2022-23 Graduate Courses

2022-2023 CMS Course Information

You can view the PDF icon2022-2023 CMS timetable, check the preliminary CMS Course List below, and browse 2022-2023 course descriptions.

Check the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website for the current sessional dates.

To enrol in a course on ROSI, provide the course code in a format without spaces, and with an additional Y (for full-year courses) or H (for half courses), following the examples below:

  • MST1000Y
  • MST1101H

In addition to those courses offered by the Centre for Medieval Studies, students may enrol in courses offered by other departments relating to the Middle Ages. Approved courses from other departments are cross-listed below (but the list is not yet complete); other relevant courses not listed here may be taken in consultation with the Associate Director or the PhD Co-ordinator. NB: Course offerings are subject to change. All details concerning course offerings cross-listed from other departments should be checked with the relevant academic department as changes can occur which may not be reflected in our listing. 

  • Staff indicates that the course is team-taught, or rotates among various faculty members.
  • Y and L indicate full-year courses.
  • F and S indicate half-year courses taught, respectively, in the fall and spring terms.
  • H indicates half-year courses.

Please refer to the calendar of the School of Graduate Studies for information about regulations.

Course Instructor Day/Time Location Term
MST 1000Y.  Medieval Latin A. Andrée M-F 1-2 pm LI 301 Fall
MST 1000Y.  Medieval Latin J. Ginther M-F 1-2 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 1001Y.  Medieval Latin II C. O’Hogan M-F 1-2 pm LI 310 Fall
MST 1001Y.  Medieval Latin II C. O’Hogan M-F 1-2 pm LI 310 Spring
MST 1020H.  Medieval Latin Epic C. O’Hogan W 9-11 am LI 301 Fall
MST 1003Y.  Professional Development for Medieval Studies PhDs (Placement Committee) F 11 am-1 pm biweekly LI 310 Fall & Spring
MST 1101H.  Codicology J. Magee R 9-11 am LI 301 Fall
MST 1104H.  Paleography I A. Andrée T 11 am-1 pm PIMS Fall
MST 1105H.  Paleography II J. Ginther T 11 am-1 pm PIMS Spring
MST 1107H.  Textual Criticism J. Magee / staff T 11 am-1 pm LI 301 Fall
MST 1384H.  Exeter Book A. Walton T 2-4 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 2010H.  Old Norse M. Roby M 9-11 am LI 301 Spring
MST 2048H.  Music in Medival Life J. Haines R 11 am-1 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 3124H.  Medieval Studies in the Digital Age A. Bolintineanu W 2-5 pm LI 301 Fall
MST 3127H.  Text and the City in Medieval Northern Europe S. Sobecki R 2-4 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 3152H.  Medieval Occitan D. Kullmann W 11 am-1 pm LI 301 Fall
MST 3244H.  Patron Saints of Early Medieval Italy N. Everett T 11 am-1 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 3261H.  Cluny I. Cochelin W 2-4 pm   Spring
MST 3310H.  Thomas Aquinas M. Pickavé M 2-4 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 3321H.  Medieval Occitan Literature D. Kullmann W aa 1m-1 pm LI 301 Spring
MST 3346H.  Medieval Islamic Philosophy R. Strobino (visiting) M 2-4 pm LI 310 Fall
MST 3501H.  Introduction to the Medieval Christian Liturgy J. Haines R 11-1 LI 301 Fall
MST 3604H.  Medieval Culinary Cultures Y. Iglesias M 11-1 LI 301 Spring

If you are not a CMS student and wish to enroll in CMS courses, please fill out an SGS add/drop form and submit it to gradadm.medieval@utoronto.ca.

Other Courses and Training Opportunities

Reminder: PhD students at the centre are free to select any courses from the annual CMS list (above) and cross-listed courses (* below identifies cross-listed courses), provided that they have the necessary prerequisites. In view of the centre’s interdisciplinary nature, some courses on the Middle Ages can be taken in other departments, with the approval of the PhD Co-ordinator. If you are interested in other courses, please remember to contact the CMS PhD Coordinator to have them approved before enrolling.

