Teaching

Courses can be filtered by region, period, core languages, technical skills and object of study. Our listings are current and reflect the last three years of course offerings. If a course has been offered more than once, our listings reflect only the current iteration.

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Healing & Justice: The Virgin Mary in African Literature & Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 314 / COM 398 / AFS 321

The Virgin Mary is the world's most storied person. Countless tales have been told about the miracles she has performed for the faithful who call upon her. Although many assume that African literature was only oral, not written, until the arrival of Europeans, Africans began writing stories about her by 1200 CE in the languages of Ethiopic, Coptic, & Arabic. This course explores this body of medieval African literature and paintings, preserved in African Christian monasteries, studying their themes of healing, reparative justice, & personal ethics in a violent world. It develops skills in the digital humanities & comparative literary studies.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Spring 2024
Red Sea Worlds: Ancient Africa and Arabia (HA)
Subject associations
AFS 356 / NES 306

This course is about the Red Sea region (modern-day Ethiopia, Yemen, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, and others) as a significant cultural, intellectual, and political domain in antiquity. Students will learn about how Red Sea societies spanning ancient Africa and Arabia connected the Eastern Mediterranean and Indian Ocean worlds. They will be introduced to the formative histories of scriptural communities Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the region, and explore various Red Sea writings including the Axumite inscriptions, the Kebra Nagast, and the Quran.

Instructors
Hamza Mahmood Zafer
Spring 2024
Archival Re-imaginings
Subject associations
AMS 540 / ENG 587

Archives shape the stories we tell about the past. Blending fiction and fact, history conditions how archives are constructed and read. This course thinks past conventional modes of knowledge production to reimagine the use and interpretation of archival documents at Firestone Library, the Princeton University Art Museum and elsewhere. Students acquire their own methods by attending to questions of Indigenous sovereignty, access, archival silences, and traces of what Marisa Fuentes calls "dispossessed lives." We expand sites of knowledge production beyond the archive to the land itself. Archival reimagining shifts understanding of the past.

Instructors
Robbie Richardson
Sarah Rivett
Spring 2022
Topics in Arabic Language and Culture: The West in the Writings of Arab Travelers and Intellectuals (LA)
Subject associations
ARA 404

Conducted entirely in Arabic, this course will explore the ways in which Arab travelers and intellectuals have struggled to make sense of Europe and the people who live there, in both the medieval and modern eras. We will start first with more modern texts, and move back in time toward the 10th century. Students will offer weekly responses to the readings, and prepare a final project on a text of their own choosing.

Instructors
Faris Zwirahn
Spring 2024
Art and Power in the Middle Ages (HA or LA)
Subject associations
ART 228 / HLS 228 / MED 228 / HUM 228

The course explores how art worked in politics and religion from ca. 300-1200 CE in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Students encounter the arts of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam, great courts and migratory societies; dynamics of word and image, multilingualism, intercultural connection, and local identity. We examine how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power. We consider how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous. Course format combines lecture on various cultural contexts with workshop discussion focused on specific media and materials, or individual examples.

Instructors
Charlie Barber
Beatrice E. Kitzinger
Spring 2022
Art and Power in the Middle Ages (HA or LA)
Subject associations
ART 228 / HLS 228 / MED 228 / HUM 228

The course explores how art worked in politics and religion from ca. 300-1200 CE in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Students encounter the arts of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam; great courts and migratory societies; dynamics of word and image, multilingualism, inter-cultural connection, and local identity. We consider how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power, and examine how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous. Course format combines lecture on various cultural contexts with workshop discussion focused on specific media and materials. Via Zoom in 2020.

Instructors
Beatrice E. Kitzinger
Erene R. Morcos
Spring 2021
Renaissance Art and Architecture (LA)
Subject associations
ART 233 / ARC 233

What was the Renaissance, and why has it occupied a central place in art history? Major artistic currents swept Europe during the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries, an age that saw the rise of global trade, the development of the nation state, and the onset of mass armed conflict. To explore the art of this period, we consider themes including religious devotion, encounters with foreign peoples and goods, the status of women, and the revival of antiquity. We study artists including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci as well as some who may be less familiar. Precepts visit campus collections of paintings, prints, drawings, and maps.

