction as a way to engage with these questions and establish skills in thinking critically about the past.    This course counts toward the PAST minor.  Reading and writing intensive.

 

History 111 H 1W.   Medieval Europe
4.00 credits
Livingstone, A.

Prerequisite:  none.
The origins of medieval Europe are grounded in the world of Late Antiquity. This class begins with the last of the Western Roman Emperors by surveying the “barbarian” kingdoms that had been created in the fourth and fifth centuries. Essential to understanding Europe is the relationship between East and West. Starting with a dominant Byzantium in the early part of our course, we’ll examine ups and downs in the East/West relationship in the ninth and early twelfth centuries and their antagonistic relationship after 1204 and the sack of Constantinople. Essential to this story are the lives of women and religious minorities, such as Jews, Muslims, and pagans. Those stories will be woven in with the traditional highlights of the Middle Ages, such as Charlemagne’s ascension as Holy Roman Emperor, the Viking raids throughout Europe, the rise of the Normans and the conquest of England, the reform papacy and the Crusades, and the beginning of the Renaissance. Medieval Europe changed drastically over the thousand years studied in this course, and we will attempt to both understand the events and processes that contributed to that change as well as the shape of Europe at the end of our period.   This course counts toward the PAST minor.  Writing intensive.

 

History 202H 2W.  Children of the Past
4.00 credits
Livingstone, Amy

Prerequisite:  ENGL 101E.   Sophomore standing.  
What was it like growing up in the past? Did pre modern people have a “childhood?” Historians have recently turned their attention to investigating the private lives of medieval and early modern people. In this class we will explore what historians have uncovered about growing up in the past. We will examine the experiences of children in medieval London and Florence, Reformation Germany and sixteenth-century France.  This course will also examine how historians “do” history. What methods, theories, philosophies inform how historians have approached examining the history of childhood? What are the issues that confront historians in regard to the use of primary sources and historiographic traditions? Should historians be objective? Can they be objective? Each of those questions is fundamental to the task, vocation and obligation of the historian. To address such issues, students will read, analyze and critique primary sources. The “history” of historical interpretation, or historiography, will also be explored through a series of monographs and articles. Students will write several short analytical essays, as well as a longer historiographical paper, and participate in discussion and debate.  This course counts toward the PAST minor.  Writing intensive. 

 

History 303 1.1W.  Ancient Historians:  Herodotus and the Persian Wars
2.00 credits
Brooks Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:   One course in history or permission of instructor.
 Class meets first half of the semester.
Herodotus and Thucydides. They are the first fathers of history and yet, Herodotus has been sometimes regarded as a liar rather than a defender of the facts. By reading selections of Herodotus’s Histories we will investigate the Persian Wars with the Greeks, his view of Scythians nomads, and Book II, which is one of the early portraits of ancient Egypt by an historian. Through examining archaeological and textual remains, we will explore the question of whether Herodotus was the Father of History or the Father of Lies. This 2-credit course will be writing intensive.   There will be writing exercises dedicated to interpreting source materials in both textual and archaeological forms. Substantial reading in primary sources and secondary literature will be required.

 

History 303 1.2W.  Ancient Historians:  Arrian and Alexander the Great
2.00 credits
Brooks Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:   One course in history or permission of instructor.
Class meets second half of the semester
Biographies of Alexander the Great were written by his generals, but only fragments remain in later Roman biographies of the young Macedonian conqueror. This 2-credit course will examine the textual evidence for Alexander the Great, why Arrian is considered his most successful biographer, and how Plutarch’s reserved history compares with other Roman historians. We will also read two modern biographies of Alexander to consider the historiography that shapes the study of Hellenism. The course is writing intensive.  There will be writing exercises dedicated to interpreting source materials in both textual and archaeological forms.  Substantial reading in primary sources and secondary literature will be required.

History 313 1W.  Living in Medieval England
4.00 credits
Livingstone, A.

Prerequisite:  One course in History or permission of instructor.
The history of medieval England from the Anglo-Saxons through the Plantagenets  is full of compelling historical personalities who left a lasting imprint on England and medieval Europe. This course will focus on some of the famous or infamous personages of that time, such as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as some of the heroic kings, like William the Conqueror and Edward I, and the mythic figures of King Arthur and Robin Hood. In addition to these well-known historical personages, the lives of less extraordinary including medieval peasants, merchants and monks, will also be explored. In addition to exposing students to the rich history of medieval England, another learning objective for this course is to develop students’ appreciation for the complexities of historical study by having them read primary sources and the often-conflicting interpretations of medieval scholars.  Students will write several short response papers, two source analyses (one of a primary source, one of a historiographical debate) and will produce a major research paper on the topic of their choice, which they will present to the class.   This course counts toward the PAST minor.   Writing intensive.

