Course Descriptions

Term:

Winter Quarter (W22)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor
ART HIS (W22)40B  EUROPE: MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCEFRANCOLINO, J.
Emphasis/Category: Judaism/Christianity/Islam (Category 1), Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

AH 40B (Western Art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance) focuses on the long period that extends from the end of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century through the sixteenth century. There are no prerequisites for the course and no expectations that students will necessarily have taken Art History 40A. Less a survey than a series of case studies, this course looks at colossal statues of emperors, miracle working icons, gem encrusted reliquaries, Gothic cathedrals, the eye-tricking illusions of Renaissance painters, the first nude statues in the West since antiquity, Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. In looking at these things, we will trace the emergence of European visual culture, its dialogue with other cultures, the questioning of the nature and validity of representation within that culture — especially the representation of the human body — and the gradual eclipse of the sacred icon by the secular, modern work of art during the Renaissance.
Days: MO WE  10:00-10:50 AM

ART HIS (W22)42B  ARTS OF CHINAWUE, R.
Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

This course offers an introduction to art history through the art and visual culture of China from the prehistoric era to the 20th century. We will examine how the religious, political, philosophical, and cultural traditions of China are expressed, created, and communicated by visual images and objects, proceeding chronologically and thematically. The objectives of this class are not only to gain knowledge of these art works within their cultural and historical contexts, but also to develop visual, writing, and analytical skills.
Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM

COM LIT (W22)100A  RENAISSANCE EUROPE GOES TO THE MOVIESNEWMAN, J.
Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

“History does not exist until it is created.”
-- Robert A. Rosenstone
In his essay in Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies (1996), scientist Stephen Jay Gould writes that the film Jurassic Park contains several errors, but that these errors “belong to the juicy and informative class of faults” that has been described in the following way: “Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truths for yourself.”

In this course, we will examine the “juicy faults” about the European Renaissance that we find in a series of movies from the 1940s up through the early twenty-first century and look at them in conversation with primary and secondary historical and literary texts from and about the period. We will ask what role cinematic representations of the European Renaissance and European early modernity (c. 1500-1650) played in the fashioning of modern and post-modern political, religious, cultural, and scientific identities in the West from the Cold War up through the aftermath of 9/11 (c. 1945-2007). Among the topics we cover will be the persecution of witches, female leadership, Machiavellianism, the Reformation, Dutch and Italian Renaissance art history, contact with the Muslim Ottoman Empire, and the endless series of wars that raged across Europe at the time. Production elements, director bios, and film marketing also discussed. Lecture attendance, completion of short reading assignments, and watching the films are mandatory as is completion of on-line quizzes, two movie reviews, and short final paper.
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM

HISTORY (W22)132D  ARMENIANS ANC/EARLYSTAFF
Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

History 132D explores the history of Armenia and Armenians from ethnogenesis to the early modern period at the end of the 1700s within a regional and global context, which takes into account interactions and encounters with the empires and peoples that encompassed their orbit. It focuses on a number of key moments in the Armenian past that are crucial to understanding contemporary Armenian culture, identity, and memory: the politics of national identity and “ethnogenesis,” conversion to Christianity, invention of the Armenian script, the battle of Vardanank, the development of the global Armenian diaspora, print culture, national revival, early liberation movements, as well as relations between Armenians and their neighbors: Persians, Romans, Muslims, and others.
Days: TU TH  05:00-06:20 PM

ITALIAN (W22)150  HOLOCAUST IN ITALYCHIAMPI, J.
Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3), Judaism/Christianity/Islam (Category 1)

This course will concern itself with the response to the Holocaust in the memoirs of Primo Levi and Liana Millu, and in the fiction of Giorgio Bassani. Framing their writings will be brief readings in the work of historians Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Susan Zuccotti and Michele Sarfatti.

Italy had no native tradition of anti-Semitism to compare with the French or Austrian (Action Française; Karl Lueger’s Christian Social Party).  Moreover, the Holocaust in Italy begins comparably late–in 1943 with the overthrow of Mussolini–and continues with his consent from the Republic of Salò, the largely puppet state the Germans set up for him after his rescue. The class will briefly address such historical questions as the relation between Italian Fascism and anti-Semitism, the role and responsibility of the Papacy in the eventual deportations, and, finally, the heroism of Italian individuals and even institutions (the diplomatic corps) in the face of unspeakable atrocity. In Levi and Millu we shall address more literary questions: Italian identity, for example. What did it mean to be an Italian Jew in the camps– hence Sephardic–to speak no Yiddish and not to be observant, i.e. to be both culturally and religiously ignorant? On the other hand, what did it mean for an Italian Jew to be cultured and completely assimilated to Italian life: “tutti dottori, tutti avvocati” unlike Polish, Hungarian and Russian Jews? We will study the development of the identity of the protagonist as s/he struggles to survive in the Italy of the race laws and then in the inconceivable conditions of Auschwitz.  

All readings will be in English; there will be two five-page papers and a final exam. The course counts toward the Minor in Italian.
Days: MO WE  02:00-02:50 PM

Courses Offered by the Religious Studies Major & Minor or other Schools at UCI

Winter Quarter (W22)

Dept Course No., Title   Instructor
REL STD (W22)5B  WORLD RELIGIONS IITINSLEY, E.

