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Course Descriptions

Pre Modern and Ancient World Studies Course Listings - Spring 2013

ART 230H 1W– Baroque and Rococo Art
4 credit hours
Gimenez-Berger – Koch Hall

Prerequisites:  Art 110H or Art 120H or permission of instructor.
Surveys the art, architecture and sculpture produced during the Baroque and Rococo periods (ca. 1600-1800) in Western Europe.  Art objects and monuments will be discussed in context, with attention to individual artists, patrons, and religious and historical events.  This class allows students to complete a Cultures and Languages across the Curriculum Module (CLAC) for an additional credit.  You will find more information on the CLAC program in the Language Department’s course descriptions.

Chinese 130A/C:  Chinese Women Writers:  Ancient & Modern
(4 semester hours)
Chan, Shelley

Taught in English.  No prerequisites.
Chinese women have been known as the suppressed sex for thousands of years.  Nevertheless, women’s writing has always been an important part of Chinese literature.  Whereas the long history of pre-modern China produced a rather large number of women writers, the concept of “women’s literature” emerged only in the early twentieth century when enormous changes in Chinese women’s social status occurred after the May Fourth Movement of 1919.  Moreover, since 1949 Communist China has witnessed further rapid changes as far as women’s writing is concerned.

This course is a general introduction to Chinese women writers in different historical periods, namely, pre-modern, modern, and contemporary.  To help students understand the gender issue, it provides them with a cultural background from the Confucian patriarchy to the Maoist “equality” between the sexes, as well as a background on cultural norms toward Chinese women.  It discovers women’s voice in a traditionally male-centered society and literature, examines the feminine/masculine opposition, studies how Chinese women writers have not only formed their own voice, but also often led the way in the literary development of the post-Mao period.  The readings, including poetry, prose and fiction, will be buttressed by films.  All readings, discussions and lectures will be in English. The movies will have English subtitles.

ECON 320 – History of Economic Thought
4 semester hours
Wishart, David

Prerequisites: ECON 190 or equivalent.
This course critically examines the work of economic thinkers from ancient China through the early 20th century. The goal of this course is to both enable students to understand how the environment economic thinkers lived in influenced their analysis and to appreciate how economic thought has been refined and improved through the ages. The centerpiece of the course will continue to be a detailed textual analysis of Adam Smith’s classic work, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.  Readings will focus on original texts as much as possible throughout the course. Students will be expected to write a 10-15 page paper, write midterm and final exams, and participate actively in class discussions. The format for the course is lecture-discussion. This course is writing intensive.

English 280 – British Survey I
4 semester hours
Buckman, Ty

Prerequisite: ENGL 170H, ENGL 180A or ENGL 190A/C
In this survey for English literature from its beginnings to the early eighteenth century, students will be introduced to the writings of a variety of authors working in a variety of genres: sonnet, dramatic comedy, epic poem, essay, novel, and others.  In order to impose some structure on a rather diverse body of writings, we will trace several broad themes across these works while attending to, so far as possible in a course of this type, the historical milieux in which these texts were written and read or performed.  A reading journal, three papers, a midterm and final.  Writing intensive.

English 318   Bad Girls: From Eve to Mary (Wollstonecraft)
4 semester hours
Richards, Cynthia

Prerequsite:  ENGL 200 and ENGL 280A/Non-majors must have junior standing
    This course will examine the work of women writers from the medieval period to the early nineteenth century and will be organized around the most common tropes by which a woman becomes a “bad girl.” I am sure you know those “tropes” already, but to remind you (and to use their less vulgar incarnations) they are: the fallen woman, the shrew, the prostitute, the coquette, and the promiscuous woman. This year, the course will also add a new and modern category for female “acting out;” the mean girl.  The course will begin by looking at the original “bad girl,” Eve, and will examine in detail a period of particularly virulent misogynist attacks during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, all played out through an examination of Eve’s original transgression. We will look at the feminist responses to these debates, including—I would argue—Milton’s representation of Eve in Paradise Lost. 
    We will then go back to discuss the shrew or masculinized woman, starting with Chaucer’s Wife of Bath and Margery Kempe’s account of her spiritual life and concluding in Margaret Cavendish’s early foray into science fiction The Blazing World (1665).  We will then move on to the figure of the prostitute, focusing primarily on the Restoration stage and the work of Aphra Behn. From there, we will examine the coquette or the tease, a figure of womanhood intrinsically connected—interestingly enough—with the birth and development of the novel in the eighteenth century. We will also take on a modern category for female transgression—“the mean girl”—by exploring the biting, sometimes catty, satire of Frances Burney’s play, The Witlings. We will conclude with the figure of the promiscuous woman, focusing on the overtly feminist work of Mary Wollstonecraft and how that intersected with the complexities of her own troubled, romantic history. As a coda to the class, we will look at Frankenstein, written by Wollstonecraft’s daughter, Mary Shelley, and examine how the “bad girl” goes underground in this novel, strangely taking the form of a masculine monster.
   The course will include a midterm and final, one shorter paper (@five pages) and one researched paper (12-15 pages.) There will also be response papers along the way and the research paper will include a personal component. Writing intensive.  

