2018-19 Fall/Winter Courses
See MASTER TIMETABLE for dates, times and locations
Classical Studies 3490G - Late Antiquity
This course explores the world of the late Roman Empire from the "crisis" of the third century AD onward, including figures such as Constantine the Great and Julian the Apostate. It examines the political, religious, intellectual and social history of the late Empire through literature, documentary texts, and material culture.
Instructor: Alex Meyer
Classical Studies 4580F - Vindolanda Field School
This course is a 6-week study abroad experience in northern England. Students participate five days per week on the archaeological excavation at the Roman fort at Vindolanda, learning practical techniques of field archaeology. Weekends are spent taking field trips to the historical sites of Northern England and Scotland.
Note: For students who succeed in obtaining a place on the field school roster for summer 2019.
Coordinator: Alex Meyer
English 2076G - Medieval Heroes, Villains and other Outsiders
Many medieval heroes and villains are alive today: Thor, Loki, Beowulf, Joan of Arc, Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Robin Hood, Arthur, Mordred, Hildegard of Bingen, Sylvester II. This course will investigate these real-life and literary figures, considering their construction in medieval texts, and their reconstruction through the ages.
Instructor: Jane Toswell
English 3316E - Love in the Middle Ages
The authority of crown, family, and church, and even the texts that supported those institutions, was questioned in the late medieval period. While introducing the Middle English language, this course will explore how Geoffrey Chaucer and his contemporaries used literature to critique social and political institutions.
Instructor: Richard Moll
English 3318E - Middle English Literature (Brescia University College)
This course is an introduction to some of the major texts and themes of Middle English literature, with an emphasis on Chaucer and his contemporaries. Examples of medieval drama, romances, texts from the Arthurian tradition, and medieval autobiography and letter-writing may also be included.
Instructor: Dominick Grace
English 3579G - Canadian Medievalism
Medievalism, the reception of the Middle Ages, is a relatively new field of scholarly endeavour, and even newer is analysis of medievalism as it functions in the literature of a particular nation. Australia is far in the lead, with several monographs and many articles specifying the particularly antipodean approach to the Middle Ages, and especially nowadays addressing how Peter Jackson makes the hobbit into a species indigenous to New Zealand. The study of Canadian medievalisms is a new one, but well worth our attention. One of the two inventors of Superman, a thoroughly medieval and chivalric hero, was Canadian. Several modern ventures in the field of real "reel" medievalism are Canadian: the joint CanadianIcelandic production Beowulf and Grendel and more recently the Irish-Canadian television series The Vikings. There is also the strain of the academically trained individual engaging in a highly sophisticated way with the Middle Ages, notably the poets Earle Birney and Jeramy Dodds, the Icelandic immigrant literature of Western Canada (especially Manitoba), and the noted twentieth-century thinker, Robertson Davies. The course, then, will introduce the field of medievalism in general before looking at the roots of Canadian medievalism (in British and American nineteenth-centurymedievalisms by writers such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and T.S. Eliot). We will look at some other manifestations of Canadian medievalism: institutions, architecture, restaurants, stained glass, videogames, the role of the forest, and much more. We will then turn to the medievalist fantasy (which in Canada sometimes intersects with indigenous legend and myth), including works by such writers as Jack Whyte, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sean Stewart, and Charles de Lint. Finally, we will consider whether Canada's major contribution to modern medievalism lies in a recreation of the real Middle Ages or in a fantastic hybrid construction of the medieval with the modern.
Note: Available by special permission depending on student's major project.
Insructor: Jane Toswell
English 4311E - Seminar in Medieval Language and Literature: Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon (cross-listed with English 9171)
At the age of sixteen, a master at King Edward's School in Birmingham lent Ronald Tolkien an Anglo-Saxon primer, which he devoured with enthusiasm before turning to the reading of Beowulf, then Middle English, then Old Norse, and then Germanic philology as a subject of some fascination. And then he turned to inventing languages. In this course, we will study Old English as Tolkien did, beginning with introductory short prose texts, then some of the shorter poems, and then Beowulf, always comparing our approach to Tolkien's, and the primer and reader that he used with our own introductory texts. When we get to Beowulf, we will read his landmark Gollancz Lecture from 1936, which arguably turned the study of the poem from the quarrying philologists and archaeologists, and towards scholars of literature and culture. We will briefly consider the other poems which Tolkien addressed in his scholarly role as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford, before turning to the works that Tolkien wrote himself, inspired by the medieval texts he studied professionally. We will read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and consider their reception during and after Tolkien's life, and will delve somewhat into Tolkien's own compositions in Old English, and his other engagements with Anglo-Saxon matters.
Note: This is a fourth-year seminar in English.
