Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration

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The Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration is an interdisciplinary concentration to be earned in conjunction with the individual Ph.D. requirements for the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures (Romance Studies, Spanish and French). Graduate students will continue to be housed in any one of the three departments and must fulfill the requirements of their discipline.  To qualify for the Concentration, students must successfully complete a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies in one or both of the other two departments, substituting for courses within their department; and a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours) in medieval and/or early modern studies within their home department. Thus, for example, a student whose home department is English would need to take two courses in medieval and/or early modern studies in English and then either two courses in History or MLL or once course in History and one course in MLL.

A list of courses in the Concentration for each academic semester/year is posted on this website.  Besides these courses, Directed Readings in either medieval or early modern studies may also count toward fulfilling the course requirements.  Please contact your DGS or Karl Gunther ( for approval.

Successful completion of the concentration will be recorded on student transcripts and may be listed on one’s curriculum vitae as: Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration.

For further information, please contact your departmental Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or the Concentration coordinator, Karl Gunther at

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  • Why a Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration?

    The University of Miami’s strength in medieval and early modern, transatlantic, and Caribbean studies translates into dynamic learning experiences for our graduate students. In conceptualizing the medieval and early modern periods in both interdisciplinary and transnational terms, this concentration will better prepare our graduate students as scholars and teachers. As an example, students interested in the medieval or early modern English world can take advantage of classes that focus on literature as well as the histories of political and religious thought both in England and its colonies. Likewise, with our faculty’s wide-ranging coverage of the Spanish world, students can draw on literary analyses of the Golden Age as well as histories of Spanish-indigenous encounters, the Spanish colonial system in Latin America, and the Inquisition. The same can be said for students with interests in medieval France, French colonial systems and in the Francophone Caribbean. With the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Concentration, students will:

    • gain transcultural and interdisciplinary knowledge for stronger intellectual coherence within their program of study;
    • enroll in courses with various faculty across the College of Arts and Sciences and interact with graduate students in other departments; 
    • apply their coursework in selected courses to their language requirements within their home department;
    • gain the competency to design and teach interdisciplinary courses or comparative courses in one or more disciplines once graduated;
    • be more competitive on the academic job market and in government and international positions. 

  • Support for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at UM

    The Department of English enjoys considerable strength in the study of literature and culture from the medieval period through the eighteenth century. Scholars who teach and write about this period of English literary history are engaged in exciting and innovative work, particularly in the following areas: Women’s Writing, Gender Studies, and Sexuality; Race, Religion, Ethnicity, and the Transnational; Popular Culture and Cultural Studies; Genre Studies. The department’s strengths in Caribbean, colonial, and trans-Atlantic studies further complement the courses and research by faculty in the early modern period, fostering a rich climate for the study of medieval and early modern European literature and culture in a truly transnational context.

    The Center for the Humanities sponsors a thriving interdisciplinary Medieval and Early Modern Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG).  The group is co-organized by two professors (usually from two different departments) and drawa participants and presenters, faculty and graduate students, from universities across south Florida. The group meets monthly during the academic year to discuss pre-circulated work-in-progress over lunch. The group provides an excellent forum for graduate students to participate in the vibrant intellectual community of early modernists in Miami and workshop dissertation chapters and conference papers and we strongly encourage all members of the Medieval and Early Modern Concentration to contact the current organizers to get on the mailing list. 

    Current organizers for academic year 2020-2021 are: Professor Hugh Thomas (Director of the Center for the Humanities and Professor of History at and Professor Mary Lindemann (Professor of History) at

    The University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum possesses a permanent collection with impressive strengths in medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque paintings, housed in its Kress Gallery, by artists including Lippo Vanni, Guidoccio Cozzarelli, Bernardino Fungai, Battista Dossi, Sofonisba Anguissola, Jacob Jordaens, Nicolaes van Galen, El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, Thomas Gainsborough, Leonardo Carlo Coccorante, and numerous others. 

  • CAS Faculty in the Early Modern Period

    Department of Art & Art History 

    • Karen Mathews: Medieval art, Islamic art

    Department of English

    • Anthony Barthelemy:Renaissance literature, race and sexuality, Shakespeare’s Italy, intersections of politics and form
    • Thomas Goodman: medieval British and European literatures, literature and environment
    • Tassie Gwilliam: Restoration and eighteenth-century popular culture and elite literature, sexuality and gender, medicine and literature
    • Pamela Hammons: Renaissance and medieval literature, especially poetry; women’s writing; property and material culture; manuscript studies; literary theories, especially feminisms and queer theory
    • Jessica Rosenberg: Early modern English literature and culture, the history of science (especially of practical knowledge), the history of the book and of material texts; literary and critical theory, including science studies and poetics

    Department of History

    • Karl Gunther: Early modern Britain, Reformation, politics
    • Martin Nesvig: Latin America, Colonial Mexico, the Inquisition
    • Guido Ruggiero: Italian Renaissance, gender, sexuality, literature, microhistory
    • Hugh Thomas: Medieval England
    • Ashli White: Atlantic world, slavery, revolutions, and material culture

    Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 

    • Susanna Allés-Torrent: Iberian medieval, digital humanities
    • Viviana Diaz Balsera: Early modern Spanish and Colonial Latin American literatures, cultures, and postcolonial studies
    • Kogan J. Connors: Eighteenth-Century French Theater, Theater and Performance Studies, Cultural Polemics, History of the Emotions, Early Modern European Literature
    • Rebecca Doran: Medieval and early modern Chinese literature, gender studies, historiography, and women's literature
    • Ralph Heyndels: Classical, modern and contemporary French and comparative literature, critical theory, philosophy, postcolonial cultural studies, gay studies
    • Yolanda Martinez-San Miguel: Classical, modern and contemporary French and comparative literature, critical theory, philosophy, postcolonial cultural studies, gay studies
    • Maria Galli Stampino: Italian and French Renaissance and Baroque Literatures and cultures, performance studies. 