Art History

Course  Instructor Details


China in the Global Middle Ages


J. Purtle Mondays, 1–4 pm  
Originally part of the UofT Getty Connecting Art Histories project, this course examines the arts of medieval China—especially those of the port cities of Guangzhou and Quanzhou—from a multicultural perspective. This course considers how the idea of “medieval art” might be understood with respect to the production of art in China, how such art raises questions about the geography and periodization of native and non-native art forms in China, and how non-native art forms that flourished in China connect to their originating sites and move along the networks of their transmission. While in the past decade art history has embraced the idea of globalization, this seminar seeks to probe the making of medieval Chinese art in postglobal context by introducing the methodological tools of postglobal art history, a new approach to the discipline emerging from developing art histories (i.e., from non-Western nations in which art history has developed as a discipline only since the late 20th century). 
FAH 1123HF

Art of the Medieval Book

A. Cohen Wednesdays, 1–4 pm  
This seminar investigates a wide range of questions related to the use and function of imagery in medieval books. What are the origins of medieval book illustration in the transition from roll to codex; what kinds of books were typically illustrated—and how; who conceived of the complex pictorial programs found in medieval manuscripts, and how did these programs function? Issues of patronage, audience and reception are central to this seminar, which focuses on specific case studies of manuscripts from throughout Europe dating from the late antique period until the advent of printing. 
FAH 1130HS

Architecture of the Otherworld: Islamic Architecture and the Immaterial

H. Mostafa Wednesdays, 10 am–1 pm  
This course reexamines how notions of the otherworldly shaped Islamic architecture, with a focus on its formative period. It explores the act of building as a form of being, considering the ways architecture upheld human encounters with the divine, the celestial realm, as well as other otherworldly beings, benign and malevolent. The course considers the ways Muslims navigated notions of sacrality through a lifecycle, from daily to annual ritual practices and how architecture and material culture emerged dialogically within this context. Through an exploration of Islamic temporality, eschatology, the afterlife, early Islamic sacred geographies, sacred cities, ritual practice, pilgrimage, relics and funerary cultures of early Islam, the course challenges notions of sacred space as a typology to reveal Islam’s relation to the otherworldly as an embodied enactment of transcendence.


Classical Studies

Course  Instructor Details
CLA 5018F

Topics in Roman History: The Theodosian Code

K. Wilkinson Wednesdays, 9am–12pm 

The Theodosian Code is a compilation of imperial laws from the fourth and early fifth centuries CE. As a basis for Roman law (and then mediaeval European law), it was supplanted by the Justinian Code of the sixth century, but it remains a fundamental body of evidence for the study of the Later Roman Empire. In this seminar, we will investigate the antecedents of the Code; its complex textual history, including the important witness of the Breviary of Alaric, as well as the Novellae and the "Sirmondian Constitutions"; and its value to historians of late antiquity. Other topics will be determined by the interests of the seminar participants but may include such things as the development from classical to late Roman jurisprudence; imperial administration; the legal position of societal groups (e.g., women, slaves, curiales, clergy); treatment of traditional polytheistic religion and/or Jewish religion; the relationship between imperial law and canon law. There are many, many other possible paths. 


Comparative Literature

Course  Instructor Details
JCO 5121S


E. Gunderson Thursdays, 1pm–4pm

Apuleius (/ˌæpjʊˈliːəs/; also called Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis; c. 124 – c. 170[1]) was a Numidian Latin-language prose writer, Platonist philosopher and rhetorician. He lived in the Roman province of Numidia, in the Berber city of Madauros, modern-day M’Daourouch, Algeria. He studied Platonism in Athens, travelled to Italy, Asia Minor, and Egypt, and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when he was accused of using magic to gain the attentions (and fortune) of a wealthy widow. He declaimed and then distributed a witty tour de force in his own defense before the proconsul and a court of magistrates convened in Sabratha, near ancient Tripoli, Libya. This is known as the Apologia.His most famous work is his bawdy picaresque novel, the Metamorphoses, otherwise known as The Golden Ass. It is the only Latin novel that has survived in its entirety. As is clear from the above, both Apuleius and his works embodied a complex collocation of features: questions place, power, genre, gender, ethnicity, erudition, cosmopolitanism, colonialism, philosophy, and mysticism saturate his heterogenous body of work at every turn.
We will explore the diverse body of texts transmitted under his name and attempt to come to terms with the challenges that they pose for a reader. The include philosophical works, rhetorical pieces, and a novel. They are normative as well as revolutionary, ectopic as well as centripetal, contemporary as well as backward-looking. In addition to attempting to parse this collection of themes in terms of its original hybrid cultural context we will also explore the ways in which these works speak to our own interests in cultural productions within a post-colonial situation. 


East Asian Studies

Course  Instructor Details
EAS 1101Y1Y

Classical Chinese I (Limited spots)

G. Sanders Thursdays, 9–11 am 

An introduction to the Classical Chinese language with emphasis on grammatical analysis and translation into English. 



Course Instructor Details
ENG 1001F

Old English I

A. Walton Mondays, 3–6pm 
An introduction for reading knowledge to the oldest literary form of English, with discussion of readings drawn from the surviving prose and verse literature.  

