Graduate Courses 2013-2014

Graduate Courses, 2013-2014


31113. Literatures of the Christian East: Late Antiquity, Byzantium, and Medieval Russia

After the fall of Rome in 476 CE, literatures of the Latin West and – predominantly Greek-speaking – Eastern provinces of the Roman empire followed two very different paths. Covering both religious and secular genres, we will survey some of the most interesting texts written in the Christian East in the period from 330 CE (foundation of Constantinople) to the late 17th c. (Westernization of Russia). Our focus throughout will be on continuities within particular styles and types of discourse (court entertainment, rhetoric, historiography, hagiography) and their functions within East Christian cultures. Readings will include Digenes Akritas and Song of Igor’s Campaign, as well as texts by Emperor Julian the Apostate, Gregory of Nazianzus, Emphraim the Syrian, Anna Comnena, Psellos, Ivan the Terrible, and Archbishop Avvakum. All readings in English.

B. Rodin. Spring.
No prerequisites. Equivalent Courses: CMLT 2/32302, CLCV 21113

31200. History and Theory of Drama I

The course is a survey of major trends and theatrical accomplishments in drama from the ancient Greeks through the Renaissance: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, classical Sanskrit theater, medieval religious drama, Japanese Noh drama, Kyd, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Molière, along with some consideration of dramatic theory by Aristotle, Sir Philip Sidney, Corneille, and others. Students have the option of writing essays or putting on short scenes in cooperation with other members of the course. The goal of these scenes is not to develop acting skill but, rather, to discover what is at work in the scene and to write up that process in a somewhat informal report. End-of-week workshops, in which individual scenes are read aloud dramatically and discussed, are optional but highly recommended.

D. Bevington. Autumn.
Equivalent Courses: ENGL 13800, CLCV 21200, CMLT 20500, CMLT 30500, ENGL 31000, TAPS 28400

33608. Aristophanes’ Athens

This course will focus on a number of Aristophanes’ plays in translation (including Acharnians; Wasps; Clouds; Peace; Birds; Lysistrata; Thesmophoriazousai; and Frogs) in order to determine the value Old Comedy possesses for reconstructing sociohistorical structures, norms, expectations, and concerns. Among the topics to be addressed are the performative, ritual and political contexts of Attic comedy, the constituency of audiences, the relationship of comedy to satire, the use of dramatic stereotypes, freedom of speech, and the limits of dissent.

J. Hall. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: CLCV 23608, ANCM 33900, HIST 30803, HIST 20803

34113. The Archaeology of Death in Ancient Rome

This course serves as a general introduction to the commemoration of death in Roman funerary monuments, giving particular attention to the social bonds they were meant to express and reinforce through visual modes of address. Memorials dedicated by a socially diverse group of patrons including both elites and non-elites, metropolitan Romans and far-flung provincials, will be studied in relation to an equally diverse body of material evidence including tomb architecture and cemetery planning, inscriptions, sarcophagi and cinerary urns, and portraiture. The course will also take advantage of sites in Chicago such as Rosehill or Graceland Cemetery as important points of comparison with the ancient material.

P. Crowley. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: ARTH 2/34105, CLCV 24311

35613. Art, Money, and Meaning

This course examines how artworks accrue meaning and value once they leave their creators’ hands. Working with the basic idea of art as trophy, we will concentrate on three main spheres in which meaning and valuations are attached to art: markets, museums, and muses (here understood as the phenomenon of iconicity and celebrity in art production and sales). Art market courses normally begin with a historical examination of historical antecedents, specifically the 16th and 17th century markets. We’ll begin instead with the Napoleonic seizure of artworks and antiquities from Italy and Egypt, which we’ll study as a key moment in the “trophying” of art. From there we will move into the 20th century, examining the economic, cultural, and institutional processes and mechanisms that shape the meaning and value of art. By “markets” we will include formal economic activity in which money is exchanged for art through auctions and private deals, as well as the spheres of meaning-making that play into or respond to formal art market dynamics: blockbuster museum displays, marketing tactics for specific genres or artists, prize competitions, and elite auction houses.

