Autumn 2016 Courses

CMRS Autumn 2016 Courselist


Autumn 2016 MEDREN Courses



MEDREN 2514, "Baghdad and the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization"

Description:  This course surveys the Arab, Persian, and Greek contributions to Abbasid society in and around Baghdad during the period from roughly 786 A.D. to 861 A.D. along with the coexisting (often conflicting) courtly literary culture.

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for Medren 214. 
GE Culture and Ideas and Diversity Global Studies Course 

Lecture: 34362
Time:Weds/Fri 9:35-10:55
Room: Hagerty Hall 455B
Instructor: Hadi Jorati

MEDREN 2516, “The Medieval Jewish Experience” (JEWSHST 2516/HEBREW 2216)

Description: This interdisciplinary GEC course surveys ten centuries of medieval Jewish history, literature, religion, and culture from the rise of Islam to the death of the false messiah, Shabbetai Zvi. Students will read a wide range of primary sources in English translation. We will examine the transformation of Jewish culture in Europe and the Middle East and will explore the impact of host societies upon specific Jewish communities.


Course Texts:

  • Stow, Kenneth R, Alienated Minority: The Jews of Medieval Latin Europe (Harvard, 1992)
  • Marcus, Jacob R., The Jew in the Medieval World: A Sourcebook (Hebrew Union College,1999)
  • Gerber, Jane S., The Jews of Spain: A History of the Sephardic Experience (Free Press,1994)



Lecture: 33099
Time: Tues/Thurs 12:45-2:05
Room: University Hall 056
Instructor: Daniel Frank


MEDREN 2666, “Magic & Witchcraft”

Description:  In this interdisciplinary course, students will explore the history and culture of witchcraft and magic from ca. 400 to 1700 C.E. within sociological, religious, and intellectual contexts. By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the practice, persecution, and social construct of magic and witchcraft in the medieval and early modern periods and its far-reaching impact on society.


Lecture: 24495
Time: Mon/Weds/Fri 11:30-12:25
Room: Journalism Building 300
Instructor: Sarah Iles Johnston

MEDREN 4217, "Early Modern London: Urban Spaces and Popular Culture"

Description: This course will explore roughly one and a half centuries of the history, politics, and culture of London, beginning with the religious upheavals of the Protestant Reformation, moving onto a civil war that saw King Charles I lose his head, and culminating with the devastating plague and Great Fire of London in 1666.  We will begin by studying the factors behind London's phenomenal growth in the sixteenth century, a growth that quickly made the city the center of economic and political life in Britain.  By reading a range of primary documents including urban surveys, plays, poems, and pamphlets we will consider the opportunities and problems created by rapid urbanization (social mobility, poverty, disease) as well as the institutions and structures that regulated the life of the city. 
In our tour of this vibrant metropolis we will encounter an extraordinary range of figures: alongside the great and the good like Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Shakespeare, we will also meet prostitutes, vagabonds, and gulls (!).  We will become familiar with the layout and buildings of London, its churches and cathedrals, its palaces and thoroughfares, and of course its iconic river Thames.  We will linger especially at the theaters, bear gardens, cockpits, and brothels that made up London's burgeoning entertainment industry.  Students will also read recent scholarship on all aspects of the early modern metropolis.

Lecture: 34891
Time: Weds/ Fr 12:45PM - 2:05PM
Room: Jennings Hall 136
Instructor: Chris Highley


MEDREN 5610, “Manuscript Studies”

Description: This course introduces students to the pre-print culture of the European Middle Ages and trains them in the fundamental skills required to read and understand handwritten books, documents, and scrolls from ca. 500-1500 AD.  Students will work with manuscripts held in the OSU library’s Special Collections and will benefit from numerous guest lectures.  Knowledge of Latin and other medieval languages is NOT a prerequisite for enrollment. Required work includes five in-class tests and a final exam, a substantial transcription of Gothic script, an original research paper on a manuscript selected by the student, and several short written assignments and in-class presentations.

Lecture: 33110 (undergrad), 33111 (grad)
Time: Tues/Thurs 2:20-3:40
Room: Thompson Library 150A
Instructors: Leslie Lockett and Eric J. Johnson


MEDREN 7899 – Medieval and Renaissance Colloquia

Description: MEDREN 7899, Medieval and Renaissance Colloquia, will consist of 1 credit hour per semester for attending CMRS lectures, faculty colloquia and subsequent discussions. This will amount to: 5 1-hour+ lectures by visiting professors and at least 1 internal lecture and subsequent discussion (total 3 hours per event); at least one lunch with visiting faculty member (2 hours); active involvement with MRGSA and its activities; and meetings with the Center director (one hour once per term). With permission of the Director other professional activities (such as attendance at appropriate conferences, on or off campus) may be substituted.

Prereq: Grad standing. Repeatable to a maximum of 3 cr hrs. This course is graded S/U.

Lecture: 17089
Time:  Fr 3:00PM-5:00PM
Room: TBA
Instructor: Graeme Boone 


MEDREN 8193 – Individual Studies

Description: Students may register for individual directed study under this number for work not normally offered in courses.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 3 completions. This course is graded S/U.

Lecture: 17088
Time: TBA
Room: TBA
Instructor: TBA