Featured Courses

Please check the University's Course Descriptions for course pre-requisites.
* Course fulfills CMRS program requirements. (Some of the others probably should, and we'll be looking into that.)

2018 Spring and Summer Courses

* CLAS 111.3, Roman Civilization: Spring term (June 4-22), weekdays 11:00 am to 1:20 pm. Instructor: Ann DeVito.
Surveys Roman culture in the Republican and Imperial periods, based on readings in translation from Roman literature and on other ancient source materials.

CLAS 103.3, Medical Terminology: Summer term (June 28 - August 14), online. Instructor: Kyle McLeister.
Presents the most important Greek and Latin roots of the vocabulary of contemporary medicine and demonstrates the predictable patterns by which these roots combine.

* CLAS 225.3, Women in Antiquity: Summer term (June 28 - July 19), weekdays 11:00 am to 1:20 pm. Instructor: Ann DeVito.
Studies the life and achievements of women in the ancient world.

Selected Courses, Terms 1 & 2 (Sept 2018 - Apr 2019)

ENG 399.6, Introduction to Old Icelandic Language and Literature: MWF 12:30-1:20. Instructor: Richard Harris.
The more sensational aspects of Viking activity in the eighth to eleventh centuries have left their distorted mark in folk memory: drunken psychopathic killers in horned helmets wielding damascened and poisoned swords, wreaking rape and pillage across more civilized parts of Europe. Much that was good about them is neglected: their feats of engineering and navigation, their commercial ability, their robust astuteness in administering societies which came under their rule. Their complex corpus of skaldic verse; the vast collection of classical Icelandic sagas, at once colourful and subtle, based on their oral tradition; numerous archaeological treasures found in distant corners of the world: all these attest to a dynamic and sophisticated civilization, traces of which can be found from L’Anse aux Meadows to Istanbul. In this course we will be concerned with the Vikings’ expressions of their literary impulses as well as their cultural impact upon those they met in the lands to which they came, especially in the British Isles, but also in Byzantium, early Russia, and North America. The first half of the course will be devoted to the acquisition of skills in reading the Old Icelandic language, the second half to the literature, some to be studied in the original, but larger portions in translation. The pursuit of individual research interests will be encouraged, along with exploration of opportunities to visit Iceland in educational programs. [NB: If you would like this course to fulfill your CMRS program requirements, contact the CMRS Director.]

Selected Courses, Term 1 (Sept-Dec 2018)

* CMRS 110.3, The Graeco-Roman Tradition, Evolution and Reception: MWF 10:30-11:20. Instructor: Zach Yuzwa.
An introduction to the cultural and literary traditions  of ancient Greece and Rome through the close reading of specific core texts.

* CMRS 333.3, Exploring Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts: W 6:00-8:50. Instructor: Frank Klaassen.
Introduces the student to basic elements in the study of manuscripts. The greatest portion of the course will involve guided transcription, annotation, and analysis of manuscripts relevant to the research of the instructor. The texts in question will never have been edited and thus represent entirely original research. In part it will also involve learning about methods such as context function analysis, provenance research, and historical bibliography. Although this will be done initially through lectures, the experience of confronting pre-modern manuscripts first-hand in all of their richness will form the backbone of the course.

* CMRS 398.3, Using Big Science for the Study of Material Culture: R 1:00-4:00. Instructor: Tracene Harvey.
This is a joint-course between Chemistry (CHEM 398) and Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies (CMRS 398). The study of material culture has grown, in response to developments in technology, to include scientific tools and methods to help answer questions that cannot be answered with traditional humanities approaches alone. Students will learn techniques for studying premodern artifacts using the university's synchrotron, the Canadian Light Source.

* CMRS 401.3, CMRS Texts and Themes -- Dante: R 10:00-12:20. Instructor: Sarah Powrie.
In addition to being one of the most influential authors of the Western canon, Dante was also a philosopher tackling ethical, metaphysical, and spiritual quandaries in poetic form. His masterpiece, the Divine Comedy, resists traditional generic categories. It could be described as an encomium to classical epic, a compendium of medieval philosophy, a bold expression of Renaissance self-fashioning, a prototype of Utopic fiction, a meditation on human weakness, an encyclopedic summa, or a spiritual journey with heretical motifs. This class will study selections from the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise and seek to situate Dante’s work within the intellectual, social and literary context of the late Middle Ages. Topics to be explored throughout the term include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, desire and knowledge, identity and tradition, audacity and reverence.