F. Rose-Greenland. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: ARTH 2/35613, CLCV 25613

36713. Mythical History, Paradigmatic Figures: Caesar, Augustus, Charlemagne, Napoleon

What is the process by which some historical figures take on mythical proportions? This course examines four case studies of conquerors who attained sovereign power in times of war (conquest, civil war, revolution), who had a foundational role in empire-building, and who consciously strove to link themselves to the divine and transcendent. Their immense but ambiguous legacies persist to this day. Although each is distinct as a historical individual, taken together they merge to form a paradigm of the exceptional leader of epic proportions. Each models himself on exemplary predecessors: each invokes and reinvents myths of origin and projects himself as a model for the future. Basic themes entail mythic history, empire, the exceptional figure, modernity’s fascination with antiquity, and the paradox of the imitability of the inimitable.

M. Lowrie and R. Morrissey. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: CLCV 26713, FNDL 26700, FREN #####/#####

40513. Imago: Concepts of the Image in Classical Antiquity

Over the past twenty-five years, the question “What is an image?” has been posed with an increasing urgency from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives such as art history, anthropology, and philosophy. Despite the contemporary nature of this discourse, both the history and the lexical field of the problems it seeks to interrogate are traditionally recognized to have had their genesis in classical antiquity. In this seminar, we will adopt a stereoscopic approach to the ontology of the image by attending to both its ancient and modern definitions and the ways in which they are mutually implicated. In addition to exploring how ancient concepts of the image have been constituted in written discourse, we will likewise consider how the concepts themselves can be made visible in works of art. While the focus of this seminar will be placed on the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome, significant attention will also be paid to the foundational contributions of the ancient Near East.

P. Crowley. Autumn.
Equivalent Courses: ARTH 40505

43413. The Icon of Evil: Tyranny Ancient and Modern

Tyranny was not just a form of government among others: Greek political thought described the tyrant in all his psychological, ethical, social and political aspects, thereby providing us with an “icon of evil” as well as with a political regime. The image of the tyrant has haunted Western political thought for centuries and has proved to be so resilient to adapt to the different historical circumstances. The course starts from the assumption that there is a hiatus between the historical experience of tyranny and its reception and conceptualization in Greek thought. We will examine its emergence in the 7th century BCE and its early description in the works of Solon, a contemporary of the actual tyrant Peisistratus. We will then focus on the “canonic” theory of tyranny, which may be found in Plato and Aristotle. After considering the modern divide represented by Machiavelli and Hobbes, we will examine two different modern kinds of tyranny: the “tyranny of the majority” identified by Tocqueville and J.S. Mill and 20th century totalitarianism as described by Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss. Required readings:

Plato, The Republic, trans. C. Rowe (London: Penguin, 2012); ISBN-10: 0141442433.

Aristotle, The Politics and the Constitution of Athens, trans. S. Everson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996); ISBN-10: 0521484006.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. H.C. Mansfield and D. Winthrop (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011); ISBN-10: 0226805360.

H. Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973); ISBN-10: 0156701537.

Giorgini, Giovanni. Autumn.
Open to undergraduates with consent. Equivalent Courses: SCTH 40110

45613. Hölderlin and the Greeks

The German poet Friedrich Hölderlin submitted to the paradoxical double-bind of Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s injunction that “the only way for us [Germans] to become great or – if this is possible – inimitable, is to imitate the ancients.” As he wrote in his short essay “The standpoint from which we should consider antiquity,” Hölderlin feared being crushed by the originary brilliance of his Greek models (as the Greeks themselves had been), and yet foresaw that modern European self-formation must endure the ordeal of its encounter with the Greek Other. The faculty of the imagination was instrumental to the mediated self-formation of this Bildung project, for imagination alone was capable of making Greece a living, vitalizing, presence on the page. Our seminar will therefore trace the work of poetic imagination in Hölderlin’s texts: the spatiality and mediality of the written and printed page, and their relation to the temporal rhythms of spoken discourse. All texts will be read in English translation, but a reading knowledge of German and/or Greek would be desirable.