French 140A: Monsters and Monstrosities
(4 semester hours)
Adrien, Max

Taught in English.  No prerequisites.
This course aims at examining Francophone Caribbean and African literary and filmic works that address political concerns of the late colonial and post-colonial eras. Among the major themes to be examined are the Western canonic concepts of Monsters and Monstrosities, the Negritude Movement, the concept of Africanity, the linguistic concerns of Créolité, and the pervasive theme of Alienation. Main texts and films to be studied will include Condé, Niane and Zobel. To better appreciate the legacy of colonialism and better understand the Western canonical conceptions of “Monster”, textual reading excepts will be drawn from Plato [Socrates], Saint Augustine, Montaigne, Césaire, Fanon, Sartre and Senghor. Pursuant to Wittenberg’s liberal arts education vision which is “dedicated to intellectual inquiry and wholeness of person within a diverse community”, the main emphasis of the course is to bring to bear the necessary tools that students might need to deal with social /societal issues, ”malaise” / “discontent” such as Monsters, Monstrosities, Identity, Alienation, Otherness, Colonialism, Negritude, etc. Overall, the core principle of this course is critical thinking as a window that will connect students to the global world to enhance their possibilities to be fully engaged in their community as they gain a greater understanding of the human condition. Knowledge of French is not required.

Greek 112:  Intermediate Classical Greek
(4 semester hours)
Gorton, Luke

Prerequisite:  Greek 111 or permission of instructor
A continuation of Greek 111.  Emphasis on grammar, exercises, and selected readings. 

HIST 105 C/H 1W.  Pre-Modern World History
4.00 credits
Brooks Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:  none.
This course considers how in the world ancient history matters in shaping the modern world. We will discard memorization of dates to consider real questions that have historical importance in thinking about the past. We will develop skills in reading, debating and argumentation as we consider issues such as how telling stories about the world reflect core values of society, what medical beliefs about the body tell us about gender roles in the past, what beliefs were foundation to the Islamic empire, how Genghis Khan ushered in the modern age, and to what degree ancient religious beliefs predetermine the political and ethical history of a community. We will read primary sources from period, examine archaeological remains of material culture and read historical fiction as a way to engage with these questions and establish skills in thinking critically about the past.  Reading and writing intensive.

HIST 111H 01.  Medieval Europe
4.00 credits
Raffensperger, Chris

Prerequisite:  none.   Supplemental Instruction available.
The origins of medieval Europe are grounded in the world of Late Antiquity. This class begins with the last of the Western Roman Emperors by surveying the “barbarian” kingdoms that had been created in the fourth and fifth centuries. Essential to understanding Europe is the relationship between East and West. Starting with a dominant Byzantium in the early part of our course, we’ll examine ups and downs in the East/West relationship in the ninth and early twelfth centuries and their antagonistic relationship after 1204 and the sack of Constantinople. The traditional narrative of the middle ages (Charlemagne’s coronation as emperor, the Viking raids throughout Europe, the rise of the Normans and the conquest of England, the reform papacy and the Crusades, and the beginning of the Renaissance) will be woven in with the history of eastern Europe and Scandinavia, as well as the histories of women and religious minorities to create a much broader medieval world than is traditionally imagined. Medieval Europe changed drastically over the thousand years studied in this course, and we will attempt to both understand the events and processes that contributed to that change as well as the shape of Europe at the end of our period.
This course counts toward the PAST minor.  

HIST 210C/H  01.  Mummies, Myths and Monuments of Egypt
4.00 credits
Brooks-Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:  none.
Ancient Egypt is a subject that fascinates the American imagination. This course will consider the American discovery of Egypt through the work of famous archaeologists and historians. With this foundation, we will examine the over 3,000 years of history that shape what is known of ancient Egypt from the great pyramid builders of the Old Kingdom, to the great poets of the Middle Kingdom, to the great apex of Egyptian power under the pharaohs of the New Kingdom. The course will conclude with an examination of the last century of Egyptian history under the invading empires of the Kushites, the Persians, and the Greeks. This is a survey class that will require intensive reading in both primary (both textual and artifactual evidence) and secondary sources on Egypt.  

HIST263C  01.  Japan’s Medieval Past
4.00 credits
Maus, Tanya

Prerequisite:  none. 
Japan’s Medieval Past is most often viewed through the rise of a ruling warrior (samurai) class. However, long before the age of the samurai, civil officials, aristocratic women, monks, and wandering performers created an unprecedented age of political, social, artistic and literary achievement that drew on rich and diverse traditions from within and without Japan. Through the use of primary historical sources, literature, and classic film by directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Mizoguchi Kenji, this course will examine Japan’s complex medieval heritage beginning with the rise of a stable imperial rule in the sixth century and ending with the anarchy of the warring states period of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Students will be evaluated according to quizzes, weekly journal responses, a variety of written assignments, and two substantial class presentation.  This course counts toward the PAST minor.

