2012 Fall Courses

Ancient Israel: In Their Own Words: H. Parker (Near Eastern Studies) This course will focus on the inscriptions of ancient Israel and its neighbors from the first millennium BCE. Texts speak to us directly in ways that other nonverbal archaeological remains – such as architecture or pottery – cannot. Also, secondary sources written by later historians and commentators are similarly limited, as they are separated from original events by space, time, and cultural situation. Considering how individuals from an ancient culture articulate thoughts “in their own words” is invaluable to any meaningful reconstruction of history. Participants will learn to glean information from inscriptions, including those that are fragmentary or seemingly mundane. They will experience hands-on history writing, using primary sources in translation, though those with any knowledge of ancient languages, especially Classical Hebrew, will be able and encouraged to engage with the texts in their original vernacular. Basic knowledge of world history will be helpful though not prerequisite.

Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations: G. Schwartz (Near Eastern Studies) Review of important issues in ancient Near Eastern history and culture from the Neolithic era to the Persian period. Included will be an examination of the Neolithic agricultural revolution, the emergence of cities, states and writing, and formation of empires. Cultures such as Sumer and Akkad, Egypt, the Hittites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians will be discussed.

Archaeology at the Crossroads: The Ancient Eastern Mediterranean through Objects in the JHU Museum:  E. Anderson (Classics) This seminar investigates the Eastern Mediterranean as a space of intense cultural interaction in the Late Bronze Age, exploring how people, ideas, and things not only came into contact but deeply influenced one another through maritime trade, art, politics, etc. In addition to class discussion, we will work hands-on with artifacts from the JHU Archaeological Museum, focusing on material from Cyprus. Cross-listed with Museums and Society and Near Eastern Studies.

Archaeology, Politics and the Uses of the Past: A. Maskevich (Near Eastern Studies)  This course teaches students the concepts and strategies of academic argument. Students learn to analyze and evaluate sources, to develop their thinking with evidence, and to use analysis to write clear and persuasive arguments. Each section focuses on its own intellectually stimulating topic or theme, but the central subject of all sections is using analysis to create arguments.

Art and Architecture of the Medieval Mediterranean World: C. Lakey (History of Art)  This course serves as an introduction to the art and architecture of the Mediterranean region between the early Christian period and the Second Crusade (c. 250-1150). We will analyze the interactions between Western European, Byzantine, and Islamic cultures through the development of religious art and architecture, asking specifically how these interactions were mediated by culturally distinct representational practices. The course will cover the broad Mediterranean region by focusing on specific sites of interaction around the Sea (i.e. Islamic Spain, Norman Sicily, Byzantine North Africa, Venice and the Adriatic Coast, and Crusader Palestine). Select topics will include: the rise of religious image theory and its effect on the visual cultures of the Mediterranean region; the trans-regional movement of artists, crafted objects, and artistic technologies; the history of urbanism and the production of artistic objects in port cities and centers of trade; and the concept of the Mediterranean as “Premodern Globalism.” Readings will include both primary and secondary sources, and we will investigate a variety of methods and approaches to the interpretation of art objects.

Art of the Ancient Andes: L. Deleonardis (History of Art) Course surveys the visual arts of Andean South America and includes discussion of royal Inka tunics, Nasca death imagery and the gold sculptural traditions of Colombia.

Craft and Craftspersons of the Ancient World: Status, Creativity and Tradition: E. Anderson (Classics) This course explores the dynamic work and social roles of craftpersons in early Greece, the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. Readings and discussion will query the identities and contributions of these people—travelers, captives, lauded masters, and even children—through topics including gender, class, and ethnicity. Special focus on late third-early first millennia BCE; local field trips. Cross-listed with Near Eastern Studies.

Global Perspectives on the Museum: E. Rodini (History of Art/Museums and Society) and S. Balachandran (Near Eastern Studies) Course examines practices of collecting, display and preservation beyond the western museum tradition, focusing on how these practices reflect and construct political, historical, ethnic and nationalist narratives. Counts towards the international studies major. Cross-listed with Anthropology.

Hidden Histories of Museum Objects: S. Balachandran (Near Eastern Studies)  This behind-the-scenes visit to the Archaeological Museum, conducted by the museum Conserva- tor, offers an opportunity to look more closely at select museum objects. The session will explore some of the generally unknown or hidden stories behind many of the artifacts currently on view through discussion of recent research and conserva- tion work which has brought to light new information about these objects. We will discuss recent work on an Egyptian mummy, selected Greek figurines, and a Roman curse tablet, among other museum artifacts.