M. Payne and C. Wild. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: CMLT 35614, GRMN 35614

45913. Ancient medical writings in context

Ancient medicine is intimately linked with philosophical investigation. From the beginning, it fed philosophical theory as well as adapted it to its own use. It also offers a valuable insight into how ordinary humans lived their lives. Medical practice takes us into the homes of the Greeks and Romans, while shedding light on their fears and aspirations. The extant literature is voluminous. There is, first of all, the Hippocratic corpus, a diverse collection of medical writings that drew inspiration from the reputed founder of scientific medicine, Hippocrates. These writings offer a unique insight into the first stages of the creation of a science. Later, Galen established the foundation of Western medicine by his brilliant dissections. As it happens, he was extremely voluble; and he took care to have his spoken words passed on in writing. As a result, we learn much more than just medical theory: we know how physicians competed with one another, and how they related to their patients. In sum, this seminar will study a selection of medical writings, conjointly with some philosophical and literary writings, in an attempt to gage the intellectual and social significance of ancient medicine. Some knowledge of Greek will be useful.

E. Asmis. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: BIBL 45913

46313. Seminar: Augustine’s City of God

C. Ando and D. Nirenberg. Winter.

49000. Prospectus workshop

A workshop for students who have completed coursework and qualifying exams, it aims to provide practical assistance and a collaborative environment for students preparing the dissertation prospectus. It will meet bi-weekly for two quarters.

C. Ando. Autumn.


31100. Elegiac Poetry

This course is a study of poems composed over a number of centuries in the elegiac meter. Beginning with some of the works of Archilochus and Callinus, we continue through Solon and Simonides to Callimachus and other Hellenistic poets.

M. Payne. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: GREK 21100

31200. Philosophy: Plato’s Phaedrus

The Phaedrus is one of the most fascinating and compelling of Plato’s Dialogues. Beginning with a playful treatment of the theme of erotic passion, it continues with a consideration of the nature of inspiration, love, and knowledge. The centerpiece is one the the most famous of the Platonic myths, the moving description of the charioteer and its allegory of the vision, fall, and incarnation of the soul. We will read the entire dialogue, with special attention the language and style and with a particular focus on religious and theological ideas.

David Martinez. Autumn.
Equivalent Courses: GREK 21200, BIBL 31200

31300. Tragedy

This course is an introduction to Aeschylean drama in general, seen through the special problems posed by one play. Lectures and discussions are concerned with the play, the development and early form of Attic drama, and philosophical material. Modern Aeschylean scholars are also read and discussed.

E. Asmis. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: GREK 21300

32700. Survey Of Greek Literature-1

Greek poetry, including drama, from Homer to Callimachus. Lectures and discussions will be concerned chiefly with genre, style, meter, and rhetorical structure. There will be some close study of passages chosen to exemplify problems of interpretation or to display the major themes in each poet’s work.

S. Nooter. Autumn.

32800. Survey Of Greek Literature-2

A study of the creation of the canonical Greek prose style in the 5th and 4th centuries. Rapid reading and translation exercises.

H. Dik. Winter.

34400. Greek Prose Composition

This course focuses on intensive study of the structures of the Greek language and the usage of the canonical Greek prose, including compositional exercises.

H. Dik. Spring.

35000. Mastering Greek

H. Dik. Autumn.

35513. The rhetoric of ancient Greek inscriptions

The course will analyze the main categories of ancient Greek inscriptions (both private and public) as rhetorical constructs in the framework of the Greek cities. It will cover texts from the Archaic period to the Later Roman Empire. Attending this course supposes mastering ancient Greek in order to be able to translate the original documents.

A. Bresson. Autumn.
Equivalent Courses: GREK 35513, HIST 20304/30304

37100. The Corpus Hermeticum

According to Clement of Alexandria, Hermes Trismegistus authored 42 “fundamental books” on Egyptian religion. The writings under his name which are extant, dating between the first and third centuries AD, incorporate many styles and genres, including cosmogony, prophecy, gospel, popular philosophy, anthropology, magic, hymn, and apocalypse. The first treatise in the collection well represents the whole. It tells how the god Poimandres manifests to his follower a vision, revealing the origin of the kosmos and humanity, and how archetypal man descends to his fallen state and may be redeemed. We will begin with the Poimandres and then read other sections of this strange but absorbing body of material.

D. Martinez. Autumn.
Prerequisites: at least 2 years of Greek. Equivalent Courses: GREK 27100

44313. Xenophon’s Poroi and Economic Literature of the Fourth Century BCE

Xenophon’s Poroi has been in the past the object of a famous controversy aiming at evaluating the level of the economic debate in ancient Greece. Based on a close reading of the text, this seminar will provide the opportunity to revisit the meaning of this treatise with a fresh eye. Other texts (among others by Xenophon himself, Aristophanes, Plato and Aristotle) will be systematically introduced to provide parallels or contrasts to Xenophon’s development.