  • Library Resources

    The Special Collections at the University of Miami’s Richter Library has particular strengths in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish literature and drama; seventeenth-century British political and constitutional history and in eighteenth-century Caribbean cultural and political history. Access to important electronic resources is available through the University of Miami Library website.  Resources include Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO), the Brown Women Writers Project, Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers 1500-1700; Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance; the Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts; the Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation; Early American Imprints (Series I, Evans); and the Chadwyck-Healey Individual Literature Collections. The Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Kirsch Rare Book Room at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Campus preserves 3,000 books dating from 1496 to 1900, including the first German textbook on ophthalmology written in 1583, a rare second edition published 100 years later, and a 1613 book on depth perception with drawings by Peter Paul Rubens, as well as books on optics by Johann Kepler (1611), René Descartes (1664), and Sir Isaac Newton (1704).

    The Cuban Theater Digital Archive (CTDA) includes materials digitized and filmed in Cuba and outside the island as well as resources and information related to Cuban theater, with a special focus on theater produced by Cuban communities in the United States. Plays staged by Cuban theater repertoires and archived play scripts include those by early modern playwrights such as Calderón de la Barca, Carlo Goldoni, Lope de Vega, Molière, and Shakespeare.

  • Medieval and Early Modern Essay Award

    Graduate students who have completed at least two courses in medieval and/or early modern studies, whether they are completing the full Concentration or not, may submit an essay for the yearly Essay Award in Early Modern Studies, which carries a monetary prize of $250.

    For the 2022 prize, students should submit a copy of their essay as a WORD file or pdf (no more than thirty pages) to by 15 June 2022. The prize will be awarded in July. If you have questions about eligibility or other issues, please direct them to Professor Karl Gunther at the above email address.


    2021 Medieval and Early Modern Essay Award Winner: Nicole Sintes

    In selecting her essay, “Hidden Science, Gendered Science? Recipe Books in Early Modern Spain,” the Award Committee wrote the following:

    "This is a well-researched paper with a fascinating, wide-reaching topic about the circulation of recipe manuscripts in the early modern Spanish court.  Recipes were hand-written collections on a broad array of practical knowledges ranging from hygiene, cosmetics, cooking and distillation for producing perfumes, to more esoteric subjects dealing with the secret virtues of plants to heal, attract or repulse.   While historians of science have dismissed recipe manuscripts in the vernacular as female popular knowledge, recent and more ample perspectives on early modern science as natural magic and philosophy have considered the recipe genre as a precursor to experimental science because of its hands-on orientation. In the paper, the author explores seven manuscripts of recipes.  She argues that these collections in the vernacular disrupt our gendered categories of manuscript versus the printed book since recipes were produced both by women and men at court, and also because these hand-written books were signs of power and prestige wielded by their courtier owners, who zealously restricted their circulation to a network of acquaintances . While the objective of the paper is to situate the genre of recipe books in 16th Spain and argue for its non-gendered practical knowledges and modes of circulation, the piece offers many insights about regimes to subject the body to the onerous courtly standards of the period.  In sum, this is an impressive work of original scholarship.  Its analysis is complex and subtle; the writing elegant; and the scholarly implications—about gendered conceptions of medicine and knowledge—serve as a point of departure for historians of everyday life."


    Past Award Winners:

    • Gabriela Faundez Rojas, “Denis Piramus’ La Vie Seint Edmund: Translating Cultural Identities in the Anglo-Norman World” (2020)
    • Alexandria Morgan, "Describing Adonis in William Shakespeare's Sonnets and Venus and Adonis" (2019)
    • Anna Bennett, "Bagatelle or Stregamenti: The Spiritual Potential of Material Objects and Spaces in Late Rinascimento Venice, 1580-1630" (2018)
    • Elena Bonmati, "Colón y el arte de navegar: el barco como lugar de enunciación epistemológica en el Primer viaje de Cristóbal Colón" (2017)
    • Anne Schmalstig, "'To Our Owne Benefits': Strategic Humility and Redemption in Aemilia Lanyer's Salve Deus" (2016)
    • Francesca Aguiló Mora, "Bilingüismo léxico por sujetos biculturales en los Comentarios reales del Inca Garcilaso y en la Primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno de Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala" (2015)
    • Simonetta Marin, "A New Image for a New Devotion: The Fleshy Heart of Jesus" (2014)

  • Courses

    PLEASE NOTE:  In addition to the following regularly scheduled courses, a Directed Readings in Medieval or Early Modern studies, if conducted at the graduate level, can also count toward fulfilling the requirements of the Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration.  If you wish to have such a course accepted, please have the professor with whom you are doing readings inform the Concentration Coordinator, Professor Mary Lindemann (, giving the title and number of the course.

    SPRING 2023

    HIS 636: Vikings (Prof. Thomas), Wednesdays 2:30-5:15pm

    ENG 621: Studies in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama (Prof. Jessica Rosenberg), Tuesdays 3:30-6pm

    EUH 5905: Readings in European History, Early Modern Europe Prof. Terry-Roisin Wednesdays 5-7:40pm, FIU main campus, DM 370

  • Past Courses

    FALL 2022

    T: 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
    Professor Pamela Hammons

    In this seminar, we will analyze the works of a few key early modern women writers from the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in their historical and cultural contexts. Everyone is welcome, regardless of prior knowledge of the early modern period or women writers. The boom in scholarship on early modern women writers over the last few decades has produced a wealth of new knowledge: this is an especially vibrant field in which there is still a tremendous amount of room for new discoveries and publications. Likely authors to be included on our syllabus are Isabella Whitney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Cary, Mary Wroth, Hester Pulter, Anna Trapnel, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, Katherine Austen, and texts from the Perdita Project. This course should be especially helpful to anyone seeking greater familiarity with women writers; early modern literature; material culture and modes of textual transmission; feminisms, gender theories, and queer theories; theories of race; and the theoretical stakes underpinning questions of canonicity and the writing of literary histories.