History of Africa to 1880: P. Larson (History) An introduction to the African past. First term: to 1880. Second term: to since 1880.

History of Medicine: M. Fissell (History of Science and Medicine) Course provides an overview of the medical traditions of six ancient cultures; the development of Greek and Islamic traditions in Europe; and the reform and displacement of the Classical traditions during the Scientific Revolution. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Intermediate Ancient Latin: E. Schwinge (Classics)  Although emphasis is still placed on development of rapid comprehension, readings and discussions introduce student to study of Latin literature, principally through texts of various authors.

Introduction to Archaeology: S. McCarter (Near Eastern Studies) An introduction to archaeology and to archaeological method and theory, exploring how archaeologists excavate, analyze, and interpret ancient remains in order to reconstruct how ancient societies functioned. Specific examples from a variety of archaeological projects in different parts of the world will be used to illustrate techniques and principles discussed. Cross-listed with Anthropology.

Made for the Gods: Votive Egyptian Objects in the Archaeological Museum.  B. Bryan (Near Eastern Studies) This course investigates Egyptian votive objects made as gifts to the Gods. Students will learn about Egyptian religious practices and study groups of objects in the Archaeological Museum to learn to identify how they were produced, when, and for what functions. Physical analyses of the objects will be part of the class and Facilitated by museum staff.

Materials Characterization: P. McGuiggan (Materials Science and Engineering)  This course will describe a variety of techniques used to characterize the structure and composition of engineering materials, including metals, ceramics, polymers, composites and semiconductors. The emphasis will be on microstructural characterization techniques, including optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and acoustic microscopy. Surface analytical techniques, including Auger electron spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy. Real-world examples of materials characterization will be presented throughout the course, including characterization of thin films, surfaces, interfaces, and single crystals.

Proseminar in Classical Archaeology: P.L. Tucci. (History of Art) An introduction to research methods and current topics of discussion in the scholarship on Greek and Roman art and archaeology. Cross-listed with History of Art.

Sculpture and the Embodied Viewer: C. Lakey (History of Art) This seminar serves as an introduction to reading and writing about visual experience. Our primary focus will be on the relationship between embodied viewers and the art of sculpture broadly defined. By exploring the art of sculpture in all of its historical forms, from the ancient to the contemporary we will investigate the experiential and spatial challenges sculpture poses in order to develop the necessary analytic skills for understanding and interpreting the visual arts. We will combine on-site studies of sculptures in local collections (including the Walters Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and public works in Baltimore and on campus) with the development of a critical vocabulary with which to write about sculptural objects, one that draws on the critical histories of sculpture from the birth of art history to the present day.

The Roman Republic: History, Culture and Afterlife: M. Roller (Classics) This introductory level course examines the history, society, and culture of the Roman state in the Republican period (509-31 BCE), during which it expanded from a small city-state to a Mediterranean empire. We also consider the Republic’s importance for American revolutionaries in the 18th century.

What is Philology? J. Neefs, E. Trowick (German and Romance Languages and Literatures) In recent years, philology has gained new attention as a field of methodological reflection which at the same time opens up Literary Criticism towards interdisciplinary research and media studies as it emphasizes the specific status of Literary Criticism in the humanities. The course will examine the changing field(s) of philology from the 18th century to the present in both historical and systematic scope. Including methods of textual criticism, edition philology, and hermeneutics, philology has been addressing questions of theory, methodology and epistemology in various constellations. Precisely because philology’s interest lies in connecting languages and literatures to their historical contexts, one of its primary tasks is to account for the epistemic framework and limitations of such historicization, so as to ensure that the literary object not be confused with historical contexts but is perceived as a distinct phenomenon in itself. – In addition to these questions, the course will discuss methods of edition philology, ranging from historical-critical edition to “material philology” and “genetic criticism” along with analyzing editions of Kafka, Joyce and Flaubert. Further, we will examine the more recent discussion on philology and new media (e.g. digital editions). Readings will include Vico, Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Nietzsche, Auerbach, Szondi, Bollack, Nichols, Cerquiglini, and Ferrer among others.