Instructors
Carolina Mangone
Carolyn Yerkes
Fall 2023
Arts of the Medieval Book (HA)
Subject associations
ART 311 / MED 311 / HUM 311

This course explores the technology and function of books in historical perspective, asking how illuminated manuscripts were designed to meet (and shape) cultural and intellectual demands in the medieval period. Surveying the major genres of European book arts between the 7th-15th centuries, we study varying approaches to pictorial space, page design, and information organization; relationships between text and image; and technical aspects of book production. We work primarily from Princeton's collection of original manuscripts and manuscript facsimiles. Assignments include the option to create an original artist's book for the final project.

Instructors
Beatrice E. Kitzinger
Fall 2021
Dunhuang: Buddhist Art and Culture on the Silk Road (LA)
Subject associations
ART 357 / EAS 368

Located at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road, Dunhuang is one of the richest Buddhist sites in China with nearly 500 cave temples constructed between the fourth and the fourteenth centuries. The sculptures, murals, portable paintings, and manuscripts found in the caves represent every aspect of Buddhism, both doctrinally and artistically. This course will explore this visual material in relation to topics such as expeditions, the role of Dunhuang in the study of Buddhist art and Chinese art in general, Buddhist ritual practices, image-text relationships, politics and patronage, and contemporary attitudes toward Dunhuang.

Instructors
Dora C. Y. Ching
Spring 2022
The Art & Archaeology of Plague (HA)
Subject associations
ART 361 / HIS 355 / MED 361 / HUM 361

In this course, we will examine archaeological evidence for and art historical depictions of plagues and pandemics, beginning in antiquity and ending with the COVID-19 Pandemic. The course will explore bioarchaeological investigations of the Black Death, the Justinianic Plague, and other examples of infectious diseases with extremely high mortalities, and students will complete six "Pandemic Simulation" exercises throughout the semester. We will also consider the differing impact of plagues during the medieval, early modern, and modern periods: themes in art; the development of hospitals; and the changing ideas of disease and medicine.

Instructors
Janet E. Kay
Spring 2021
Art and Power in China (LA)
Subject associations
ART 385 / EAS 385

With a highly developed system of aesthetics, Chinese art is not what meets the eye. In China, artworks have represented and also shaped sociocultural values, religious practices and political authority throughout the ages. With an emphasis on the persuasive, and even subversive, power of art related to imperial and modern Chinese politics, this course reflects upon how art has worked in changing historical contexts and for serving political, religious and social agents in Chinese history. It covers a wide range of artifacts and artworks.

Instructors
Cheng-hua Wang
Fall 2020
Arts of the Islamic World (CD or HA)
Subject associations
ART 394 / NES 384

This course surveys the art and architecture of the Islamic world from the 7th to the 16th centuries. It examines the form and function of architecture and works of art as well as the social, historical and cultural contexts, patterns of use, and evolving meanings attributed to art by the users. Themes include the creation of a distinctive visual culture in the emerging Islamic polity; urban contexts; archaeological sites; key architectural types such as the mosque, madrasa, caravanserai, and mausoleum; portable objects and the arts of the book; self-representation; cultural exchange along trade and pilgrimage routes.

Instructors
Patricia Blessing
Fall 2020
Sensory Spaces, Tactile Objects: The Senses in Art And Architecture (LA)
Subject associations
ART 403 / NES 403 / ARC 402 / HLS 404

This course examines the role of the senses in art and architecture to move beyond conceptions of art history that prioritize vision. While the experience of art is often framed in terms of seeing, the other senses were crucially involved in the creation of buildings and objects. Textiles and ceramic vessels invite touch, gardens involve the smell of flowers, sacred spaces were built to amplify the sound of prayers and chants. The focus will be on the medieval and early modern Mediterranean. Readings will range from medieval poetry and multisensory art histories to contemporary discussions of the senses in design and anthropology.

