Topic Courses

Summer 2017 

HIS221H5: Themes in Medieval History: European Encounters with "the Other" (A. Farooqi)

This course surveys medieval European history through the lens of Christian encounters with “the Other,” focusing on the ways in which interactions - whether social, cultural, religious, or political - with Jews, Muslims, and religious “others” shaped Christian Europe. The course gives particular focus to relations between Christians on the one hand, and Jews and Muslims on the other, in southern Europe and the Mediterranean, but also explores other aspects of religious “othering,” such as pagans and notions of Christian heresy within Christian Europe itself.

HIS494H5: Advanced Topics in the History of the Americas: Visual Culture in 20th Century Latin America (E. Toffoli)

How have Latin American image-producers and consumers employed different visual mediums—photography, film, art, etc.—to make social and political claims in their everyday lives and at pivotal  moments in Latin America’s recent past? This course explores visual culture’s critical role in representing, constructing, and re-imagining 20th-century Latin American history. We will discuss a variety of visual formats, and specifically consider photographs’ unique characteristics as visual documents. Thematically, the seminar examines visual culture’s role in shaping the histories of race, gender, class, nation, and migration, and visual mediums’ interventions at significant moments of flux or change, such as the Cuban Revolution. Students will practice working with visual documents as historical sources, and read scholarship that examines the history of visual culture in a variety of Latin American contexts, including Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. 

RLG340H5: Topics in Christianity: Christian Identity in the Modern Age (A. Lehto)

An exploration of some of the ways that the Christian life and message have been reinterpreted from the 18th century to the present.

RLG470H5: Advanced Topics in Buddhism: Buddhist Life Writing (S. Richardson)

In Buddhism, the Buddha and his incredible story of self-cultivation is often a focus of teaching and worship. Focusing first on the Life of the Buddha, and then reading several examples from Tibetan Buddhist literature and the autobiographies of contemporary Buddhist figures, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Buddhist life stories, examining both literary and visual representations of these stories to see how both texts and images activate these stories. This course will seek to understand the structures of life narratives told in biographies, autobiographies, and in visual forms, and the popularity and importance of these narratives of individual transformation in the context of Buddhism.