ENGL 2090: (Special Topics in Literature) Women and Early Christianity
ENGL 4391: (Special Topics in Literature) Women and Early Christianity
WGS 4090: (Variable Topics in Women's Studies) Women and Early Christianity
Note: This course is being cross-listed as three separate classes, all meeting at the same time. Students are allowed to enroll in ONE class of this course only.
Women were an integral and important part of the early Christian Church, and it was only later, after Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire and patriarchy asserted its authority over church doctrine and bureaucratic structures, that women were consigned to less prominent—indeed, marginalized—roles. Even so, through the late antique and medieval periods, women played crucial roles in the church, as abbesses, patrons, mystics, and even theologians.
Our location in Rome, the heart of Christianity for over a thousand years, provides us with a unique opportunity to study the roles of women in the Christian church from its advent through the medieval period. For example, one of only two female Doctors of the Church is St. Catherine of Siena, who was instrumental in bringing the pope back to Rome after his exile in Avignon during the 14th century, is buried in the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva near the Pantheon; the other female Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Avila, is immortalized by Bernini’s Saint Teresa in Ecstasy in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. We will read accounts of women as active members of the Christian church written both by the women themselves and recounted by others, as well as observe their depiction in religious art and their legacy in the churches, religious houses, and catacombs of Rome.
Texts will include: Genesis (the creation story); The Gospel of Luke; 1 Corinthians; The Gospel of Mary; Life of Mary Magdalen; Eusebius, from The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, Book III, chapters 42-47 on Constantine’s mother Helena and her journey to Palestine; excerpts from Saint Catherine of Siena’s Letters and Raymond of Capua’s biography; excerpts from Saint Teresa of Avila’s The Way of Perfection and her autobiography; Margery Kempe’s account of her pilgrimage to Rome from The Booke of Margery Kempe; Julian of Norwich’s analysis of Jesus-as-mother from her Revelations of Divine Love; and The Martyrdom of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas.
FA 1010: Art Appreciation (Italy: The Epicenter of Western Art)
Instructor: Karen Coker
Italy often comes to mind when considering some the biggest contributions to Western Culture. This course will incorporate the city of Rome as a living museum to explore some of those contributions. From the power and glory of the Ancient Roman Empire to the explosion of human creativity of the Italian Renaissance to the exuberance of the Baroque in art and architecture, the city has so much to offer.
This course will focus upon:
· Ancient Rome
· Medieval Rome
· The Italian Renaissance
· The exuberance of the Baroque in art and architecture.
Our location will give us many rich opportunities to “experience” this history “face to face".
HUMS 2090: Special Topics in Humanities (Italy: Hotbed of Human Expression)
Instructor: Karen Coker
Humans are compelled to express themselves creatively. Creative expression is part of what makes us human. Italian ingenuity has long been considered one of the strongest foundations of Western Culture. When people are asked to name an artist they are familiar with, they most often name an Italian. In this course we will investigate the prolific creative expression of Italy, from works found in museums, to the vibrant open-air theater of the Roman street. The class will consider examples from the ancient to the contemporary.
Art, architecture, music, food, fashion, cars, sports and film will be some of the areas explored.
HUMS 4090: Classical and Religious Myth, Literature, and History as Expressed in Italian Art
This class investigates how Greek, Roman and Judeo-Christian myths inspired art, with special focus on ancient, medieval and Renaissance art that we will encounter in Rome and Florence. Students will read myths as they appear in authors such as Virgil, Homer, Hesiod, and in the Bible. We will observe the artistic renderings of these myths in the artwork of Rome and Florence from antiquity through the Renaissance and discuss the cultural and political work artistic renderings of the myths perform in various historical periods.