Instructors
Patricia Blessing
Spring 2022
Antioch through the Ages - Archaeology and History (LA)
Subject associations
ART 418 / HLS 418 / CLA 418 / PAW 418

Antioch was unique among the great cities of the classical world for its position at the crossroads between the Mediterranean Sea and the Asian continent and for being a new foundation of the Hellenistic age that shrunk almost to insignificance in the modern era. Students in this course will get exclusive access to the archives and artifacts of the Princeton Antioch excavations of the 1930s. In the 2019 course, the focus will be on the Bath F Complex, the site of the greatest concentration of materials datable to the transition from the classical and late antique periods to the Islamic era.

Instructors
Alan M. Stahl
Spring 2019
Studies in Renaissance and Baroque Architecture
Subject associations
ART 547 / ARC 552

Advanced research in the history of architecture from 1400 to 1750. Topics vary, with the focus each year on important European centers and architects, and on issues related to architectural theory and practice. In fall 2018, this course considers the forms of early modern architectural theory, with particular attention on the history of the architectural book. We explore a set of key genres-including the treatise, the model book, the biography, the construction manual, and the travel narrative-through a close reading of primary sources and direct study of original objects.

Instructors
Carolyn Yerkes
Fall 2018
The Science of Roman History (EC or SEN)
Subject associations
CLA 247 / HUM 249 / STC 247 / ENV 247

Roman history courses usually cover grand narratives based on literary evidence and usually no room for discussing how knowledge is created and the different methods for studying ancient history. This course instead looks at different questions to shed light in fruitful collaborations between scholars from different fields. Students will engage with STEM and digital humanities methods as they consider historical questions. Through different case studies and hands-on activities, students will learn how different scientific, technological, and computational methods help us employ a multi-disciplinary approach to learning about the ancient past.

Instructors
Caroline Cheung
Leigh A. Lieberman
Spring 2024
The Science of Roman History (EC or SEN)
Subject associations
CLA 247 / HUM 249 / STC 247 / ENV 247

Roman history courses usually cover the grand narratives based on the more traditional, literary evidence. Usually these courses leave no room for discussing how knowledge is created and the new and different methods for studying ancient history. This course instead looks at different questions to shed light in fruitful collaborations between scholars from different fields. Students will engage with STEM as they consider humanistic questions. Through different case studies and hands on activities, students will learn about different scientific, technological and mathematical methods and how knowledge of the past draws on multiple disciplines.

Instructors
Caroline Cheung
Janet E. Kay
Spring 2022
The Book in the Latin West (LA)
Subject associations
CLA 416 / MED 416

This course offers a survey of the book in the Latin West, its cultural history and its functions as both object and text. It discusses production, readership and censorship, from antiquity up until the printing revolution.

Instructors
Daniela E. Mairhofer
Fall 2019
Problems in Post-Classical and Byzantine Literature: Beyond Transmission: Medieval Reception of Ancient Greek Literature
Subject associations
CLA 517 / MED 517 / HLS 517

The history of ancient Greek literature in the middle ages has long been reduced to "transmission", relegating the period to curator instead of co-creator of the classical canon. We study the medieval reception of antiquity's literary legacy in institutional and intellectual practices which underwrote the copying, reading, and commenting of classical Greek texts, including the manuscript traditions of Homeric epic, the Pindaric odes, Greek historiography, and the works of Plato, among others. Palaeography and codicology are paired with medieval and Byzantine studies more generally in a bid to rewrite this chapter of classicism.

Instructors
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis
Spring 2019
Greek History: Greek History: Problems & Methods
Subject associations
CLA 520 / PAW 520 / HLS 521

A comprehensive introduction to the central topics and methods of Greek history, offering a chronological overview of periods and significant developments; a survey of the current state of the field and of specialized sub-disciplines (e.g., epigraphy and numismatics); and an exploration of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the study of the past.

