Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

Coordinator: Karen Robertson (English and Women’s Studies); Steering Committee: 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 (English), Eugenio Giusti (Italian); Brian Mann (Music), Mitchell Miller (Philosophy).

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.

sequence adviser for approval prior to declaration.

Course Offerings

116b. The Dark Ages, c. 400-900 (1)

(Same as History 116b)

202 Thesis Preparation ( 1/2)

220b. Medieval/Renaissance Culture (1)

Topic for 2007/08: 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: The Power of Church and Court (1)

(Same as Music 246a) Mr. Mann.

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)

Art 221b The Sacred Arts of the Middle Ages (1)

Art 235a Renaissance Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts in Italy (1)

Art 236b Sixteenth-Century Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts in Italy (1)

Art 243b Art and Ideas of the Golden Age in Spain (1)

[Art 270a Renaissance Architecture] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

Art 332b Seminar in Italian Renaissance Art (1)

History, Philosophy, Religion

[Classics 102 Reading Antiquity] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

Classics 103 Crossscurrents (1)

Classics 104 Introduction to Greek Archaeology (1)

Classics 202a Myth (1)

[Classics 214 Male and Female in Greek and Roman Literature and Myth] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

Classics 217 History of the Ancient Romans (1)

Classics 283 Women in Antiquity (1)

Classics 301a Seminar in Classical Civilization (1)

Topic for 2007/08: Pompeii and Akrotiri: Daily Life in Antiquity

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

Not offered in 2007/08.

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

Not offered in 2007/08.

History 316 Constantinople/Istanbul: 1453 (1)

[Religion 225 The Hebrew Bible] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

Religion 243 Islamic Traditions (1)

Religion 350 Comparative Studies in Religion (1)

Language and Literature

[Africana Studies 203b. The Origins and Development of Islamic Literature] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

English 235a Old English (1)

English 236b Beowulf (1)

English 237a Chaucer (1)

English 238b Middle English Literature (1)

[English 239 Renaissance Drama] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

English 240a or b Shakespeare (1)

English 241-242 Shakespeare (1)

English 340a Studies in Medieval Literature (1)

English 341a Studies in the Renaissance (1)

English 345b Milton (1)
English 381a After Shakespeare (1)

French 230a Medieval and Early Modern Times (1)

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

Not offered in 2007/08.

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

Topic for 2007/08: War and Culture in Imperial Spain

Italian 175 Italian Renaissance in English Translation (1)

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

Not offered in 2007/08.

Italian 237a Dante’s Divine Comedy in Translation (1)

[Italian 330a The Italian Renaissance: Epic Tradition] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

[Italian 388b Petrach’s Letters] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.

Latin 105a-106b Elementary Latin (1)

Latin 215a Republican Literature (1)

Latin 220b Literature of the Empire (1)

Latin 301b Topics in Latin Literature (1)

Topic for 2007/08: The Myth of Rome

Latin 302a Vergil (1)

[Latin 304 Roman Lyric and Elegy] (1)

Not offered in 2007/08.