    Course requirements will include leading class discussion about a primary text and writing a brief close analysis (2-3 pages) of part of that same text; giving a mini-lecture on a critical or theoretical text and writing a short critical response to some specific aspect of that text (2-3 pages); and completing one or two major writing projects totaling approximately 15-20 pages. Students may choose one of several options for their major writing project(s):

    (a) a traditional seminar paper, turned in first as a short draft (i.e., 8-10 pages) and then in a refined longer (i.e., 15-20 pages) version;

    (b) an essay, turned in first as a short draft (i.e., 8-10 pages) and then in a refined longer (i.e., 15-20 pages) version, that traces and critiques the genealogy of a specific theoretical concept, question, problem, issue, etc. presented in our class readings;

    (c) one or two traditional conference papers (i.e., 8-10 pages each);

    (d) one or two literature reviews detailing and taking a position on the scholarship most relevant to our seminar that has been published since 1990 on a single primary text (i.e., 8-10 pages each).


    W: 3:15-5:45 p.m.
    Professor Tassie Gwilliam

    In the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the impulse of writers to explore a widening world exists in tension with the desire to exploit that widening world for what might be called domestic literary purposes—to familiarize the unfamiliar as well as to defamiliarize the ordinary. The habit of transposing and reinterpreting experiences through the filter of the exotic—putting on a transparent costume—is a common trait of satire, but in this era, it appears alongside genuine attempts to recognize and integrate what’s new, whether geographical, physical, psychological, physiological, or scientific. In this course, we will read a range of works, many of mixed or hybrid genres, that offer different ways of negotiating encounters; some, like Oroonoko, Gulliver’s Travels, Eovaai, and Polly are literal encounters with new worlds (even if those worlds are imaginary, as is the otherworld in The Rape of the Lock), while others represent metaphorical encounters of various kinds.

    We will start with Aphra Behn’s combination autobiographical travel narrative/“Oriental” tale/slave narrative/natural history, Oroonoko, followed by Thomas Southerne’s transposition of the story into a drama that fuses colonial racial tragedy with a comic marriage plot. We will move to the linked satiric ballad operas, The Beggar’s Opera and Polly, one set in the criminal underworld of London, the other in the West Indies; Pope’s poems on women; Gulliver’s Travels; and Haywood’s “Oriental” tale/political satire/sci fi novel, Eovaai. We will also read John Cleland’s pornographic novel, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, which transforms the repetitive encounters of sex work through exuberant metaphors. Alongside that work will be Diderot’s “Oriental” tale of talking vaginas, The Indiscreet Jewels. Finally, we will read Vathek, an early Gothic/Orientalist novel that has decidedly queer overtones.

    The work for the course will involve brief, informal weekly exploratory assignments which will allow participants to assemble material and ideas for their final seminar paper over the course of the semester. I will ask students to organize part of a class session and to engage in collaborative work (primarily in class) on occasion.

    Texts (tentative):

    Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or the Royal Slave

    Thomas Southerne, Oroonoko

    Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock & To a Lady

    Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels & selected poems

    John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera & Polly

    Eliza Haywood, The Adventures of Eovaai

    John Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (Fanny Hill)

    Denis Diderot, The Indiscreet Jewels (Les Bijoux Indiscrets)

    William Beckford, Vathek: An Arabian Tale


    W: 2:30-5:15 p.m.
    Professor Guido Ruggiero

    This seminar will focus on the history of gender, love, and sex in pre-modern Europe.  Although obviously gender was not a term used in the pre-modern West, nonetheless cultural visions of sexual difference were heavily intertwined with quite different visions of love and sex that changed significantly over time making this trinity of powerful cultural constructs of how life was lived and should be lived from the Greeks to the early modern world of Italy a rich field for historical study.  Looking anew at some of the most important pre-modern texts (and some of the less studied as well) from the perspective of gender, love, and sex hopefully will provide a deeper understanding of this rather different history and open new perspectives on all three as well as pre-modern history more generally.  Starting with two classical texts that have been crucial for the discussion of both love and sex, and perhaps less so for gender, Plato’s Symposium and St. Augustine’s Confessions, we will narrow down on three periods a longish 12th century, looking mainly at chivalric romances and courtly love; 1348 and the aftermath of the famous Black Death, focusing on Boccaccio’s Decameron; and the long sixteenth century of Italy and Europe in crisis. 

     [Attention this course requires reading critically at least 150-200 pages per week in order to participate in seminar discussions and write the short papers assigned.  If you do not have time to do this regularly and religiously every week, it would be best to find another less demanding course.  Also note that if you are troubled by sexually explicit texts or analytical discussions of religious value systems, this seminar is not recommended.]


    T/R: 12:30-1:45 p.m.
    Professor Ashli White

    In this seminar we work with the library’s world-renowned Kislak Collection, a trove of primary sources related to the age of exploration.  We examine how the so-called “New World” was represented in maps and other navigational materials as well as the diverse populations—mariners, officials, soldiers, cartographers, the enslaved, and indigenous people—whose knowledge contributed to their fabrication.  Our goal is to understand how these items were made, used, and circulated, and in so doing, how they contributed to creating the early modern Atlantic world.  As part of the course, students will apply recent mapping technologies (such as StoryMaps) to tell new stories about these old maps.

    SPRING 2022

    HIS 638: TUDOR ENGLAND, 1485-1603
    M: 6:00-8:45 p.m.
    History Seminar Room, Ashe 621
    Professor Karl Gunther

    No period in English history has generated more popular interest than the Tudor era (1485-1603).  From the Wars of the Roses, to Henry VIII and his six wives, to the reign of "Bloody" Mary, and then the "Golden Age" of Queen Elizabeth, the Tudors have been the subject of countless novels (The Other Boleyn Girl and Wolf Hall), films (Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love), and television series (Showtime’s The Tudors).  This seminar offers an intensive study of the Tudors and their era, cutting through the mythology and fiction to get to the far more fascinating history that lies beneath it.  We will focus much of our attention on the Tudors themselves, since in a monarchy like Tudor England, the personalities, habits, and even (or especially!) the sex lives of kings and queens had enormous political importance.  But we will also examine the ways in which the people of Tudor England (aristocrats and peasants, “puritans" and “papists," rebels and loyalists) played an equally important role in shaping this fascinating and transformative period in English history.  


