Undergraduate Seminar: Love in Ancient and Medieval Art
Th 11-2P, 425 DOE LIBRARY
Undergraduate Seminar: A) Europe and Mediterranean; I) prehistoric-1200, II) 1200-1800. This class explores the concept of romantic love in ancient (Greek and Roman) and medieval (Byzantine and western medieval) art and literature. The material covered encompasses two different religious contexts (pagan and Christian); varied media (Greek and Roman painting, Greek and Roman sculpture, medieval tapestries and ivory carvings); and diverse literary genres (such as Sappho’s poetry, Plato’s dialogues, Catullus’ verses, and medieval romances). The parallel worlds of amorous art and erotic texts, at times resonating with one another, at times diverging, offer a fascinating perspective not only on notions of love and passion, but also on other important aspects of the human condition, such as the conflict between individual strives and societal norms, and the pursuit of higher realities, such as Beauty, and the divine.
Weekly sessions will be dedicated to discussions of the assigned readings, and peer-review assignments. Members of the seminar are expected to produce a substantial research paper (for which they will receive ample advising) and to participate actively in class discussions.
Previous coursework in ancient and/or medieval art or history is desirable.