 

PAST 400 01.  Capstone Seminar
2.00 credits
Brooks-Hedstrom, D.
Prerequisite: Must be a junior or senior Pre Modern and Ancient Studies minor and have completed twelve hours of the PAST minor.
Capstone course in which the junior or senior Pre Modern and Ancient World Studies minor integrates the major strands of Pre Modern and Ancient World history, culture, religion and philosophy, and literature around a specified theme and writes an extensive research paper.

PHIL 310 1W.  Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
4.00 credits
Reed

Prerequisite:  One prior course in PHIL or permission of instructor.
This course is an introduction to the historical method of philosophical reflection and an introduction to the philosophers of a particular period and a particular tradition (ancient Greek to medieval European).  As part of the first goal, we will observe the historical nature of philosophical thinking, i.e., the way it develops historically, not by accident but by its very nature.  We will trace one tradition of answers to questions variously answered by four particular notions (which themselves are reformulated over and over again):  (1) the notion that abstractions (like geometrical figures and the periodic table of elements) are the true objects of knowledge; (2) the notion that it is sometimes very difficult if not impossible to do what you know is good and not to do what you know is bad; (3) the notion that to be real and to be excellent are the same, i.e., that being and goodness are identical; and (4) the notion that the soul is immortal and lives on after the body decays and ceases.  Students will take a mid-term and a final exam and write four papers.  Writing intensive.

 

Religion 100 C/R  -  TOPIC:  Hinduism 
(4 semester hours)
Glowski, Janice

This course explores Hinduism as a socio-religious tradition in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan) by examining the relationship between Hindu thought, artistic traditions, ritual and social structures from about 2,5000 BCE to the present.  The course also analyzes historical and modern interpretations of Hinduism, from the “Orientalists,” to Mark Twain, to post-colonial scholars, as a way of reflecting on contextual perspective and how “knowing” changes over time. Student assessment is based on group work and presentations, quizzes, mid-semester and final exams, and short writing assignments.  No prerequisites.

Religion 121 R Art of Biblical Literature
(4 semester hours)
Kaiser, Barbara
 
Pre-requisite:  None

This course is intended to help readers appreciate the artistry of biblical prose and poetry.  We will examine texts from the Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha, paying special attention to plot structure, word-plays, imagery, repetition, characterization, themes, parallelism and aetiology.  Throughout the term, we will consider reinterpretations of biblical literature in the music, literature, and film of our own culture.  Class sessions have a lecture/discussion format.  There will be three or four exams and regular written responses to readings.  This course counts toward the PAST minor. Writing Intensive.

 

Religion 134 C/R – Chinese and Japanese Religious Traditions
(4 semester hours)
Oldstone-Moore, Jennifer

Pre-requisite:  None
This course examines several religious traditions which have shaped East Asian civilizations.  We will study the formal traditions of Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shinto; we will also consider the popular religious traditions of China and Japan.  Classes include both lecture and discussion; students will be evaluated through essay exams, short papers and analysis of scripture and other texts.

 

Religion 221R  1W   Understanding the Old Testament

(4 semester hours)
Kaiser, Barbara

Pre-requisite:  NONE
This course is designed especially for religion majors, pre-theological students, and others with a serious interest in biblical studies. We will attempt to place the Old Testament literature in its historical context, understand the theological perspectives which shape the texts, develop methods of interpretation, and simply appreciate the artistry and inspiration of the Old Testament literature. Class sessions have lecture/discussion format. Students will take three exams and write a paper. Writing intensive.

​Religion 321 – Biblical and Modern Prophets

(4 semester hours)
Kaiser, Barbara
Prerequisite:  one college course in biblical studies.

In this seminar students will investigate the historical setting, rhetorical techniques, messages, and continuing relevance of biblical prophets from Amos of Tekoa to John of Patmos.  Students will also consider the possibility of prophetic voices in contemporary society.  In this upper–level seminar, participants will frequently offer short presentations and papers, complete a research paper, create their own prophetic oracles, and write an essay on a modern prophet.   Counts towards PAST Minor. Writing intensive

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