Please note: TBD, but this course is likely to be online and asynchronous.

This course is an introduction to the major religions of Asia, through an exploration of the emergence and development of their beliefs, practices, and historical-cultural contexts. We will be exploring the often-overlapping, intertwining, and mutually influential Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Shintoism, across a broad swathe of territory – an exploration that leads back to us in the here and now, and leads us to see each tradition as related to the others.
Using a combination of primary materials textual, visual, and aural (art, artefacts, film, music) and secondary texts that analyze them we will explore the histories and cultures of religious practices in Asia, develop the skills to articulate that knowledge and our own views on it, and develop a deeper level of thought concerning “religion” itself.

Note: Required text: Asian Religions: A Cultural Perspective (Randall L. Nadeau) (Ebook also available, but textbook highly recommended for screen-time eye-rest…). Available at The Hill / online stores etc).

(GE: IV and VIII )
Days: MO WE  04:00-04:50 PM

REL STD (W22)17  ECON APPR TO RELIGMCBRIDE, M.

Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

Introduction to how basic economic concepts such as demand, supply, consumption, production, competition, free-riding, innovation, regulation, and rent-seeking can be applied to understand observed religious behavior.

(GE: III)

Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

REL STD (W22)103  HISTORY OF ATHEISMMCKENNA, J.

The literature of religious skepticism is very old and persistent—from 2600 BCE till today, and it is a provocative and well-written body of work. And yet, almost no one gets exposed to this literature in formal education, from the kindergarten 'diploma’ to the Ph.D.  You, on the other hand, will read numerous primary sources from antiquity to the present. The course will be conducted like a seminar, a weekly conversation on topics arising from the reading. (I won’t lecture but I’ll have plenty to say in class discussions.)  To get a high grade, you must speak in every class, and attendance is required because a given discussion in a particular week cannot be replicated at some later time, and it’s a three-hour class once a week: so missing once is like missing an entire week of class.  No tests.  But there will be weekly reading; weekly writing of summaries of that reading; and weekly writing of short opinion pieces based on the reading. You are graded on your speaking and your writing. Two or three textbooks to buy.  Usually under 30 students in the class.
Days: TH  03:00-05:50 PM

REL STD (W22)115  RELIGION & POLITICSLYNCH, C.

Emphasis/Category: Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

Examines the relationship between religion and world politics historically and today, focusing on connections with peace/war, democracy, human rights, secularism(s), and globalization. Covers major debates, scholarship, concepts, and theories through class exercises, exams, and essays.

Prerequisite: POL SCI 41A or INTL ST 11 or INTL ST 12 or REL STD 5A or REL STD 5B or REL STD 5C
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM

REL STD (W22)150  HOLOCAUST IN ITALYCHIAMPI, J.

Italian 150  The Literature of the Holocaust in Italy

Emphasis/Category: Judaism/Christianity/Islam (Category 1) and Thematic Approaches to Religion (Category 3)

This course will concern itself with the response to the Holocaust in the memoirs of Primo Levi, Ruth Kluger and Liana Millu, and in the fiction of Giorgio Bassani. Framing their writings will be brief readings in the work of historians Liliana Picciotto Fargion, Susan Zuccotti and Michele Sarfatti.
Italy had no native tradition of anti-Semitism to compare with the French or Austrian (La France juive of Éduoard Drumont, Action Française; Karl Lueger’s Austrian Christian Social Party). Moreover, the Holocaust in Italy begins comparatively late–in 1943 after the overthrow of Mussolini–and with Mussolini’s consent from the Republic of Salò, the largely puppet state the Germans set up for him after his rescue. The class will address such historical questions as the relation between Italian Fascism and anti­-Semitism, the role and responsibility of the Papacy in the eventual deportations, and, finally, the heroism of Italian individuals and even institutions (the diplomatic corps; village priests) in the face of unspeakable atrocity. In Levi and Millu we shall address more literary questions: Italian identity, for example. What did it mean to be an Italian Jew in the camps–hence Sephardic–thus unable to speak Yiddish, to be fully yet not to be observant, i.e. to be both culturally and religiously ignorant? On the other hand, what did it mean for an Italian Jew to be cultured and completely assimilated to Italian life: “tutti dottori, tutti avvocati” unlike Jewish, Hungarian and Russian Jews? We will study the development of the identity of the protagonist as s/he struggles to survive in the Italy of the race laws and then in the inconceivable conditions of Auschwitz.

REL STD (W22)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYMCKENNA, J.

No description is currently available.

ANTHRO (W22)139  GLOBAL THEMES IN SIKH STUDIESHUNDLE, A.

Emphasis/Category: World Religious Traditions (Category 2)

Sikh Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study related to anthropology, religious studies, ethnic studies, Punjab and South Asia/diaspora studies. This class serves as an introduction to the academic study of Sikhism (a religious, philosophical and ethical tradition), Sikh communities (collectivities organized around tradition), and the always shifting and changing circumstances and possibilities of “Sikh life.” Students will critically engage with contemporary and developing themes in the field through anthropological, global, and interdisciplinary perspectives.