Instructor: Jane Toswell
English 4312G - Seminar in Medieval Language and Literature: Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
This course is an in-depth study of Geoffrey Chaucer's masterpiece. Troilus and Criseyde was composed in the 1380s and tells the love story of Troilus, son of Priam and prince of Troy, and Criseyde, daughter of Calchas the traitor, as it unfolds during the siege of Troy. Widely considered to be the pinnacle of medieval romance, Troilus and Criseyde was also profoundly influential on English writers after Chaucer, including Shakespeare. Our study of the poem will entail some exploration of Chaucer's sources, such as Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, Boccaccio's Il Filostrato, and Benoît de Saint-Maure's Roman de Troie, as well as selected readings in the poem's rich afterlife, with such texts as Henryson's Testament of Cresseid and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. We will read Chaucer's Middle English but all Latin, Italian, and French texts will be read in modern English translations. Our reading will be supported and informed by lectures and seminar discussions on such topics as Middle English poetics and the romance genre; philosophical ideas about time, free will, and necessity; key concepts and practices of textual transmission, translation, and adaptation; and late medieval politics of sex and gender.
Instructor: Anne Schuurman
French 4040B - Old French Language
The introduction to Old French has a double objective: it permits the direct study of the earliest examples of French literature and at the same time provides a diachronic overview of the morphological, phonetic and syntactic evolution of the French language.
Note: Prerequisites needed in French courses including at the 3000-level, as this course is taught in French.
Instructor: John Nassichuk
History 2607F - History & Civilization of Medieval Islam
The course introduces the main events and themes of Islamic history and civilization and their place in world history. Topics include: Muhammad and the Qur'an, the Islamic legal system, social structure and political institutions, literature, philosophy, theology, art and architecture, medicine and science, interaction with Europe, the Crusades, and trade.
Instructor: Maya Shatzmiller
History 3605E - Crusaders and Moslems in the Twelfth Century
Aspects of Frankish and Moslem Societies and Cultures in the Middle East.
Instructor: Maya Shatzmiller
History 4603F - Silk Roads and Spice Routes: Ancient and Medieval Asia and World Contacts
This course will investigate the economic, political, religious, cultural, and technological impact of long distance land and sea trade between Asia and other world religions in ancient and medieval times up to around 1500.
Instructor: Carl Young
Medieval Studies 1022 - Introduction to Medieval Studies
This course will introduce civilization and thought in Europe and the Mediterranean between 400 and 1500, with emphasis on the medieval roots of many modern institutions and attitudes, including philosophy, technology, law, governance, courtly love and attitudes to women, warfare, art and archaeology, Christianity and Islam, literature, music and coinage. Syllabus
Instructor: Katherine Helsen
Medieval Studies 3022F - Introduction to Medieval Manuscripts
Using materials available in the Rare Books Room and from private collections, this course will familiarize students with the investigation of medieval manuscripts. It will introduce medieval scripts, the description of a medieval manuscript, issues of provenance and date, and the decoration used. Students will consider the preparation of ink and pigments, and the kinds of illumination and decoration available through the medieval period.
Instructor: Jim Grier
Philosophy 2205W - Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (King's University College)
This is a full-year introductory course taught in one term. A survey of the great philosophers from the pre-Socratics to Aquinas; focusing on the systematic unity of their thought, the influence of their ideas and their importance for us today. Themes include: the nature of reality, human existence, truth, God, political agency, and ethics.
Instructor: Georgia Mouroutsu until late October (philosophy of antiquity), then Gyongyi Hegedus (philosophy of medieval period)
Religious Studies 2126F - The Early Church to the Late Middle Ages (Huron University College)
The history of the Christian Church from its origin to the late Middle Ages.
Instructor: Stephen McClatchie
Religious Studies 2204F - World Religions: Judaism and Islam (King's University College)
A study of the history, faith and practices of Judaism and Islam.
Instructor: Gyongyi Hegedus
Religious Studies 2285G - Introduction to Islam (King's University College)
A study of Islam, its origin, main beliefs and practices; Islamic law, theology and mystical traditions; the diversity of modern Islam and its responses to the modern world.
Instructor: Gyongyi Hegedus
Religious Studies 2297F - Faith in Sound, Stone, and Paint (Huron University College)
An exploration of how music, architecture, and the visual arts can both reflect and help shape faith. Representative works from a wide variety of historical periods will be studied in their theological and cultural contexts.
Instructor: Stephen McClatchie
Visual Arts History 2259G - Italian Renaissance Art
Architecture, painting, and sculpture in Italy from 14th-century Tuscany to late 16th-century Venice.
Note: This is a blended course with an online component.
Instructor: Cody Barteet