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CLASSICS 171: Byzantine Art and Architecture, 300-1453 C.E. (ARTHIST 106, ARTHIST 306)

This course explores the art and architecture of the Eastern Mediterranean: Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus, Thessaloniki, and Palermo, 4th-15th centuries. Applying an innovative approach, we will probe questions of phenomenology and aesthetics, focusing our discussion on the performance and appearance of spaces and objects in the changing diurnal light, in the glitter of mosaics and in the mirror reflection and translucency of marble.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

CLASSICS 173: Hagia Sophia (ARTHIST 208, ARTHIST 408, CLASSICS 273)

This seminar uncovers the aesthetic principles and spiritual operations at work in Hagia Sophia, the church dedicated to Holy Wisdom in Constantinople. Rather than a static and inert structure, the Great Church emerges as a material body that comes to life when the morning or evening light resurrects the glitter of its gold mosaics and when the singing of human voices activates the reverberant and enveloping sound of its vast interior. Drawing on art and architectural history, liturgy, musicology, and acoustics, this course explores the Byzantine paradigm of animation arguing that it is manifested in the visual and sonic mirroring, in the chiastic structure of the psalmody, and in the prosody of the sung poetry. Together these elements orchestrate a multi-sensory experience that has the potential to destabilize the divide between real and oneiric, placing the faithful in a space in between terrestrial and celestial. A short film on aesthetics and samples of Byzantine chant digitally imprinted with the acoustics of Hagia Sophia are developed as integral segments of this research; they offer a chance for the student to transcend the limits of textual analysis and experience the temporal dimension of this process of animation of the inert.
Last offered: Winter 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

CLASSICS 181: Classical Seminar: Origins of Political Thought (CLASSICS 381, ETHICSOC 130A, PHIL 176A, PHIL 276A, POLISCI 230A, POLISCI 330A)

Political philosophy in classical antiquity, centered on reading canonical works of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle against other texts and against the political and historical background. Topics include: interdependence, legitimacy, justice; political obligation, citizenship, and leadership; origins and development of democracy; law, civic strife, and constitutional change.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

CLASSICS 262: Sex and the Early Church (FEMGEN 262, RELIGST 262, RELIGST 362)

Sex and the Early Church examines the ways first- through sixth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. We will read a Roman gynecological manual, an ancient dating guide, the world's first harlequin romance novels, ancient pornography, early Christian martyrdom accounts, stories of female and male saints, instructions for how to best battle demons, visionary accounts, and monastic rules. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality. The purpose of our exploration is not simply to better understand ancient views of gender and sexuality. Rather, this investigation of a society whose sexual system often seems so surprising aims to denaturalize many of our own assumptions concerning gender and sexuality. In the process, we will also examine the ways these first centuries of what eventually became the world's largest religious tradition has profoundly affected the sexual norms of our own time. The seminar assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

COMM 1B: Media, Culture, and Society (AMSTUD 1B)

The institutions and practices of mass media, including television, film, radio, and digital media, and their role in shaping culture and social life. The media's shifting relationships to politics, commerce, and identity.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Turner, F. (PI)

COMM 184: Race and Media (COMM 284)

This course explores the co-construction of media practices and racial identity in the US. We will ask how media have shaped how we think about race. And we will explore the often surprising ways ideas about race have shaped media practices and technologies in turn. The course will draw on contemporary debates as well as historical examples and will cover themes such as representation and visual culture, media industries and audience practices, and racial bias in digital technology.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Li, X. (PI)

COMPLIT 10N: Shakespeare and Performance in a Global Context

Preference to freshmen. The problem of performance including the performance of gender through the plays of Shakespeare. In-class performances by students of scenes from plays. The history of theatrical performance. Sources include filmed versions of plays, and readings on the history of gender, gender performance, and transvestite theater. Note: To be eligible for WAYS credit, you must take the course for a Letter Grade. In AY 2020-21, a 'CR' grade will satisfy the WAYS requirement.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Parker, P. (PI)

COMPLIT 11Q: Shakespeare, Playing, Gender

Preference to sophomores. Focus is on several of the best and lesser known plays of Shakespeare, on theatrical and other kinds of playing, and on ambiguities of both gender and playing gender.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-Gender, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Parker, P. (PI)

COMPLIT 31: Texts that Changed the World from the Ancient Middle East (HUMCORE 111, JEWISHST 150, RELIGST 150)

This course traces the story of the cradle of human civilization. We will begin with the earliest human stories, the Gilgamesh Epic and biblical literature, and follow the path of the development of law, religion, philosophy and literature in the ancient Mediterranean or Middle Eastern world, to the emergence of Jewish and Christian thinking. We will pose questions about how this past continues to inform our present: What stories, myths, and ideas remain foundational to us? How did the stories and myths shape civilizations and form larger communities? How did the earliest stories conceive of human life and the divine? What are the ideas about the order of nature, and the place of human life within that order? How is the relationship between the individual and society constituted? This course is part of the Humanities Core: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

COMPLIT 33: Humanities Core: Global Identity, Culture, and Politics from the Middle East (DLCL 33, HUMCORE 33)

How do we face the future? What resources do we have? Which power structures hold us back and which empower us? What are our identities at college in the Bay Area? In 1850s Lebanon, Abu Faris Shidyaq faced all these same questions (except the last one; he was a Christian magazine editor). In this course we will engage with claims about identity, culture, and politics that some might say come from the "Middle East" but that we understand as global. Ganzeer's graphic novel is as much for California as it is for Egypt. Ataturk's speech is about power and identity just like Donald Trump is about power and identity. In Turkish novels and in Arabic poetry, the people we engage in this course look to their pasts and our futures. What happens next? This is the third of three courses in the Middle Eastern track. These courses offer an unparalleled opportunity to study Middle Eastern history and culture, past and present. Take all three to experience a year-long intellectual community dedicated to exploring how ideas have shaped our world and future.future.
Last offered: Spring 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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