* DRAM 303.3, Advanced Studies in Theatre History I, 600 BCE to 1850 CE: TR 12:00-1:20. Instructor: Moira Day.
Intended for students who have acquired some background in the theatre from 600 BCE to 1850 CE. The course will involve more intensive study of the aesthetic, literary and production/performance aspects of the theatre of the past, integrating theoretical and practical approaches to the material.

HIST 273.3, Ancient Medicine: M 6:00-8:50. Instructor: Kyle McLeister.
This course will introduce students to the full spectrum of Greco-Roman medical practices, from the healing rituals of the cult of Asclepius to the rational medicine of Hippocrates and Galen. Special attention will be given to the social dimension of ancient medicine, including medical ethics, the social status of doctors and their patients, and the role of women, both as patients, whose anatomical differences from men were thought to necessitate an entirely separate branch of medicine (i.e. gynecology), and as midwives, an important but often overlooked group of medical practitioners. After tracing the development of ancient medicine from the earliest evidence for Greek concepts of health and disease through to the flourishing of Greek medicine at the height of the Roman Empire, this course will conclude by examining the continuing influence of Greco-Roman medicine throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Selected Courses, Term 2 (Jan-Apr 2019)

* CMRS 111.3, Medieval and Renaissance Civilization: MWF 10:30-11:20. Instructor: Courtnay Konshuh.
An introduction to the civilization of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance through the lens of literature, philosophy, art, and other sources.

* DRAM 203.3, History of Theatre from 600 BCE to 1850 CE: TR 10:00-11:20. Instructor: Moira Day.
History of theatre, dominantly in the Western tradition, from antiquity through to the Romantic revolt and the beginnings of realism. The evolution of theatrical production (acting, production, theatre architecture) will be emphasized, with assigned plays being examined largely within the context of the production and performance dynamics of their period.

HIST 115.3, The Vikings: History and Myth: MW 9:30-10:20 (plus a one-hour, separately scheduled seminar). Instructor: Courtnay Konshuh.
The Viking Age is popularly marked by the violent outburst of attacks upon monastic sites in western Europe at the end of the eighth century and by the death of a major Norwegian king in 1066. This course addresses the extent to which Scandinavian influence in Europe during the "Viking Age" can be characterised by the violence of such activities and the resultant accommodation to social and political change. While we explore such issues as the reasons for the origins of Viking activities, the responses to those activities, interactions between communities and the longer-term changes as new societies emerged in the areas settled by the Vikings, we will also look at the Viking legacy, as seen in fiction, film and national movements.

HIST 335.3, Spectacles of Death in the Roman World: W 9:30-12:20. Instructor: Angela Kalinowski.
Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator (2000) brought the bloodlust of the Roman arena to a 21st century audience. The film appears to confirm that the Romans, especially emperors and the plebeian masses, were a cruel and bloodthirsty lot. Trained killers -- gladiators -- slaughtered innocent victims, or savage lions mauled and devoured them, all for the pleasure of the Roman people. This course takes a critical look at the varied deadly activities (munera, venationes, damnatio ad bestias), held in the Roman arena by examining ancient textual and visual sources, and modern scholarship. We will examine these spectacles in the broader context of Roman performance culture, religion and politics. Were these spectacles merely the product of a debased and declining culture? How has modern scholarship understood the apparent madness of the Roman arena?

PLAN 392.3, Early History of Geographic and Planning Thought: M 1:30-4:20. Instructor: Avi Akkerman.
A lecture/seminar on the origins of urban planning and geographic thought, from prehistory and early Antiquity to late Renaissance. Relationship between inventions of copper age technology, wheeled objects in particular, and myths of the environment, along with the founding of settlements, is reviewed, leading to discussion on archaic notions of the Earth, the universe, and the Ideal City. Origins of geography and planning as scientific disciplines are further examined in the outlook of classical Greece and Rome regarding the natural and the built environments. Subsequent Medieval withdrawal in rigorous thought, particularly as reflected in various Flat Earth notions, is discussed in context of environmental myths of the Middle Ages. Emergence of rigor in environmental thought during the late Medieval period is juxtaposed with the onset of the Little Ice Age and the subsequent urbanization on the European continent. The Age of Discovery along with New World explorations, as related to Thomas More's Utopia, and to the founding of New Towns in Europe at the onset of the Renaissance, is shown as leading to early modern concepts of geography and urban planning.