    R: 9:00-11:45 a.m.
    History Seminar Room, Ashe 621
    Professor Ashli White

    This course examines major historical themes in the colonization of British North America from the late sixteenth century through the U.S. Revolution.  These years were marked by discord, oppression, and innovation, as indigenous peoples, Africans, and Europeans of diverse nations collided to make a “New World.”  We will pay particular attention to the consequences of this imperial enterprise, highlighting such important issues as racism, gender dynamics, and cultural consolidation and dislocation, and we will conclude by examining the ways that revolution did—and did not—disrupt colonialism in North America.  Our goal is to think critically about the important historical debates concerning this transformative and controversial era in North American history and to ponder how its legacies resonated beyond its borders and beyond 1776.


    FALL 2021

    M 2:15-5:00 p.m.
    Ashe 621
    Prof. Guido Ruggiero

    This seminar will focus on the history of love and sex in Medieval and Renaissance Europe with a focus on France in the Middle Ages and Italy in the Renaissance.  As love was regularly associated with sexual relations of some sort and the relationship between the two deeply colored the way each was understood and lived, this seminar will look at the way they were deeply intertwined and changed over time.  Starting with two classical texts that were crucial for the discussion of both love and sex, we will narrow down on three periods a longish 12th century, 1348 and the aftermath of the famous Black Death, and the first half of the sixteenth century in an Italy in crisis.  To understand those complex interrelationships better we will read, analyze and discuss some important samples of the literature from those periods that discuss love and sex and a few secondary works that provide a background for that reading and offer suggestive analysis of the issues involved

    R 2:40-5:25 p.m.
    Ashe 621
    Prof. Martin Nesvig

    This seminar examines the process of cultural, political, linguistic, biological, sexual contact between Iberians and indigenous Americans and black Africans in Latin America.  Using the old rubric of “the conquest” this course will examine the newer debates about the “new conquest history,” the focus on indigenous peoples, the importance of religion—indigenous, African, and Iberian Catholic—in forming what we know as Latin America.  The course has an emphasis on the case of Mexico, though we will also consider the cases of other parts of Latin America.  This kind of course used to be called The Spanish Conquest of Mexico, but no one uses the rubric of conquest to explain this process anymore.  Instead, we think of the Spanish-Mexica War, cultural contact, negotiation of power systems, resistance, and subaltern.

    R 1:30-4:30 p.m.
    MLL Conference Room (MB 210.01)
    Prof. Logan Connors

    This seminar will investigate the role of theater and performance in representing, fomenting, disseminating, and critiquing revolution. Theoretical and contextual readings will address an array of periods, geographies, and cultures. Our investigation will include a case study of theater’s engagement with revolution in eighteenth-century France and its colonial empire.

    The course will unfold in three parts. In part one, we will tackle a diverse selection of fundamental texts from Theatre and Performance Studies, and particularly, on the subjects of theater and power, theater and propaganda, and theater and violence. In part two, we will analyze the articulation of theater and social unrest in pre-revolutionary and revolutionary France and its Caribbean slave colonies. In part three, participants will be invited to share their research on this eighteenth-century context or on a particular theatrical-revolutionary overlap from among their own research interests.

    Readings will include theoretical and contextual works by Georgio Agamben, Diana Taylor, Patricia Ybarra, Jeff Ravel, Jacky Bratton, Christian Biet, Jacques Rancière, Michel Foucault, Yann Robert, Tracy Davis, Richard Schechner, Bishnupriya Dutt, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Thomas Postlewait, Susan Leigh Foster, John Garrigus, Ann Stoler, Frederick Cooper, Joseph Roach, Rebecca Schneider, Lauren Clay, Annelle Curulla, Baz Kershaw, Christy Pichichero, Susan Bennett, and more.

    **No knowledge of French is required to enroll in the MLL 721. Participants enrolled in FRE 721 will read a selection of French-language plays from 1770-1795 and complete writing assignments in French. Participants in MLL 721 will read translations of several French-language plays as well as a short, personalized list of dramatic works drawn from their particular area/language of research and in consultation with the course instructor. Participants in MLL 721 will complete all writing assignments in English or French.  Please send any questions to

    W: 3:30-6:00 p.m.
    English Confrence Room, 4th Floor Ashe
    Prof. Jessica Rosenberg

    English Renaissance poetry boasted a classically inspired commitment to providing “pleasure and profit”, but a cognate concern with utility and experience permeated the vernacular technologies of everyday life. This course considers the ubiquity of “how-to”s in early modern England, as such imperatives shape the habits and structures of lived experience and the written texts that have since come to be considered part of the literary canon. Readings range across prose forms, including essay, dialogue, pamphlet, and anatomy; and poetry including lyric, didactic and devotional verse, as well as the unusual poetic genres assayed by Spenser in his Shepheardes Calender and Faerie Queene. Authors considered likely include Elyot, Lok, Whitney, Spenser, Nashe, Bacon, and Burton, alongside a range of writings on conduct, the passions, and technologies of everyday life. The latter will include recipes, handbooks on sleep hygiene and diet, and an early proposal for the flushable toilet. We will weigh the virtues of a range of historical and theoretical approaches to these questions, including new historicism, psychoanalysis, theories of racialization and embodiment, the sociology of manners, feminist criticism, and Foucault’s articulations of biopolitics and governmentally. Participants will have the option of writing multiple short essays or a longer research paper.


    SPRING 2021

    ENGL 620: SHAKESPEARE & SCIENCE                                                                           
    M 9:30am - 12:00pm; TBA2:00pm-4:30pm
    Prof. Jessica Rosenberg
    During Shakespeare’s lifetime, the word “scientist” did not exist. Nonetheless, the plays and poems of Shakespeare and his contemporaries grapple in complex ways with what it means to understand, inhabit, and utilize the natural world. This course explores the productive relation of literary art and early modern “science” through the examination of several of Shakespeare’s works, the prose and drama of his contemporaries, and an immersion in their critical and historical context. Our challenge will be to bring together two archives derived, on the one hand, from our close readings of early modern texts that treat the natural and physical world, and, on the other, through theoretical and methodological questions raised by recent work in science studies and the history of science.
    In the first part of the seminar, we will consider the political and aesthetic conditions shaping discussions of the physical world in early modern England – in particular, asking who had access to this kind of knowledge, and what were the forms and genres in which it was disseminated. To explore these questions, we will read a broad interdisciplinary range of materials that focus on three central, but interrelated, issues: understandings of matter, experience of climate, and the imagination of contagion. What did the plague, for example, have to do with the air, and why were certain kinds of material and human bodies seen as especially susceptible to it? Further, while interest in science and the environment has spurred much recent literary research, we will ask what it means to bring contemporary concerns (often of urgent modern-day import) to bear on a very different historical and cultural context. Might the anachronism of “science” give us any conceptual leverage on the literature of early modern England? Might early moderns’ distant and disruptive conceptions of matter, climate, and contagion offer us any insight into the composition of our current troubled environment?

