Courses

Courses by semester

Courses for Fall 2022

Complete Cornell University course descriptions are in the Courses of Study .

Course ID Title Offered
MEDVL1101 FWS: Aspects of Medieval Culture

Full details for MEDVL 1101 - FWS: Aspects of Medieval Culture

MEDVL1104 FWS: Modernity and the Middle Ages

Full details for MEDVL 1104 - FWS: Modernity and the Middle Ages

MEDVL2170 Early Modern Iberian Survey This course explores major texts and themes of the Hispanic tradition from the 11th to the 17th centuries. We will examine general questions on literary analysis and the relationship between literature and history around certain events, such as medieval multicultural Iberia, the creation of the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th century and the expulsion of the Jews in 1492; the encounter between the Old and the New Worlds; the 'opposition' of high and low in popular culture, and of the secular and the sacred in poetry and prose. Readings may be drawn from medieval short stories and miracle collections; chivalric romances, Columbus, Lazarillo de Tormes, Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Calderón, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, among others.

Full details for MEDVL 2170 - Early Modern Iberian Survey

Fall, Spring.
MEDVL2655 Introduction to Islamic Civilization At the beginning of the 7th century, a new religion, Islam, appeared in Arabia and by the end of the century, Muslims had defeated the Byzantines and Persians and created an empire that stretched from Spain to India. For the next millennium, Islam glittered. Its caliphs, courts, and capitals were grander, more powerful, and more sophisticated than those of any medieval king, duke or prince. In this course, we will trace the emergence and development of Islamic civilization from the birth of Muhammad ca. 570 to the Mongol sack of Baghdad in 1258. We will read the Qur'an and listen to its recitation; examine the career of the Prophet Muhammad; follow the course of the Arab conquests; explore the nature of the conflict between Sunnis and Shi'is; learn about the five pillars of Islam, sharia law, theology, and Sufism; and assess the achievements of Muslim intellectuals in literature, art, architecture, science, and philosophy.

Full details for MEDVL 2655 - Introduction to Islamic Civilization

Fall.
MEDVL2722 Of Saints, Poets, and Revolutionaries: Medieval and Modern Iran and Central Asia From the poet-kings of medieval Persia to the trading networks of the famed "Silk Road" to the wandering mystics of Herat to the constitutional revolution of Iran to the colonial and post-colonial occupations of contemporary Afghanistan, this course offers a broad cultural and political history of Iranian and Turkic Central Asia. In addition, we will explore the highly complex intellectual, artistic, and architectural trends and "cross-cultural" exchanges that formed the backbone of many disparate Iranian-Turkic cultures. 

Full details for MEDVL 2722 - Of Saints, Poets, and Revolutionaries: Medieval and Modern Iran and Central Asia

Fall.
MEDVL3080 Icelandic Family Sagas An introduction to Old Norse-Icelandic mythology and the Icelandic family saga-the "native" heroic literary genre of Icelandic tradition. Texts will vary but will normally include the Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda, Hrafnkels Saga, Njals Saga, Laxdaela Saga, and Grettirs Saga. All readings will be in translation. The class counts toward the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.

Full details for MEDVL 3080 - Icelandic Family Sagas

Fall.
MEDVL3110 Old English In this course, we will read and discuss some of the earliest surviving English poetry and prose. Attention will be paid to (1) learning to read the language in which this literature is written, (2) evaluating the poetry as poetry: its form, structure, style, and varieties of meaning, and (3) seeing what can be learned about the culture of Anglo-Saxon England and about the early Germanic world in general, from an examination of the Old English literary records. We will begin by reading some easy prose and will go on to consider some more challenging heroic, elegiac, and devotional poetry, including an excerpt from the masterpiece Beowulf. The course may also be used as preparation for the sequence ENGL 3120/ENGL 6120. The class counts toward the pre-1800 requirement for English majors.

Full details for MEDVL 3110 - Old English

Fall.
MEDVL3315 Old Norse I Old Norse is a collective term for the earliest North Germanic literary languages: Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish. The richly documented Old Icelandic is the center of attention, and the purpose is twofold: the students gain knowledge of an ancient North Germanic language, important from a linguistic point of view, and gain access to the medieval Icelandic (and Scandinavian) literature. The structure of Old Norse (Old Icelandic), phonology, and morphology, with reading of selections from the Prose-Edda, a 13th-century narrative based on the Eddaic poetry. 