Instructors
Michael A. Flower
Spring 2022
Greek History: Greek History: Problems & Methods
Subject associations
CLA 520 / PAW 520 / HLS 521

A comprehensive introduction to the central topics and methods of Greek history, offering a chronological overview of periods and significant developments; a survey of the current state of the field and of specialized sub-disciplines (e.g., epigraphy and numismatics); and an exploration of interdisciplinary theoretical approaches to the study of the past.

Instructors
Michael A. Flower
Spring 2024
Problems in Latin Literature: Latin Paleography
Subject associations
CLA 543

The graduate seminar provides a chronological survey of the development of Latin handwriting from its origins, the Roman scripts, through to humanistic scripts, in all their diversity of forms and styles. A particular emphasis is put on the book-based scripts of the western European Middle Ages and the Renaissance from c. 500 - 1500 AD, including scribal conventions and text typologies.

Instructors
Daniela E. Mairhofer
Spring 2020
Problems in Roman History: Introduction to Roman Epigraphy
Subject associations
CLA 545

Texts that survive on stone, bronze, or terracotta provide one of the best and most direct sources for Roman history and culture. Such texts survive in large quantities and new discoveries are made every year. This course offers an introduction to Roman epigraphy, the study of non-literary ancient texts, by familiarizing students with a wide variety of writing preserved from Antiquity.

Instructors
Harriet I. Flower
Fall 2023
Problems in Roman History: Introduction to Roman Epigraphy
Subject associations
CLA 545

Texts that survive on stone, bronze, or terracotta provide one of the best and most direct sources for Roman history and culture. Such texts survive in large quantities and new discoveries are made every year. This course offers an introduction to Roman epigraphy, the study of non-literary ancient texts, by familiarizing students with a wide variety of writing preserved from Antiquity.

Instructors
Harriet I. Flower
Fall 2019
Problems in Ancient History: Non-Citizens from the Ancient World to the Medieval Ages
Subject associations
CLA 547 / PAW 503 / HLS 547 / HIS 557

We analyze the principles guiding the exclusion of certain free inhabitants from the political communities in which they lived and often prospered, the initiatives taken by ancient states to integrate them despite their secondary rank, the non-citizens' own efforts at integration, and the evolution of these interactions over time. We also study the factors that influenced both exclusion and integration (ethnicity, religion, etc.) and how the broad and ever-changing spectrum of what we call 'non-citizens' provides us with a window into the formation/transformation of categorial infrastructures from the ancient to the medieval world.

Instructors
Marc Domingo Gygax
Helmut Reimitz
Fall 2023
Problems in Ancient History: Ancient Media, Modern Media Theory
Subject associations
CLA 547 / PAW 503 / HLS 547 / HIS 557

A half-century after Marshall McLuhan's minting of the phrase "The medium is the message," media theory has made few inroads in the study of ancient Mediterranean literatures and cultures, with some fields making more use of it than others. This seminar approaches the study of the ancient world as a discipline of mixed media, examining the potentials of both its textual and non-textual "things" in shaping past and present modes of knowledge production. Modern media studies and its kindred disciplines (semiotics, communication theory, mediology, the New Materialism, etc.) guide our theoretical approaches to ancient materials.

Instructors
Dan-El Padilla Peralta
Ava Shirazi
Fall 2019
Problems in Ancient History: Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Numismatics
Subject associations
CLA 548 / HLS 548 / PAW 548 / ART 532

A seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis as well as a survey of pre-modern coinages. The Western coinage tradition is covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, Parthian and Sasanian issues, the coinage of Byzantium, the Islamic world, and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Instructors
Alan M. Stahl
Fall 2022
Problems in Ancient History: Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Numismatics
Subject associations
CLA 548 / HLS 548 / PAW 548 / ART 532

A seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis as well as a survey of pre-modern coinages. The Western coinage tradition is covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, Parthian and Sasanian issues, the coinage of Byzantium, the Islamic world, and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Instructors
Alan M. Stahl
Fall 2021
Problems in Ancient History: Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Numismatics
Subject associations
CLA 548 / HLS 548 / PAW 548 / ART 532

A seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis as well as a survey of pre-modern coinages. The Western coinage tradition is covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, Parthian and Sasanian issues, the coinage of Byzantium, the Islamic world, and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.

