Autumn 2020 Courses


Autumn 2020 CMRS-Affiliated Courses

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Autumn 2020 CMRS Courses


MedRen 2215 - Gothic Paris: 1100 - 1300

Notre Dame Cathedral after fire


GE Culture & Ideas
GE Diversity: Global Studies 

Description: Paris became a center for learning, beauty, power, and shopping in the Gothic Age, 1100-1300. Discover the world that conceived and built the soaring Notre-Dame-de-Paris: Courtly Love, strategic kings and queens, the birth of the great university, the arguments of monks and philosophers like Abelard and his brilliant student Heloise. Explore daily life in medieval Paris with hands-on experiences and readings: the rich fabrics, the knightly chain mail, the foods, the stones.

Assignments: midterm & final exam, partly student written; short quizzes to process readings; a project  researching and experiencing/ recreating something related to medieval Paris. 

Class: 33949
Time: WF 2:20-3:40
Room: 050 Hagerty Hall
Instructor: Sarah-Grace Heller (FRIT)

Required Books:

  • Abelard, Peter. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise, trans. Betty Radice. Rev. ed., Penguin, 2003.


MedRen 2217 - Shakespeare's London

Hand-coloured view of London from Braun and Hoggenberg’s opulent atlas of the world’s cities, c. 1600–23


GE Culture & Ideas
GE Diversity: Global Studies 

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 the King lose his head, and culminating with the devastating plague and Great Fire of London in 1666.  We will ask why London experienced such phenomenal growth in the sixteenth century, making it the center of economic, political, and cultural life in Britain.  We will study various primary documents, including maps, plays, poems, and pamphlets that explore the opportunities and problems created by rapid urbanization (social mobility, poverty, disease).  And we will look closely at institutions and figures like the Lord Mayor and the guilds that regulated city life. 

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.

Class: 34579
Time: WF 12:45-2:05
Room: 174 Mendenhall Lab
Instructor: Chris Highley (English)

Required Books: TBD


MedRen 2516 - Medieval Jewish Experience

an illuminated manuscript: Narkiss#34 Tripartite, vol. 2.


GE Culture & Ideas
GE Diversity: Global Studies 

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.

Class: 33988
Time: TR 8:00-9:20
Room: 046 Hagerty Hall 
Instructor: Daniel Frank (NELC) 

Required Books: TBD


MedRen 5610 - Manuscript Studies 

Medieval Manuscript with an illustrated bird


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.

Class: 33951 (UG section), 33952 (Grad section)
Time: TR 12:45-2:05
Room: 150A Thompson Library
Instructors: Leslie Lockett (English) and Eric Johnson (University Libraries) 

Required Books:

  • Clemens, Raymond, and Timothy Graham. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. 1st ed., Cornell University Press, 2008.


MedRen 7899 - Medieval and Renaissance Colloquia

Description: This course consists of 1 credit hour per semester for attending CMRS lectures, faculty colloquia and subsequent discussions or preceding "open forum" events. This will amount to: 4 1-hour+ CMRS lectures by visiting professors and at least 1 internal lecture, plus subsequent (or preceding) discussion sessions (total = approx. 3 hours per event); at least one lunch with visiting faculty member (2 hours); active involvement with the Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Student Association (MRGSA) and its activities; and meetings with the Center director (one hour once per term). With permission of the Director other professional activities (e.g. attendance at appropriate conferences, on or off campus; other relevant lectures hosted by OSU units if CMRS colloquia are not scheduled) may be substituted.

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

Class: 16703*
Time: Generally F 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Room: Varies
Instructor: Chris Highley (English)