Course Reading List:  Bright, Old English Grammar (online) 
Kim, Workbook (online) 
Baker, Introduction to Old English (online through U of T library and for sale on Amazon) 
Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements: 
(1) Exploratory essay of ca. 3000 words on an Old English text that contains some element of word study-a close examination of the meaning, history, or function of a particular word, and its significance within a larger literary and/or textual context. We will discuss this assignment in more detail as it approaches. Late submissions may receive minimal comments. 40% of final mark. 
(2) Midterm-20% of final mark 
(3) Final-30% of final mark 
(4) Participation and quality of class contributions (including any assigned quizzes, short responses, and Blackboard posts)-10% of final mark 
Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential. 

ENG 1002S

Introduction to Old English II: Beowulf

F. Michelet Fridays, 2–4pm   
This course is devoted to a collaborative reading and analysis of the Old English poem Beowulf: its language, its cultural and historical backgrounds, and its style. The work of our class will rely on close and informed attention to the poem's language and rhetorical strategies. In addition, we'll begin to explore some of the more technical aspects of studying Old English verse: possible topics include metrical analysis, paleography, and/or the problems of dating and authorship. 
Completion of Old English I or its equivalent is desirable, but not a prerequisite. 
Course Reading List: 
Edition: R. D. Fulk et al., eds., Klaeber's Beowulf and the Fight at Finnsburg, 4th ed. (Toronto: U of Toronto Press, 2008). Secondary texts: TBA. 
Course Method of Evaluation and Requirements: 
Regular class attendance and active class participation. Class time will be spent in discussion and translation of the poem. Each student will be required to make several short and informal presentations in this course. Evaluation: class work: 15%; class presentations: 15%; short essay (abstract): 10%; final paper: 60%.  
ENG 6362S 

History and Structure of the English Language, Post-1500


C. Percy Tuesdays, 10am–12pm 
This course surveys the linguistic and cultural history of the English language from the late fifteenth century until the present day. It reviews representative developments in vocabulary, spelling, grammar, pronunciation, and the codification of English in dictionaries and grammars. Themes for seminar discussion and research papers may include such topics as the processes and implications of language change; standardization and prescriptivism; the functions of English, French, and Latin in and beyond Britain; language contact, pidgins and creoles; colonization, empire, and global Englishes; the literary use of English (standard and non-standard varieties) by native and non-native speakers; the linguistic effects of printing, news media, the internet, and technology generally. 
Research deploying large digital corpora is changing the stories and histories of English, and the course will allow students to experiment with social and cultural microhistories of words and linguistic forms with the aid of available corpora and of digital searching methods. It will engage with theories of language evolution, variation, and change. Students will be encouraged to consider how to bridge historical linguistics and literature and how to bring knowledge of the English language into their literary studies. 
There is no prerequisite required for this course.  
Course Reading List: 
Primary Texts: Literary and non-literary texts (TBA) will illustrate lectures and seminars. 
Secondary Texts: For a basic outline, we'll read excerpts from such textbooks as David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, 3rd ed. (Cambridge UP, 2019) and Joan C. Beal, English in Modern Times (2004; e-dition Routledge, 2014). For discussion, we'll engage with a gathering of shorter readings, most of them available through the University of Toronto Library online. 
Course Method of Evaluation and Course Requirements: 
This is an introductory course. The course requirements are: Short reports (best 3 of 6: 30%), a proposal with bibliography (10%), a presentation introducing your research paper (15%), a final research paper (35%), and participation (10%). Participation will include discussion and written feedback in class, and exercises and tasks online.  


French Language and Literature

Course Instructor Details
FRE 1164F

Initiation à l'ancien français (Introduction to Medieval French Language)

D. Kullman Mondays, 4–6pm

Ce cours se propose de présenter les bases de la langue française du Moyen Âge, à travers une sélection d’extraits de textes originaux. On étudiera la morphologie et la syntaxe de l'ancien français, avec un aperçu de l’aspect de l’ancien français dans les manuscrits. Les textes choisis permettront de se familiariser avec différents dialectes et de faire un tour d'horizon des principaux genres littéraires des 11e, 12e et 13e siècles; on s'en tiendra cependant à la lecture et n'approfondira pas le côté interprétatif.

Ce cours est également offert au niveau sous-gradué. Les parties communes du cours insisteront davantage sur la dimension synchronique que sur la diachronie ; les participants gradués apprendront aussi quelques rudiments de la phonétique historique et d’autres aspects du développement du français depuis le latin.

Le cours sera enseigné en français. Les étudiant.e.s n’appartenant pas au Département de français qui seraient intéressés à participer à ce cours, mais pensent ne pas avoir atteint le niveau nécessaire en français moderne, devraient contacter l’instructeur (dorothea.kullmann@utoronto.ca). On fera un effort pour les accommoder, au moins à l’aide de matériaux en ligne.