A. Bresson. Spring.

45913. Seminar: Sophocles’ Electra

A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most remarkable and perplexing of all Greek tragedies. While the poetic text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, attention will also be directed to comparing the other tragedies focused on the same events (Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers and Euripides’ Electra, both of which should be read beforehand in translation) and to exploring the rich reception of this play, including the works of Hofmannsthal and Strauss.

G. Most. Winter.
Prerequisites: Some knowledge of ancient Greek or consent of the instructor.
Equivalent Courses: SCTH 31612


31100. Roman Elegy

This course examines the development of the Latin elegy from Catullus to Ovid. Our major themes are the use of motifs and topics and their relationship to the problem of poetic persona.

D. Wray. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 21100

31200. Roman Novel

We shall read from various Latin texts that participate in the tradition of the Ancient novel.

M. Allen. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 21200

31300. Vergil’s Aeneid

Since many students have greater familiarity with the first half of the Aeneid, we will focus on the second half. Books 8, 10, and 12 will be read in entirety in Latin, with substantial selections from books 7, 9, and 11; we will also read the whole poem in translation. Topics of interest include: foundation and refoundation, the epic genre, the relation of myth to history, contemporary politics, and the social function of literature.

M. Lowrie. Autumn.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 21300

35000. Augustine’s Confessions

Substantial selections from books 1 through 9 of the Confessions are read in Latin (and all thirteen books in English), with particular attention to Augustine’s style and thought. Further readings in English provide background about the historical and religious situation of the late fourth century A.D.

P. White. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 25000, FNDL 24310

35200. Medieval Latin

The Practice of Carolingian Saints’ Tales. Spoken “Lingua Romana rustica” departed from canonical Ancient Latin long before the late eighth century. But at this time the renewed study of the Classics and grammar soon prompted scholars and poets to update the stories of their favorite saints, and to inscribe some for the first time. We shall examine examples of ninth-century Carolingian “réécriture” and of tandem new hagiography in both prose and verse by authors such as Lupus of Ferrières, Marcward of Prüm, Wandalbert of Prüm, Hildegar of Meaux and Heiric of Auxerre. All source readings in Classical Latin adapted to new Carolingian purposes, which we shall also explore historically in their own right.

M. Allen. Winter.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 25200, HIST 23207/33207

36513. Tacitus: History and Politics in Republican Monarchy

We will read the Life of Agricola and selections from the historical works, engaging with the politics of virtue and historical memory and the changing dynamics of literary productions in the early Principate.

C. Ando. Spring.
Equivalent Courses: LATN 26513, FNDL 26513

48913. Vergil’s Georgics

Farming in the didactic tradition offers a microcosm of society. In addition to reading the entire poem, this course will explore comparative material from other Roman authors concerning leadership (particularly Augustus), civil war, the key concepts labor and cura, and the interrelation of the cosmic order with politics, love, and knowledge.

M. Lowrie. Winter.

PAMW Seminar

41512, 41513. Slavery and Freedom, Ancient and Modern

Although slavery was far from uncommon in historical societies, only in a few did it become deeply entrenched enough in both their economic and social systems that we can describe them as slave societies and/or slave economies. In this course, we will focus on some of the most notable examples – the slave societies of the ancient Graeco-Roman Mediterranean world, and the slave societies of the early modern Atlantic world – in order to explore several interrelated problems. We will begin by analyzing the origins and development of systems of chattel slavery in these different historical contexts, along with the impact those slave systems had on the socio-economic structures and cultural systems of their host societies. We will also consider the many ways in which slaves sought to claim some agency for themselves within those systems, whether by developing strategies of accommodation, or by engaging in acts of resistance. Finally, we will devote considerable time to questions arising from practices of manumission and the coming of emancipation. Why were masters willing to manumit their slaves? How effectively could former slaves integrate themselves into their host societies and claim some kind of autonomy once freed? What kinds of anxieties did manumission produce among the free citizenry, to what kinds of social or legal responses did it give rise, and what were the ideologies, laws, and social practices by which work and citizenship were reconfigured in the wake of slaves’ emancipation?

C. Hawkins and J. Saville. Autumn, Winter.
Equivalent Courses: HIST #####