HONR 300 C or H:  Sexuality and Athleticism in Antiquity
4.00 credits
Brooks-Hedstrom, Darlene

Prerequisite:  Permission required by the Honors Program.
An examination of material culture and textual evidence (including literature, documentary and papyrological sources) on the body in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. In particular this Honors Seminar will examine the two themes: sexuality and athleticism. Both topics allow for the examination of how men and women’s bodies were viewed and controlled in their respective societies. Using artifactual evidence and texts, we will raise questions about how the physical nature of bodies was understood in past civilizations. In order to describe these texts, we will also employ theoretical models for reading sexuality in antiquity for the study of gender and sport.  Students will facilitate seminar discussions, design and complete a research paper, and present their results in a colloquium for the course.  Writing intensive. This course may count toward Women’s Studies, PAST, and History requirements.

Phil 311 1W.   Modern Philosophy
4 credits
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite:  PHIL 310 or permission of instructor.
Modern philosophy (1600-1900) is one of the most fascinating time periods philosophy. It is during the modern period that philosophy began to be concerned with the kinds of methods and ideas that we think of today as philosophical.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about modern philosophy is that it is a period of radical scientific and social upheaval.  The beliefs we have in democracy and the faith we have in scientific method, for example, developed during the modern period, as did navigation methods and optics.  The modern period was one of the most hopeful times for social reform, but it also was a period of imperialism and colonialism, which did not have social reform for Others in mind.  We will study Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche as well as contemporary texts critiquing these readings.

The goals of this class are for you to engage texts from the modern period, to think critically about these texts and to understand the socio-political climate that lead to the development of these beliefs.   You will be assessed through your writing of a book review and a final paper, as well as a midterm, final, and reaction papers.    Writing intensive.

Optional Course Component: Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum
Interested in using your foreign language skills to earn extra credit connected to this course and to learn more about the subject matter of this course at the same time?  If so, register for the CLAC components offered here.  You don’t need to be fluent in the language to exercise this option.  In fact, you need only to have completed two credits beyond 112 or to be currently enrolled in a course beyond 112.  Your work will be guided by your professor and by faculty from the Languages Department.  The CLAC module is designed for intermediate level language learners.

This course offers a foreign language component or CLAC component in the following languages:

German, Spanish, French, and Russian

Students who select the CLAC option will complete work in a foreign language that will supplement the work in this course.  Students who complete the CLAC assignments successfully will earn 1 credit for the CLAC component.

To register for the CLAC component, you must also register for a one-credit LANG 230 CLAC module listed among the Language Department’s offerings.  Meeting times and location will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.    Credit for CLAC modules may be counted toward the requirements for International Studies and as elective credit in the Language department.

POLI 211R 01 Ancient & Medieval Political Philosophy
4 credits
Wright, Heather

This is a challenging and thought-provoking course which explores the history of political philosophy from ancient Greek drama to medieval thought through a combination of primary textual analysis and interpretive commentary. What is political philosophy? Simply put, it is the quest for knowledge about the nature of politics. Ancient and medieval political philosophers sought knowledge about many of our most compelling and vital human questions. What is the nature of human beings? What is nature itself? What is justice? How can we begin to understand power? What is the good life for human beings? What is the best form of political rule? What is the proper relationship of philosophy to politics? On what basis might we construct our ethical life? Are men and women different, and if so, how might this impact the political? Not surprisingly, political philosophers have thought and continue to think very differently about these topics. 10/12

RELI 121 R Art of Biblical Literature
(4 semester hours)
Kaiser, Barbara


Prerequisite:  None
This course is intended to help readers appreciate the artistry of biblical prose and poetry.  We will examine texts from the Old and New Testaments and Apocrypha, paying special attention to plot structure, word-plays, imagery, repetition, characterization, themes, parallelism and aetiology.  Throughout the term, we will consider reinterpretations of biblical literature in the music, literature, and film of our own culture.  Class sessions have a lecture/discussion format.  There will be three or four exams and regular written responses to readings.

RELI 222 R  1W Understanding the New Testament
(4 semester hours)
Kaiser, Barbara

No prerequisites, but Religion 221 (OT) recommended.
This course is designed for religion majors, pre-theological students and other serious students of religion. Throughout the term we will attempt to understand the historical context of the New Testament literature, discover the religious perspectives which shape the New Testament texts and appreciate the richness of the New Testament writings. Students will be required to read the New Testament and some non-canonical texts, write a paper and take three exams. The class has a lecture/discussion format. Writing intensive.

Religion339 C/R 1W Monkeys, Samurai and Gods                               
4 semester hours
Oldstone-Moore, Jennifer

Prerequisites:  None
This seminar will look at religious meaning and message in some of the best loved literature of China and Japan, including Journey to the West, Tale of Heike, Dream of the Red Chamber, Account of my Hut, and others.  Class will be a combination of lecture and discussion, with student presentations and a term paper.  Videos and other media will be used when possible.  Writing intensive.

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