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FALL 2017


MSCP 80500.  Jay Paul Gates.  Literature, Law, and the Penitential Body.  Tuesdays 2:00PM-4:00PM, Room TBA. 4 credits.
Ranging across injury, ordeal, execution, judicial mutilation, and torture as represented in Anglo-Saxon literary and legal texts, this course explores imagined social structures over the 600-year Anglo-Saxon period and conceptions of the role of the embodied individual in those structures. Issues to be examined are intersections between the imagined social structures as represented by the literature and the laws as well as potential divergences; shifts from a fragmented, family-, and feud-oriented structure to one based on the individual Christian as a confessional subject; and the roles and responsibilities of legal authorities such as judges, kings, and bishops within each structure.

The following courses will fulfill program requirements:

ENGL 80800. Karl Steel. Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: Animals, Nature, and Agency. Thursdays 11:45AM-1:45PM. 2/4 credits.
“So pricketh hem Nature in hir corages”: apart from reading Chaucer’s unfinished masterpiece, this course will focus on the implications of this single line—how can we, and should we even, distinguish between Nature’s “pricking” of the hearts of birds and its pricking of our hearts? Where can we locate the agency of Springtime piety, or of the other cultural formations of this collection of texts, whether these be the gendering of violence (Knight’s Tale), the compulsions of class and jealousy (Clerk’s Tale), or the helpless binding of character to story (Man of Law’s Tale)? Along the way, the course will offer introductions to Critical Animal Theory, major concerns in Ecocriticism, and readings in free choice and causality, from Augustine and Boethius through to the end of the Middle Ages. 
Course requirements will include two book reviews (one on a medieval topic, one on a related topic in contemporary, theoretically sophisticated scholarship), and the usual seminar paper. Familiarity with Chaucer’s Middle English is helpful but not required.

HIST. 76000. Early Modern Iberian/Colonial Latin America. Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Herman Bennett
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HIST. 77950. Islamic rulership: the caliphate in theory and practice. Tuesday, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Profs. Anna Akasoy and Chase Robinson
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