    Prof. Susanna Alles-Torrrent
    This course is taught in English and is open to graduate students from all humanities departments, especially those interested in digital methods and historical studies. An introduction to the emergence of Digital Humanities and to the history and theoretical trends regarding digital resources and tools applied to medieval disciplines will precede an analysis of the pioneering projects. Students will become familiar with the main technologies and projects to collect digitized primary sources and to explore the main channels of scholarly publication and communication. Special attention will be given to digital editing and to the new models of Digital Editions 2.0, exploring technologies, software, and publication platforms. The massive number of databases generated in any field of the humanities will lead to the discussion and methods on data and database models. Another key part of the seminar will be the understanding of new theories and methods, such as stylistic and authorship studies, stemmatology, digital paleography or intertextuality. The student will also explore mapping methods and the challenges of working with historical data.

    FALL 2020

    R 2:00pm-4:30pm
    Prof. Hugh Thomas
    This course investigates the theory and practice of Christian holy war in the Middle Ages. It covers the scriptural passages used to justify the wars, the background to the ideology of crusading, and accounts of the wars themselves. Christian, Muslim, and Jewish sources from the Middle Ages will be used as well as more modern works. Though the main focus will be on crusades to the Holy Lands, the readings will also cover crusades against heretics, the Reconquista, and attacks on pagans in northeastern Europe. 40% of the grade will be based on weekly discussions of the assigned readings, 10% will be based on a short paper on an assigned topic, and 50% on a longer research paper on a topic of the student’s choice.


    T 9:30-12:00
    Prof. Pamela Hammons
    In this seminar, we will analyze the works of a few key early modern women writers from the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in their historical and cultural contexts. Everyone is welcome, regardless of prior knowledge of the early modern period or women writers. The boom in scholarship on early modern women writers over the last few decades has produced a wealth of new knowledge: this is an especially vibrant field in which there is still a tremendous amount of room for new discoveries and publications. Likely authors to be included on our syllabus are Isabella Whitney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth I, Elizabeth Cary, Mary Wroth, Hester Pulter, Anna Trapnel, Margaret Cavendish, Katherine Philips, Katherine Austen, and texts from the Perdita Project. This course should be especially helpful to anyone seeking greater familiarity with women writers; early modern literature; material culture and modes of textual transmission; feminisms, gender theories, and queer theories; and the theoretical stakes underpinning questions of canonicity and the writing of literary histories.
    Course requirements will include leading class discussion about a primary text and writing a brief close analysis (2-3 pages) of part of that same text; giving a mini-lecture on a critical or theoretical text and writing a short critical response to some specific aspect of that text (2-3 pages); and completing one or two major writing projects totaling approximately 15-20 pages. Students may choose one of several options for their major writing project(s): 
    • a traditional seminar paper, turned in first as a short draft (i.e., 8-10 pages) and then in a refined longer (i.e., 15-20 pages) version;
    • an essay, turned in first as a short draft (i.e., 8-10 pages) and then in a refined longer (i.e., 15-20 pages) version, that traces and critiques the genealogy of a specific theoretical concept, question, problem, issue, etc. presented in our class readings;
    • one or two traditional conference papers (i.e., 8-10 pages each);
      • one or two literature reviews detailing and taking a position on the scholarship most relevant to our seminar that has been published since 1990 on a single primary text (i.e., 8-10 pages each).

    Spring 2020:

    ENG 620 or 621: Shakespeare, The Globe, and Nascent Global Thinking
    Professor Anthony Barthelemy

    Before the Age of Exploration, England sat on the periphery of the Mediterranean world. Always looking eastward, England accepted that its economy, religion and culture would be shaped and frequently determined by events and actors emanating from the East. Nothing underscores this more than the fact that the printing press was a German invention brought to England at the beginning of the early modern period.  The age of discovery which also began in the East ultimately caused a European refocusing with England, Spain, Portugal and France looking West for power, wealth and influence.  Shakespeare’s Globe theater built in 1599 brought to it audiences the adventures, the geography, the philosophical, religious and cultural interrogations that resulted from knowledge of and contact with new peoples, biologizes and economies.  The Globe made visible the power, danger and possibilities of global thinking. Here is a list of some of the plays which may be included on our syllabus: Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar; Marlowe’s, Tamburlaine the Great, part one, The Jew of Malta, Massacre at Paris; Shakespeare’s Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest; Hayward’s The Fair Maid of the West, parts one and two; Fletcher’s The Knight of Malta; Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. There will also be relevant secondary readings.

    HIS 638-42: Microhistory: Its History, Theory, and Practice
    Professor Guido Ruggiero

    In 1991 when Ed Muir and I published Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe little did we realize that with a book that had begun over beers in a sleazy bar in St. Louis that we were touching off a debate on the theory and practice of microhistory that would in many ways usher in a new field of history.  A couple of years ago in yet another sleazy bar reflecting on the literal explosion of microhistorical studies, Ed remarked to me ruefully, “Guido what have we done?”

    Indeed!  In this seminar I would like to consider that question, albeit with the obvious caveat that I don’t think we should take all the blame or credit for the explosion of microhistory – we were just at the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) moment.  Still two decades later with microhistory flourishing as perhaps the most important competitor with global history and newer cultural approaches to political and intellectual history, this seminar will examine the way microhistory works more as a strategy for research and writing history than as a discipline.  Eschewing the sound bites of microhistory as “truly dead history” or offering the truth “in the details” it will consider the way in which it offers a fruitful strategy not only for writing a more literate history that features the particular, the individual, and human agency, but also can be seminal for thinking about and reformulating fruitfully the larger structures and themes of not just history, but also the humanities more generally.