Instructors
Alan M. Stahl
Fall 2023
Problems in Medieval Literature: From Parchment to Print: Greek Palaeography and Textual Criticism
Subject associations
CLA 565 / HLS 565 / MED 565

This course aims to demystify the methods, instruments, and skills of palaeography and textual criticism, while furnishing participants with hands-on experience of discovering, researching, and editing a previously unpublished Greek text. Students are introduced to relevant aspects of codicology and manuscript study more broadly, as well as scholarship on the potential and the limits of editorial practice in the humanities. Strong classical Greek (e.g., ability to handle Attic prose) a must.

Instructors
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis
David T. Jenkins
Spring 2024
Greek Palaeography and Medieval Manuscript Culture (LA)
Subject associations
CLG 410 / HLS 403 / MED 410

An introduction to Greek palaeography and its potential for research on ancient and medieval texts, medieval book culture, and pre-modern literacy. Students will learn medieval Greek scripts, the rudiments of critical editions, and how to study manuscripts as material objects. Projects will be tailored to the research interests of the participants. We will simultaneously examine how "remote" research is consonant with online palaeography and the possibilities for what used to be privileged access to otherwise rarefied historical sources. This course is aimed at both graduate and select undergraduate students with the requisite level of Greek.

Instructors
Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis
Spring 2021
Read Like an Egyptian (LA)
Subject associations
COM 222 / CLA 222

A first course for students in reading ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Serious work in ancient Egyptian grammar, vocabulary building, etc. (the staples of a classical language course) plus work on the relation between hieroglyphs and Egyptian visual arts.

Instructors
Thomas W. Hare
Fall 2020
The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages (LA)
Subject associations
COM 241 / AAS 241 / AFS 241

Many assume that pre-twentieth-century Africa has no history. Rather, it has so much history that communicating all its richness can be a challenge. In this class, therefore, we focus on particular instances that speak to the tremendous diversity of the period from 300 to 1500 in Africa - its political systems, religious communities, and dynamics of cultural and economic conversation. We also address Africa's interconnectedness within and to the rest of the world as a vital part of the global middle ages. Primary sources include letters, treatises, and chronicles but also maps, archeological layouts, frescos, inscriptions, and rock art.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Francois-Xavier Fauvelle
Spring 2020
Ideographs, Images and Emblems
Subject associations
COM 539 / HUM 585 / ENG 539

From the inception of writing in ancient times to the present, the intersection of images with texts has created subtle and ingenious systems of signs as well as philosophical, aesthetic and psychological discourses about how such signs relate to cognition and semiotics. This course studies several of these systems and discourses. Objects of study derive from ancient Egypt and Meso-America, Early Modern Europe, Modernism and Post-Structuralism, from competing theses on speech, writing, and gesture to attempts to develop new taxonomies of images. The class makes use of materials in our Rare Books Collection and objects in the Museum.

Instructors
Thomas W. Hare
Russ Leo
Fall 2018
Bamboo, Silk, Wood, and Paper: Ancient and Medieval Chinese Manuscripts (HA)
Subject associations
EAS 326 / HIS 331 / MED 326 / HUM 381

The seminar introduces the manuscript culture of ancient and medieval China from the 4th century BCE to the advent of printing in around 1000 CE. We discuss the creation, uses, purposes, and the visual and material aspects of writings on bamboo, wood, silk, and paper. Examining texts buried in ancient tombs, left in watchtowers, or stored in desert caves, we look at writings to accompany the dead; personal letters; calligraphic masterpieces; copies of the classics; and carriers of medical, legal, administrative, or mantic knowledge cherished by the cultural and political elite and soldiers and peasants alike. With two museum visits.

