Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

Coordinator: Karen Robertson (English and Women’s Studies); Steering Committee: Peter Huenink, Jacqueline Musacchio (Art), J. Bertrand Lott (Classics), Mark Amodio, Leslie Dunn, Don Foster, (English), Christine Reno (French), Nancy Bisaha, Mita Choudhury (History), John Ahern (Italian), Lynn LiDonnici (Religion); Participating Faculty: Susan D. Kuretsky (Art); Robert D. Brown (Classics); Robert DeMaria, Ann Imbrie, Samantha Zacher (English); Patricia Kenworthy (Hispanic Studies); Eugenio Giusti (Italian); Brian Mann (Music); Mitchell Miller (Philosophy), Margaret Leeming (Religion).

The interdepartmental program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies is designed to provide the student with a coherent course of study in the arts, history, literature, and thought of European civilization from the fall of Rome to the seventeenth century.

Requirements for concentration: 12 units, including Medieval/Renaissance Culture 220, and the senior thesis. Three units, one of which is the senior thesis, must be at the 300-level. Distribution and language requirements, listed below, must also be satisfied.

Distribution Requirement: In addition to Medieval/Renaissance Culture 220 and the thesis, students should take 10 units from the approved list. Two courses must be chosen from each of three groups of disciplines: Art and Music; History, Philosophy, Religion; Language and Literature. 300-level work is required in at least two departments.

Language Requirement: The major requires demonstration of competence in Latin or in at least one vernacular language besides Middle English. Competency is demonstrated by completion of at least two courses at the 200-level. Languages may include French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, Old English, and Spanish.

Recommendations: Since Latin is a core skill for medieval studies, all students are strongly urged to take at least one year of Latin. Students expecting to concentrate on the Renaissance should also study Italian.

Certain courses help form a foundation for this major. A selection from these 100-level courses may be applied toward the major in consultation with the coordinator: Art 105, Classics 102, Classics/College Course 101, Italian 175, History 123, Religion 150, Philosophy 101 or 102. No more than two 100-level courses may be offered toward the major.

Correlate Sequence in Medieval and Renaissance Studies: 6 graded units from the list of approved courses are required, including Medieval and Renaissance Studies 220 or History 215 or History 225; Art 220 or the equivalent; and English 220-221 or the equivalent in a foreign language. These courses should be taken early in a student’s career. 100-level work cannot be included in the sequence and at least 1 unit must be at the 300-level. The courses selected for the sequence must form a unified course of study and a written proposal articulating the focus of the sequence must be submitted to the correlate sequence adviser for approval prior to declaration.

Course Offerings

116a. The Dark Ages, c. 400-900 (1)

(Same as History 116a)

202 Thesis Preparation (1⁄2)

220 Medieval/Renaissance Culture (1)

Topic for 2005/06: Detectives in the Archive: Reading Medieval and Renaissance Texts. Study of medieval manuscripts of various types. The course involves direct work with manuscripts from Vassar’s collection. Mr. Ahern.

246a. Music and Ideas I: Medieval and Early Modem Europe: (1)

The Power of Church and Court

(Same as Music 246a)

300 Senior Thesis (1)

An interdisciplinary study written under the supervision of two advisors from two different disciplines.

Approved Courses

Art and Music

Art 220a Romanesque and Gothic Architecture (1)

[Art221b The Sacred Arts of the Middle Ages] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Art 235a Renaissance Painting, Sculpture and (1)

Decorative Arts in Italy

[Art 270a Renaissance Architecture] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Art 271b Early Modern Architecture] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Art 320b Seminar in Medieval Art] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Art 331b Seminar in Northern Art (1)

Topic for 2005/06: Master Printmakers

Art 332b Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art (1)

Music 323a Music and Poetry of the Italian Renaissance (1)

History, Philosophy, Religion

Classics 102b Reading Antiquity (1)

Classics 103a Crossscurrents (1)

[Classics 215 The Rome of Caesar Augustus] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Classics 217 History of the Ancient Romans (1)

Classics 280b Roman Philosophy (1)

Classics 301a Recovering the Past (1)

History 215b High Middle Ages, c. 950-1300 (1)

History 225a Renaissance Europe, c. 1300-1525 (1)

[History 259b The History of the Family in Early ModernEurope] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[History 315a World of the Crusades] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

History 325b Renaissance Italy (1)

Religion 225 The Hebrew Bible (1)

Religion 227 Christian Traditions (1)

Religion 243 Islamic Traditions (1)

[Religion 350 Comparative Studies in Religion] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Language and Literature

Africana Studies 203b. The Origins and Development of (1)

Islamic Literature

English 235 Old English (1)

English 236 Beowulf (1)

English 237 Chaucer (1)

[English 239 Renaissance Drama] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

English 240 Shakespeare (1)

English 241-242 Shakespeare (1)

English 340 Studies in Medieval Literature (1)

English 341 Studies in the Renaissance (1)

English 345 Milton (1)

French 230a Medieval and Early Modern Times (1)

Topic for 2005/06: The Politics of Seduction.

French 332b Literature and Society in Pre-Revolutionary France (1)

Topic for 2005/06: Crime and Punishment in Early Modern France.

Hispanic Studies 226a Medieval and Early Modern Spain (1)

Topic for 2005/06: Spain on Stage

Hispanic Studies 388a Peninsular Seminar (1)

Topic for 2005/06a: Don Quijote.

[Italian 175 Italian Renaissance in English Translation] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Italian 220b Italian Civilization: Interpreting the Texts (1)

[Italian 237b Dante’s Divine Comedy in Translation] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Italian 238a Dante’s Divine Comedy in Translation (1)

Italian 242b Boccaccio’s Decameron in Translation: “The Novella” as Microcosm (1)

Italian 301 Senior Seminar (1)

(When topic is Medieval or Renaissance)

[Italian 330 The Italian Renaissance: The Italian Epic Tradition from 1300 to 1600] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Italian 331b The Italian Renaissance: Poetry, Theatre, Politics, and Ideology] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Italian 337b Dante’s Divine Comedy] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Italian 338a Dante’s Divine Comedy] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Italian 342b Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron: The “Novella” as a Microcosm (1)

Latin 105a-106b Elementary Latin (1)

[Latin 210a Reading Latin] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

Latin 215a Republican Literature (1)

Latin 220b Literature of the Empire (1)

Latin 301b Topics in Latin Literature (1)

Topic for 2005/06: Latin Documents from the Early Empire

[Latin 302a Vergil] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.

[Latin 304 Roman Lyric and Elegy] (1)

Not offered in 2005/06.