    The seminar will involve weekly reading and discussion on the theory and practice of the field with short biweekly essays to help build and direct discussion.  After some preliminary fairly straightforward theoretical considerations, it will range widely over the most important (and fun) works published in the field with an emphasis on the pre-modern period, but with significant excursions into the most significant or suggestive works published on the Americas, North and South.  The only real prerequisite for the course is a willingness to read and discuss and non-historians are encouraged to sign up and contribute their point of view to the discussions.

    SPA 733: “The Struggle for Representation: Writing, Power and Resistance in the Spanish-American Colonial Period”
    Prof Viviana Díaz Balsera

    The European encounter with a continent and peoples in 1492 they had never known opened one of the most dramatic chapters of the early modern period. The colonization of the indigenous peoples from the Americas entailed their insertion by the Spanish monarchy into a universal Catholic communitas and into European and transatlantic cultural, political and socio-economic circuits. With special emphasis in Mexico, the course will examine textual and cultural productions throughout the Spanish-American colonial period as multi-vocal spaces in which the Amerindians were narrated, contested, memorialized and vindicated in their pre-Hispanic “gentile” past and colonial “modernity” by Spanish, criollo, mestizo, and indigenous writers and intellectuals. The struggles to acknowledge, invent and/or contest the difference of indigenous peoples were more than literary or rhetorical gestures; for their debated proximities to or distances from the universal imaginaries of Christianity in these texts were destined to shape the perceived legitimacy of all claims to their place, power and justice in the new regime under the Spanish empire.

    The course will include works by Motolinía, Bernardino de Sahagún, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Alvarado Tezozómoc, el Inca Garcilaso, Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and Francisco Javier Clavigero, among others. Some topics that will be explored in the readings are:

    [1] the politics of (universal) natural law
    [2] the theology and anthropology of idolatry
    [3] indigenous polities and cultural translation
    [4] intersections between the Christian preternatural and indigenous epistemologies
    [5] colonial modernity and the subjection of knowledges

    *The course will be conducted in Spanish but students who do not seek Spanish credit may write their papers and do their presentations in English as well as read the works in translation when available. 

    Fall 2019:

    ENG 672-65: Comparative Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Literature: Early Modern Literature and the Environment
    Professor Jessica Rosenberg

    Though neither word would have been familiar to inhabitants of early modern England, both “environment” and “ecology” have in recent years become key terms for the study of the period. Drawing on this recent criticism and a range of literary sources, this seminar will explore the changing ways in which English literature of the 16th and 17th centuries registered the relationship between humans and the natural world, in terms of everyday practical engagements (agriculture, husbandry, cooking, predicting and understanding the weather); literary depictions in poetry, drama, and prose; and natural historical writing and illustration. Holding our weekly meetings in Special Collections’ new seminar room, we will draw extensively on the wonderful resources in Richter Library to explore how early modern writers and illustrators imagined their widening natural world in the context of global exploration and conquest and through the eyes of evolving practices of observation and empiricism. Through our readings and discussions, we will also draw historical and theoretical comparisons with our present moment, and will ask to what extent we are able to historicize both the environment and “environmental writing.”

    HIS 638-43 Studies in Early Modern European History: Disaster! Crisis in the Early Modern World
    Professor Mary Lindemann

    This course focuses on a world for which Thomas Hobbes’s description of life as “nasty, brutish, and short” fits well.  Although famines, wars, plagues, and other disasters are not limited to early modern Europe, there has been a good deal of historical interest in these subjects for the late medieval and early modern periods, running roughly from 1300-1750.  This rich scholarship has given us important insights into a world we have lost. This course examines the actual course of these events and their impact on European society, culture, politics, and religion.  Among other subjects, we will focus on the Great Famine of 1311, the “plague” of 1347-50, the Little Ice Age, the Thirty Years War, volcanic eruptions, and the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. We will devote much attention to understanding how people coped with these admittedly horrible experiences and made sense of them in their own lives.  It is a story of despair and fear but also, perhaps somewhat curiously, of optimism and hope. The class will be devoted to lectures and discussions of assigned materials.  We will read a series of primary sources, historical interpretations, “reportage,” and literary treatments.
    ENG 616: Translation as Figure and Practice: Case Studies in Chaucer & Middle English
    Professor Thomas Goodmann

    Eustace Deschamp called his contemporary, Geoffrey Chaucer, a “grant translateur,” and in this course we will engage the Canterbury Tales, and other works by Chaucer, such as Troilus and Criseyde, to think through theories and practices of how Chaucer’s work has been received in translation and adaptation. We’ll draw on the Global Chaucers project and the free adaptations and poetic riffs of Patience Agbabi (Telling Tales); Agbabi et al (Refugee Tales), and Caroline Bergvall (Meddle English), and perhaps Gloria Naylor’s Bailey’s Cafe. ( We’ll read contemporary sources on the importance of translation in the period (1350-1450), especially the contested act of translating Scripture, and engage ideas about “translating” relics, transferring bodies (that of the murdered Richard II), and rumors of London being “translated” or renamed as “Troy,” in light of the great deal of literary reimaginations of the Troy story.

    Anyone interested in medieval literature, and its long and varied reception into the twenty-first century, is welcome to take part in this seminar, including those with critical, theoretical, historical, and creative interests. 

    Spring 2019:

    MLL726/FRE711/SPA711: War, Love, and Storytelling in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
    Professor Susanna Allés-Torrent

    In this seminar, we will study three main topics in the literature of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Western Europe, from approximately 800 to 1500 CE. We will focus on war, love, and storytelling, and we will analyze their evolution diachronically and geographically. War and epics in the chanson de geste will offer us a field of exploration: Which are the values shared by the Chançon de Roland and the Cantar de Mio Cid, why the great French hero Roland turns into the madly in love and raging Orlando of Ariosto, or what Don Quixote and the medieval heroes have in common. Our attention will then turn to medieval romance, especially on courtly love and poetry, analyzing differences between Spaniards and French troubadours, and the poets of the Italian Dolce Stil Novo, continuing to Petrarch and his reception during the Renaissance. Next, we will pay attention to the form of storytelling, analyzing the French roman and lai, and the short narrative of the Decameron. The seminar will be taught in English, and will be conducted primarily through discussions of primary and secondary materials. The readings of primary sources will be given in the original language (French, Spanish, Italian, or Catalan) and in translations.  Students seeking to fulfill a language requirement in French or Spanish should compete their written course work in that language.

