Get a taste of studying at CEU by watching one of our Open Classes. On the week beginning November 20, we opened up a selection of our classes to prospective students. Click on the links below to watch the classes.
Class: Gendered Materialities (100 minutes)
This class is the tenth session in a course that introduces our MA students to the historical study of women and men, and femininity and masculinity from the Middle Ages to the recent past. Special attention is paid to theoretical and methodological aspects of analysis, the use of various types of sources (written and visual material, archaeological evidence), and their critical interpretation within a number of historical sub-disciplines. Students also concentrate on questions of source intention, representation, image and “reality”, norm and practice, social agency, contrasts, connotations, ambiguities, and ambivalences.
Join this class on gendered materialites to see how our students and professors approach the interaction of the physical past and concepts of gender. Can objects be(come) gendered? What are the motivations behind extending the use of gender constructs from animate beings to inanimate entities? How can objects be instrumentalized once they have been gendered? Do gendered materialities possess agency and, if so, how does that interact with the agency of their human counterparts?
Date and time: Monday November 20, 13:30-14:00
States of Laughter: A History of Humor and Politics
Class: Ethnic Jokes and National Humor Cultures (100 minutes)
Taught by: Charles Shaw
What makes something funny? Is laughter political? Why do states care about how their citizens laugh? And how do they try to shape this laughter? How are national humor cultures created? How do they change? These are some of the questions asked in this course on States of Laughter, which is an exploratory inquiry into how modern states and their citizens encounter each other in laughter (examples may include the United States, Great Britain, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, socialist Eastern Europe, and Communist China).
In this week's session, students will ask what makes something funny. Is laughter political? Why do states care about how their citizens laugh? And how do they try to shape this laughter? How are national humor cultures created? How do they change? These are some of the questions asked in this course, which is an exploratory inquiry into how modern states and their citizens encounter each other in laughter (examples may include the United States, Great Britain, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, socialist Eastern Europe, and Communist China).
A sense of humor is not required to take this class.
Date and time: Tuesday November 21, 10:50-12:30
Byzantium between Worlds: Literature and Learning under the Palaiologan Emperors and Beyond
Class: Literature and Learning at the End of the Empire (45 minutes)
This course explores the world of literature and learning during the last centuries of the Byzantine empire, from the reconquest of Constantinople by Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1261 to the city’s fall to the Ottomans in 1453 and the reign of Sultan Mehmed II (1451–1481). The intricate political entanglements between Byzantines, Ottomans, and Latins during this period went hand in hand with cultural interactions that left their mark on the different literatures of the time. By concentrating on major literary genres such as imperial oratory and epistolography, by studying the oeuvre of leading Byzantine intellectuals, and by analyzing key texts of the time, this course explores a period of great cultural flourishing against the background of political tumult and territorial fragmentation.
This open session will explore the world of literature and learning at the end of empire through a case study of the theologian, poet, and orator John Eugenikos, who participated in the Council of Ferrara–Florence as a strident opponent of the Union of the Churches. Join the class to explore how literature and politics are intertwined in Eugenikos’ pursuit of his political ambitions.
Date and time: Wednesday November 22, 13:30-14:15
Science and Religion
Class: Newtonian Heterodoxies (100 minutes)
The course studies the relationship between science and religion from the Middle Ages through the modern period. Are they incompatible, independent, compatible, or cooperative? How have they come to be seen as metaphysically distinct? How did individuals of diverse scholarly communities and confessions read and write scientific texts and produce scientific knowledge? What were the specifically disciplinary challenges to religious belief as the concepts and institutions of science expanded?
Date and time: Wednesday November 22, 15:40-17:20