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Medieval and Early Modern Courses

Graduate students, consult the course professor and your Director of Graduate Studies to learn if and how you can receive credit toward your degree from courses outside of your home department, including from 400-level courses.

Spring 2017

UMD Graduate Courses

ENGL621: Shakespeare and Contexts - Dr. Donna Hamilton

We will read Shakespeare’s Sonnets, Titus Andronicus, Richard II, I Henry IV, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Macbeth, King Lear, and Coriolanus.  We will consider these works in relation to several contexts: classical authors important in Shakespeare’s time (Cicero, Ovid, Plutarch, Tacitus), early modern political thought (and propaganda), including matters of obedience and religion (Queen Elizabeth I, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Robert Persons, Edward Coke, King James VI and I), contemporary historians on Shakespeare and early modern political thought (David Armitage, Conol Condren , Susan James, Peter Lake,  and Quentin Skinner), and literary contexts such as the implications of collaborative authorship, multiple versions of a single play, Shakespeare as a literary vs dramatic author, commercial interests of theatrical production and printing, and the place Shakespeare constructed for himself in early modern England (Colin Burrow, Patrick Cheney, Richard Dutton, Lukas Erne, Stephen Greenblatt, Grace Ioppolo,  David Kastan, Richard Knowles, Roslyn Knutson, Peter Mack, William Manley and Sally-Beth MacLean, Gary Taylor, and S. Schoenbaum).


MUSC642: Early Music Notation - Dr. Barbara H. Haggh-Huglo

Description forthcoming.


UMD Undergraduate Courses

ENGL487: Foundations of Rhetoric - Dr. Jane Donawerth

In this course we will read texts of the rhetorical tradition, the theories and guides for speaking and writing persuasively, from the beginning to 1900. We will study the canonical theories of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, Erasmus, Campbell and others. But we will also read communication theory by women outside the canon, by Pan Chao, Sei Shonagon, Margaret Fell, Mary Astell, and the Black elocutionist Hallie Quinn Brown. We will learn traditional rhetorical categories, such as invention and levels of style, and apply them in rhetorical analysis. We will discuss the issues of classical rhetorical theory, such as the moral use of rhetoric, and art vs. nature. We will also examine the ways rhetorical theory changes when it is adapted to new, less privileged groups of speakers--such as women's emphasis on conversation rather than public speech.  Class will be mainly discussion, with student reports on crucial topics. Requirements include a mid-term and final examination, three one-page reports (written and oral) on theoretical topics, a 5-page paper using rhetorical analysis, and a longer 7-8 page research paper either comparing two theories or using a theory to analyze a text from the time it was widely taught.


HONR228D: Fireworks and Trap-doors: A Hands-on Workshop in Theater Production and Special Effects - Dr. Michelle Butler

We think of special effects as a modern, Hollywood phenomenon. But Michael Bay would have been just as happy — and welcome — in early English theater. These plays reveled in the spectacular, exploiting the technological advancements of the late middle ages to feed the public’s appetite for the miraculous, the monstrous, and the marvelous. Burning gunpowder, fake (or was it?) blood, winches, trap-doors, costumes were among the tools and techniques employed. However, the secrets of some of their stage effects have not yet been worked out. In this class, we’ll learn about early English theater production, giving particular attention to special effects, try our hand at recreating them, and perhaps even develop a plausible theory or two about the unsolved effects.


ITAL411: Monsters and Demons: The Faces of Evil in Dante's Inferno - Dr. Giuseppe Falvo

This course is an interdisciplinary study of Inferno as represented in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Special emphasis will be given to Dante’s own portrayal of monsters and demons and their specific roles in his eschatological vision of Hell. Dante’s text and poetic images will be analyzed in connection with artistic representations of the after-life such as Giotto’s Last Judgment and other famous paintings of the medieval and early modern period, and with commercial adaptations of Dante’s Inferno in comics, action-adventure video games, and other contemporary media. [Offered in conjunction with ITAL478D (Colloquium on Dante), open to ITAL and ROML majors and minors].


DC Consortium Graduate Courses

HIST6xx: Tudor British History - Catholic University - Dr. Lawrence Poos

This readings course surveys recent historiography and interpretation of the history of England and Britain from the late fifteenth to the early seventeenth century. It covers political, religious, social, and economic history, and examines recent work attempting to relate the history of the British Isles as a whole. One particular focus is upon treatments by historians of the transition from “medieval” to “(early) modern”, and understanding state and society in the wake of the British reformations.

HIST613A / TRS825A: The Catholic Reformation - Dr. Nelson H. Minnich

Can be taken as a lecture or seminar with readings and discussion. Thursdays from 3:40 - 6:10.

HIST623B: History of the Book in the Early Modern Period - Catholic University - Dr. Massimo Ceresa

This course surveys the history of the book in its worldwide context as both material artifact and text. With attention to the history of reading and writing, the course looks at book production in its cultural, social and religious contexts. Topics include methods of book production (materials, techniques, tools), the history of libraries, the development of printing in the early modern period, and writing and reading in the age of electronic media.