    HIS 763: Science, Magic, and Medicine in the Early Modern World
    Professor Mary Lindemann

    The period from 1490 to roughly 1730, generally termed the “early modern” era, was, as two highly respected historians of science have described it, “pregnant with expectations of things to come.” This sense of anticipation and newness has been famously interpreted in two ways: as Max Weber’s the “demythologizing of the world” and as expressed in the idea of the “Scientific Revolution . . . that [represented] the birth of the modern world” (Herbert Butterfield in 1949). Both argued that the decline of superstition and magic resulted from the impact of the “Scientific Revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. More recently, however, scholars have raised numerous objections to the idea of there being a significant break in how people viewed and interpreted the world about them. Much of this work is reflected in the books and articles that we will be reading this semester. Steven Shapin, for example, argued provocatively that “there is no such thing as the Scientific Revolution” and then proceeded to write a book about it.  Others have doubted every word in the phrase “The Scientific Revolution” including the definite article. The general thrust of this recent scholarship, therefore, has been to downplay, or even deny, the suddenness of the break between a “medieval” and a “modern” world and worldview, to question the putative differences between science and magic, to expand the idea of where and how science was “done” (that is, the “sites of science”), and to consider the importance of all sorts of actors once ignored by historians of science: women, merchants, artisans, and “magicians” (including alchemists). This course begins with an examination of the more traditional views of the Scientific Revolution before moving on to survey the ways in which the history of science has been transformed over the past thirty years or so.  This transformation has rendered the history of science absolutely critical to all early modern scholars.  Historians of the modern world can do quite nicely without ever reading a work on the history of science; that is now impossible for any well-educated early modernist. 

    Fall 2018:

    ENG 695 Special Topics: Gender and Sexuality in Early English Literary History
    Professor Pamela Hammons

    Many well-known medieval and early modern English literary texts foreground matters of love, desire, and sexuality. Chivalric romances intertwine stories of combat with tales of courtly love; medieval mysticism theorizes desire between human believers and the divine; Petrarchan sonnets dissert the intense, vacillating emotions and turbulent psychological states associated with unrequited love; Renaissance drama stages the erotics of mistaken identities and crossed purposes. As we will see in this course, the diversity and complexity of early English representations of love, desire, and sexuality deeply challenge modern notions of hetereonormativity.  For example, what does it mean when two medieval knights merrily (and repeatedly) kiss one another? How are we best to understand a medieval housewife and mother who is publicly scorned and threatened by Church leaders for her conversion to earthly celibacy and her erotically charged relationship with Christ; does her manner of loving Christ make her queer? What are we to make of a cross-dressed female knight who unhorses male opponents and turns the Renaissance ladies’ heads? And perhaps most famously, how can we best understand Shakespeare’s frequent portrayal of homoerotic desire to increase the emotional intensity of his verse and the delightful complications of his plots? Is it historically accurate to refer to straights, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, homosexuals, heterosexuals, or queers in medieval and Renaissance England? What methodological differences are there among identifying representations of same-sex desire or homoerotic acts; locating figures of non-normative sexuality; and queering a text, genre, or literary history itself?

    In this class, we will explore the ways in which recent theories of gender and sexuality have been especially useful in increasing our knowledge of pre-modern sexualities, including unpredictable, shifting connections among emotions, gender expressions, eroticism, desire, sexual acts, and identities. The course will provide a substantial survey of medieval and Renaissance literature by male and female writers: likely authors include the anonymous “Gawain” poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, Margaret Cavendish, and Katherine Philips. We will become familiar with specific genres such as the spiritual biography, chivalric romances, fabliau, erotic epyllion, Petrarchan sonnet, romance epic, Shakespearean comedy, closet drama, and seventeenth-century love lyric. This course should be especially helpful to students seeking greater familiarity with medieval and Renaissance literature; feminism, gender theories, and queer theories; and the theoretical stakes  underpinning the writing of literary histories.

    HIS 538/638 Studies in Early Modern History: The Early Modern Mediterranean
    Professor Jesse W. Izzo

    In the early twentieth century, Henri Pirenne put forth what has come to be known in scholarship as the “Pirenne Thesis”: the ancient world came to an end not in the fifth century, with the deposition of the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, but after the Arab conquests of North Africa and Spain in the seventh and early eighth centuries. He argued that these conquests shattered the unity of the “Roman lake” (mare nostrum) and marked out a durable civilizational divide between the northern and southern shores of the inland sea. Forever after, in Pirenne’s view, the Mediterranean would be characterized by a Christian North and an Islamic South in constant struggle with each other. Some decades later, the early modernist Fernand Braudel offered a radical new vision of Mediterranean history. Heavily influenced by structuralism and the Annales School’s interest in mentalités and the longue durée, Braudel evoked a shared experience across North and South, East and West, in which the geography, weather, and rhythms of the sea were far more important unifiers among its many communities than language, politics, or religion were dividers. More recently, natural successors to this Braudelian understanding of the Mediterranean are Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell and their espousal of the so-called “New Thalassology” (i.e. sea studies/the Oceanic Turn). Like Braudel, they take the “long view” of the Mediterranean, tracing its history over the course of thousands of years. They point out the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious character of the Mediterranean by using the sea itself as the basis for writing history. By taking what was a liminal, interstitial space and placing it at the center of their research, they provide an opportunity for considering diverse human communities and their relationship to each other on neutral ground (so to speak) rather than privileging any single cultural, political, or religious perspective.

    In this course we will explore the history of the medieval and early modern Mediterranean, grapple with modern scholarly debates in the field, and evaluate “Mediterranean Studies” as an idea, a conceptual framework, a category of inquiry. The course will place special emphasis on trans-regional connections, comparative perspectives, and the fluidity of cultural, political, and religious identity. In this vein, we will consider long-distance and local trade; how the Mediterranean’s unique environment and its many diverse micro-environments helped shaped its human communities and were, in turn, shaped by them; and several paradigms for understanding interfaith relations, cultural contact, and political frontiers over time and across the region. Assignments may include weekly blackboard posts related to class discussion and readings, a 5-page paper, and a 15-page paper.