Full details for MEDVL 3315 - Old Norse I

Fall.
MEDVL3618 Islamic History: The Beginnings of Islam: 600-750 An examination of Islamic history from 600-750, with special attention to historiography and interpretive issues. Topics to be discussed will include: Arabia and the Near East before Islam; the collection of the Qur'an, the biography of Muhammad, the Arab conquests, the Umayyad caliphs, and the Abbasid takeover.

Full details for MEDVL 3618 - Islamic History: The Beginnings of Islam: 600-750

Fall.
MEDVL3750 Introduction to Dendrochronology Introduction and training in dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) and its applications in archaeology, art history, climate and environment through lab work and participation in ongoing research projects using ancient to modern wood samples from around the world. Supervised reading and laboratory/project work. Possibilities exists for summer fieldwork in the Mediterranean, Mexico, and New York State.

Full details for MEDVL 3750 - Introduction to Dendrochronology

Fall.
MEDVL3760 On Practice and Perfection Practice makes perfect, the old saying goes, but the nature of that connection remains opaque.  This course, conducted in English and intended as a sequel to FREN 3540 - [On Paying Attention], gives students the opportunity to engage with everyday material and spiritual practices, and to reflect upon the kids of things these practices "make."  What is the place of routine and repetition in our lives?  How can we open a conversation about our habits?  We'll look for models to the long history of writing on the subject, largely but not exclusively by Christian thinkers (e.g. Augustine, Benedict, Aelred, Francis, Ignatius), even as we develop new ways of accounting for, and developing, the practices that make our lives meaningful.  Artists, athletes, and introverts especially welcome.

Full details for MEDVL 3760 - On Practice and Perfection

Fall.
MEDVL3850 The Arts of Southeast Asia The arts of Southeast Asia are studied in their social context, since in traditional societies creative processes are often mapped on the sequence of events that compose human lives. We will be looking particularly at the gendered ways in which bodies are mapped on the land, and how these various framings are often reflected in the unique relationships that emerge between works of art and textual sources. The South Asian epics of the Ramayana (Story of Rama) and the Mahabharata will be explored during the semester as infinitely renewable sources of inspiration.

Full details for MEDVL 3850 - The Arts of Southeast Asia

Fall.
MEDVL6110 Old English In this course, we will read and discuss some of the earliest surviving English poetry and prose. Attention will be paid to (1) learning to read the language in which this literature is written, (2) evaluating the poetry as poetry: its form, structure, style, and varieties of meaning, and (3) seeing what can be learned about the culture of Anglo-Saxon England and about the early Germanic world in general, from an examination of the Old English literary records. We will begin by reading some easy prose and will go on to consider some more challenging heroic, elegiac, and devotional poetry, including an excerpt from the masterpiece Beowulf. The course may also be used as preparation for the sequence ENGL 3120/ENGL 6120.

Full details for MEDVL 6110 - Old English

Fall.
MEDVL6850 The Arts of Southeast Asia The arts of Southeast Asia are studied in their social context, since in traditional societies creative processes are often mapped on the sequence of events that compose human lives. We will be looking particularly at the gendered ways in which bodies are mapped on the land, and how these various framings are often reflected in the unique relationships that emerge between works of art and textual sources. The South Asian epics of the Ramayana (Story of Rama) and the Mahabharata will be explored during the semester as infinitely renewable sources of inspiration.

Full details for MEDVL 6850 - The Arts of Southeast Asia

Fall.
MEDVL7777 Medieval Studies Proseminar This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the study of the Middle Ages, with special attention to theory and methodology. Seminars will be led by Medieval Studies Program faculty who represent a broad range of disciplines, time periods, languages, and geographical areas.

Full details for MEDVL 7777 - Medieval Studies Proseminar

Fall.
MEDVL8010 Directed Study - Individual

Full details for MEDVL 8010 - Directed Study - Individual

Fall, Spring.
MEDVL8020 Directed Study - Group

Full details for MEDVL 8020 - Directed Study - Group

Fall, Spring.
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