Spring 2018 Topic Courses

CLA391H5: Topics in Roman History & Culture: TBA

Description coming soon.

CLA395H5: Topics in Classics: Ancient Piracy - Shiver Me Timbers! Pirates and Theft in the Ancient World (C.Fulton)

While our modern perception of pirates has been shaped by the Golden Age of piracy in the New World, and most notably by the portrayal of pirates in Hollywood, is there a comparable definition of piracy in antiquity? How did piracy influence ancient economic and cultural practices? This course explores piracy in the ancient Mediterranean alongside questions of ownership, replication, and theft. We will discuss the socio-economic roles of pirates, political responses to piracy, acquisition of booty from military conquests, and practices of replication in art and literature. Using material and literary evidence for pirates, raiders, traders, and merchants, we will address the formation of collective group identities and their economic role. Finally, we will discuss popular portrayals of pirates from cinema as well as definitions of piracy, copyright, and the ownership of materials within our modern society. 

HIS395H5: Topics in History: TBA

Description coming soon.

HIS495H5: Advanced Topics in European History: Medieval Towns (M. Cowan)

Description coming soon. 

RLG330H5: Topics in Judaism: TBA

Description coming soon.

RLG360H5: Topics in South Asian Religions: Debates in Ancient Indian History and Religion (L. Obrock)

This course focuses on debates in Ancient Indian history and religion from the Vedic Period to the Gupta Empire (ca 1000 BCE to 500 CE). The readings and discussion will develop a sensitivity to historiographical and theoretical problems in the study of ancient South Asia through a careful investigation of historical continuity and disjunction in the history of religious practices and ideas, the emergence of political forms (especially the "state"), and the relationship between discursive production and power.  It will be of interest to students of religion, history, literature, and archaeology of premodern India.

RLG401H5: Advanced Topics in Religion and the Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts: TBA

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RLG411H5: Advanced Topics in Religion, Media, and Culture: TBA

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RLG460H5: Advanced Topics in South Adian Religions: Renunciation and Erotica in Sanskrit Poetry (A. Rao)

Of the aspects of courtly life treated in early Sanskrit poetry, none was more central than erotic love, with depictions of courtship in dramas, independent verses, and epic poems closely mirroring the categories and technical language of the early science of erotica. This course examines the paradoxical relationship of the erotic in Sanskrit poetry with its opposite—renunciation and the technologies of asceticism involving a rejection of sexuality. While the treatment of these themes reflects a deeper civilizational history emblematized by the figure of Śiva, the erotic ascetic, Sanskrit courtly poetry allows us to examine problems peculiar to courtly life and kingship. Did the aestheticization of power in Sanskrit poetry conflict with transcendental ideals? How was the legitimacy of pleasure seen as both autonomous from and concurrent with other legitimate human ends? We will read all works in translation, and no familiarity with Sanskrit is presumed.

WGS337H5: Special Topics in Women and Gender Studies: TBA

Description coming soon.