Instructors
Martin Kern
Xin Wen
Spring 2024
Early China: The Anhui University Shijing Manuscript
Subject associations
EAS 503

In this seminar, we read selected poems from the Anhui University Shijing bamboo manuscript from ca. 300 BCE that was published in 2019 and includes 57 poems known from the ancient Classic of Poetry. In closely comparing these poems to those in the received Shijing as well as to other manuscript evidence, we analyze the manuscript text in detail from the perspectives of paleography, historical phonology, and codicology. Thus, the seminar introduces students to the principal technical disciplines in reading an ancient Chinese manuscript while at the same time exploring the formation of early Chinese poetry and of the Shijing anthology.

Instructors
Martin Kern
Fall 2021
Early China: Text and Bibliography in Early China
Subject associations
EAS 503

The seminar examines the gradual evolution of early Chinese textuality from the pre-imperial through the early imperial period, with particular emphasis on questions of materiality and sociology of text; authorship, compilation, and circulation; canon formation and the rise of commentary; and classification and bibliography. Readings are in classical Chinese and in various languages of modern scholarship. Languages of instruction: English and Chinese.

Instructors
Martin Kern
Jianwei Xu
Fall 2019
Classics, Commentaries, and Contexts in Chinese Intellectual History: Ritual Classics
Subject associations
EAS 506 / HIS 531

This course examines classical Chinese texts and their commentary traditions, with commentary selections and additional readings from the earliest periods through the early twentieth century. Readings are selected from the three ritual classics (so-called San Li), historical writings, and excavated manuscripts relating to ritual, broadly construed. Secondary readings selected from the theory of ritual and the use of ritual texts and commentaries in Chinese intellectual, social, and cultural history.

Instructors
Trenton W. Wilson
Spring 2024
Special Topics in Chinese History: Stone Inscriptions in China
Subject associations
EAS 513

This course introduces texts of different genres carved into stones in China from the Han to the Qing dynasty. Compared to printed texts and manuscripts, stone inscriptions are a group of sources that remain underutilized and are often read only in transcriptions. Combining close reading of the texts with perspectives from art history and archaeology, this course places these texts back onto the stones and in the social and cultural contexts of their production. The exploration of these inscriptions will help students open up possibilities of their research in various disciplines from history and literature to religion and art history.

Instructors
Xin Wen
Fall 2018
Qing History: Working with Archival Documents
Subject associations
EAS 517 / HIS 531

This research seminar introduces graduate students to the history and bibliography of archival documents produced during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), with chronological extensions also into the pre-Conquest period and transition to the early Republican era. Emphasis is on government papers, and students gain essential knowledge of the Qing state from a survey of what primary sources have survived from this period. The second half of this course focuses on the craft of close reading, annotation and translation of original documents, and offers in-class instructions on research, writing and presentation skills.

Instructors
He Bian
Spring 2017
Sources in Ancient and Medieval Japanese History
Subject associations
EAS 525 / HIS 525

This course provides an introduction to the written sources of Japanese history from 800-1600. Instruction focuses on reading and translating a variety of documentary genres, although court chronicles and some visual sources are introduced in class as well. Each week entails the translation of several short documents. Some research resources are also introduced. Weekly assignments include documents which are published on Princeton's komonjo website. In a presentation of the final translation project and analysis is required during the final class and a 12-15 page paper is due on Dean's Day.

Instructors
Thomas D. Conlan
Fall 2023
Sources in Ancient and Medieval Japanese History
Subject associations
EAS 525 / HIS 525

This course provides an introduction to the written sources of Japanese history from 750- 1600. Instruction focuses on reading and translating a variety of documentary genres, and court chronicles, although visual sources (e.g. maps, scrolls, and screens) are introduced in class as well. Each week entails a translation of five or six short documents and a library research assignment. Research resources and methods are also emphasized. A substantial research assignment, involving primary source research, is due at the end of the semester. The final week of class is devoted to presentations about the research project.