    Spring 2018:

    MLL612/FRE-611/SPA-611-1J: Seminar in Comparative Medieval Studies   
    Professor Susanna Alles Torrent

    In this seminar we will study the main topics in the Literature of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, approximately from 800 to 1500 CE. We will discuss general questions such as the beginnings of romance writing in the different areas, the duality among orality vs writing, or the places of knowledge (courts, universities). We will privilege three main genres and analyze their evolution diachronically and geographically. Epics and the chanson de geste will offer us a field of exploration: which are the values shared by the Chançon de Roland and the Cantar de Mio Cid, or why the great French hero Roland turns into the madly in love and raging Orlando of Ariosto. Our attention will then be put on Medieval romance, especially on the courtly love and poetry, analyzing differences between Spaniards and French troubadours and the poets of the Italian Dolce Stil Novo. Afterwards, we will pay particular attention to the form of story-telling analyzing the French roman and lai, and the short narrative of the Decameron; we will finally analyze the main ingredients of the chivalric romance and why Miguel de Cervantes burlesqued them in his Don Quixote. The seminar will be taught in English and will be conducted by discussions of primary and secondary materials. The readings of primary sources will be given in the original language (French, Spanish, Italian, or Catalan) and in translation. Special care will be given to digital tools and resources related within the field of Medieval Studies, and there will be several digital assignments.

    HIS 638: The History of Early Modern Emotions
    Professor Guido Ruggiero

    In the last decade the history of emotions has become a new field of intense controversy especially for cultural historians.  Even as neurobiologists and psychologists have been making important discoveries about the nature and endurance over long periods of time of human and primate “emotions,” a very active group of scholars especially in Australia and England have been arguing that emotions have a limited endurance in a historical time frame and, in fact, a significant history as a cultural construct that can be traced in premodern history.  These findings have added fuel to the growing number of psychologists who argue against theories of biological determinism that hold that very little in the way of human emotions are pre-cognitive and thus “hard-wired” or fixed without a history at least in any recorded time frame.  Looking at emotions in pre-modern Europe (and briefly more broadly in the world) as a seminar we will evaluate whether texts from the past (with an emphasis on early modern Europe) indicate that emotions and their nature have changed for humans over time.  In this context we will also look more closely at how premodern Europe understood emotions both in their functioning and in their “nature.”  To consider these questions this seminar will focus on extensive reading of both prescriptive literature and literary texts as well as intensive seminar discussion; intensive because this is a field of history and scientific inquiry where the answers are very much in flux and debate. In additional we will sample a few of the more cutting edge historical works that consider these issues.  And while we may not be able to answer these debates, we can definitely add to them a more articulated historical dimension.  A willingness to read extensively and discuss analytically the often controversial issues involved in seminar is required.

    Fall 2017:

    ENG 624: Gender and Authorship In Seventeenth-Century Literature
    Professor Mihoko Suzuki

    This seminar will place in historical context issues concerning gender and authorship in late sixteenth- to seventeenth-century England. In the beginning of this period, women were generally enjoined from becoming authors because the “publicity” of authorship—i.e., the circulation of texts—was considered tantamount to the circulation of bodies. Thus a more acceptable form of authorship—for aristocratic males, as well as for women—was in manuscript, whose circulation among a coterie readership could be controlled. Those who did venture into print generally avoided naming themselves on the title page or used pseudonyms. Certain modes of writing and topics were also deemed more acceptable for women: translations and religious subjects. Yet a number of women were able to assert their autonomy—and address political subjects—even within these modes that apparently entailed the author’s subordination to a master text or in treating topics that were assumed to emphasize devotion and privacy. The reign of Elizabeth—who was an accomplished author, in her own right, of speeches to Parliament and poetry circulated in manuscript—produced an “Elizabeth effect” that encouraged women during and following her reign to become published authors. In the mid-seventeenth century, during the English Civil Wars and Commonwealth (1640–59), the tumultuous upheaval of the social order encouraged middle-class women to break a number of earlier taboos concerning female authorship: they collectively authored, presented, and published petitions to Parliament, and published advice to or criticism of the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. After the Restoration of Charles II (1660), women continued to publish on political subjects; others began to write plays for the public theatre for the first time as actresses were newly permitted on the stage. In addition to tracing this trajectory of women’s increasing boldness as authors during this century-long period, the seminar will call attention to the historically specific conditions of authorship that women negotiated according to their rank and position in the social hierarchy.

    Authors and texts: Elizabeth I, Mary Sidney, Aemilia Lanyer, Elizabeth Cary, civil war and Restoration petitions and tracts, Anne Bradstreet, Katherine Philips, Margaret Cavendish, Lucy Hutchinson, Aphra Behn.

    Requirements: Weekly Blackboard posts; two shorter (2500-3000 words) papers OR one shorter and one longer (5000-6000 words) paper, the second of which can be a revision/expansion of the first.

    HIS 652: The Inquisition
    Professor Martin Nesvig

    This course is a reading-intensive seminar which examines the 7-century long history of inquisitions.  The most notorious inquisition was the national Spanish Inquisition, launched in the 1470s, but there had been various medieval inquisitions and inquisitors in Germany, France, Italy and Catalonia dating from the 1230s.  This course examines the long history of inquisitions and related debates surrounding them as institutions, as cultural phenomena, and about the peoples investigated by inquisitional powers.  Regionally, the course focuses on four core areas in specific time periods: 13th-14th century France; early-modern Spain; early-modern Italy; and colonial Latin America (especially Mexico and Brazil).  Topically, the course analyzes issues such as inquisitional law, scholastic theology, Roman jurisprudence, torture, heresy, blasphemy, Judaism, popular religion, Lutheranism, witchcraft, homosexuality, and censorship.  Methodologically, the course exposes students to major debates concerning the use of sources, microhistory, intellectual history, the sociology of religion, linguistics, and the nature of dissent.  Students can expect to read widely and deeply in primary sources and in relevant secondary literature and should have the ability to conduct research in at least one of the following languages: Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, Catalan, or Portuguese.