Instructors
Thomas D. Conlan
Fall 2019
Chinese Literature: The Classic of Poetry (Shijing)
Subject associations
EAS 531

Through close readings of original sources in classical Chinese, we analyze the Classic of Poetry (Shijing) in its aesthetic, historical, and hermeneutic dimensions from pre-imperial manuscripts through modern scholarship. In addition to reading the actual poetry and its classical commentaries, we discuss in detail its origins of composition and its reception as the master text of early Chinese cultural memory and identity, drawing on the relevant scholarship in Chinese, Japanese, English, and other languages.

Instructors
Martin Kern
Spring 2024
Readings in Chinese Literature: Literary Anthologies, Collections, and Collectanea
Subject associations
EAS 533

This course examines the practices of collecting and anthologizing literary texts in a wide variety of forms during the Tang and Song dynasties. We begin by looking at a range of pre-Tang models for collecting literary material in different forms and consider their different approaches to compilation, including selection criteria, and organization, and then examine the impact of their choices on canonization and transmission. We study collection practices in state-sponsored anthologies; in primers and literary composition guides in individual literary collections; and finally in large collectanea.

Instructors
Anna M. Shields
Spring 2018
Classical Japanese Poetics
Subject associations
EAS 543

Reading of poetic works from pre-Meiji Japan together with an introduction to relevant topics including: commentaries and reception, book history and manuscript transmission, historical and social background, and the use of modern reference tools.

Instructors
Brian R. Steininger
Fall 2020
Classical Japanese Poetics
Subject associations
EAS 543

Reading of poetic works from pre-Meiji Japan together with an introduction to relevant topics including: commentaries and reception, book history and manuscript transmission, historical and social background, and the use of modern reference tools.

Instructors
Brian R. Steininger
Fall 2023
Chang'an: China's Medieval Metropolis
Subject associations
EAS 553

With a walled city of thirty square miles and a population of more than one million, Chang'an, capital of the Tang dynasty, was the largest city in the world at the time. Through reading texts in different genres including official history, governmental documents, literary collections, anecdotes, legal codes, and stone inscriptions along with secondary scholarship, this course introduces the political, ritual, and economic structures of the city, and explores the lives of its citizens that in different ways either maintained or challenged these structures.

Instructors
Xin Wen
Spring 2019
Manuscripts of Medieval China (400 - 1400)
Subject associations
EAS 554

This course introduces manuscripts of medieval China preserved in different forms from caves in Dunhuang and tombs in South China to calligraphic works and manuscripts found on the back sides of printed texts. It helps students to independently approach medieval manuscripts by introducing knowledge about the paper, formal and cursive writing, non-standard characters, and methods of punctuation on medieval manuscripts. It also introduces types of texts found only in manuscript forms, and offers ways of thinking about the culture of writing and reading in medieval China.

Instructors
Xin Wen
Fall 2020
The History of the Book in China
Subject associations
EAS 587 / MOD 587

The course offers a comprehensive history of books in China, with reference to relevant developments in Korea and Japan and to parallels in the West, from the advent of actual books in East Asia during the first millennium BCE until the introduction of virtual books at the end of the 20th century. It covers the physical evolution of traditional Chinese books as well as their crucial role in the transmission of text and knowledge throughout China's long and complex history, especially for the period of 9th to 19th century. Visual images and actual specimens are used to reinforce presentations and stimulate discussion.

Instructors
James Sören Edgren
Spring 2020
Books and Their Readers (LA)
Subject associations
ECS 350 / HIS 354

This course will offer an intensive introduction to the history of the making, distribution and reading of books in the West, from ancient Greece to modern America. By examining a series of case studies, we will see how writers, producers, and readers of books have interacted, and how the conditions of production and consumption have changed over time.

Instructors
Anthony T. Grafton
Spring 2020