Texte requis:Geneviève Hasenohr / Guy Raynaud de Lage, Introduction à l’ancien français, 3e éd. entièrement revue par G. Hasenohr avec la collaboration de M.-M. Huchet, Paris: Armand Colin, 2019 [ou 2e éd., Paris : SEDES, 2003].

Dictionnaire recommandé:A.J. Greimas, Dictionnaire de l’ancien français, Paris: Larousse.

Travaux requis:deux tests (45 %), travaux écrits (45 %), participation (10 %)

Old French Reading Group 



D. Kullman This Reading Group normally begins in the second or third week of the fall term. Interested students should contact Prof. Kullman at: dorothea.kullman@utoronto.ca.
Byzantine Greek Reading Group D. Kullmann This Reading Group normally begins in the second or third week of the fall term. Interested students should contact Prof. Kullman at: dorothea.kullman@utoronto.ca.
FSL 6000F and S

Reading French Course for Graduate Students

S. Mirzaei Tuesdays, 4–6pmCR 406

Open to Masters and PhD graduate students who need to fulfill their graduate language requirement.

This course is designed to develop students' reading skills particularly as they pertain to research interests. Some remedial grammar, but the primary emphasis is on comprehension of a wide variety of texts in French. NOTE: THIS COURSE IS TAUGHT IN ENGLISH.

On a case-by-case basis, students with prior language qualifications can access the exam-only option (still with course registration) after prior screening by the home department in support of the exam-only option. A grade of Credit/NonCredit (70% is the minimum grade for CR) will be entered on their transcripts.

Students are not permitted to audit this course.

Germanic Languages and Literature

Course Information

Course Instructor Details

GER 1210F

Medieval German Romance: Tristan und Isold

M. Stock Wednesdays, 2–4pm 
This course is an introduction to medieval German literature, using the greatest love romance of medieval Germany as an example: Tristan und Isold by Gottfried von Strassburg. Part of a new wave of chivalric literature in early 13th-century Germany, this text is a key document for the establishment of a new, refined aristocratic culture following French models. It tells a story of adventure and adulterous love, but also of coming-of-age, self-realization, and the legitimacy of art in an aristocratic world. As such, it is one of the most significant texts of the medieval German literary canon. Ample room is reserved for the comparison of the German versions to related accounts in other languages (incl. French and Old Norse). Through short introductory modules on Middle High German, the course also enables students without previous exposure to medieval German to read and interpret passages in their original language. Some previous exposure to modern German is helpful, but not required for CMS students. The course language will be English, unless all participants have sufficient German. The course fulfills the German Department’s requirement in Middle High German. 
GER 6000S

Reading German for Graduate Students

V. Melnykevych Fridays, 2–4pm

In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German. This course is not intended for MA or PhD students in German.


Course Information

Course Instructor Details
HIS 1712HF

Topics on the History of Ethiopia

M. Gervers  Wednesdays, 11am–1pm

"Topics on the History of Ethiopia” will provide students with a forum to examine the history of the region from prehistoric times to the present. Particular attention will be paid to the Axumite, Zagwe and Solomonic dynasties, to the India Ocean and Red Sea trade routes, to relations with Egypt, the Sudan, Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula, and to the adoption of Middle Eastern religions. The UofT has a rich collection of unique on-line resources, including Mazgaba Se’elat (UserID & Password: student) a database of 75,000 original images of Ethiopian art and culture; the entire collection of 219 manuscripts (18,000 folios) from the 15th-century monastery of Gunda Gunde, and a growing collection of interviews with craftsmen currently involved in chiseling out churches from the rock


Institute for Christian Studies

Course Instructor Details
ICH 5017S 

Spiritual Exercises as Christian Philosophy from Augustine to Bonaventure

R. Sweetman Thursdays, 10am–1pm

This seminar examines the notion of spiritual exercise as it evolved in Hellenic and Hellenistic philosophy to understand the emergence of Christian philosophy' as a cultural project within the Augustinian tradition that begins in Augustine's own work and finds its medieval high point in Bonaventure.


Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science

Course Instructor Details
HPS 4110F

Medicine, Science, and Mobility in the Mediterranean World

Lucia Dacome Thursdays, 10am–12pm

Course Description: The Mediterranean world has historically been characterized as a fluid and permeable space of both human and non-human movement across Africa, Asia, and Europe. This course examines the role of Mediterranean interactions in the histories of science and medicine, focusing on the premodern period. It explores processes of production of medical and scientific knowledge in the premodern Mediterranean world. We will address topics such as the relationship between medicine, science, and religion; slavery and medicine; the management of epidemics and public health; the movement of specimens and curiosities; travel and scientific exchange; bodies and identities; and the making of human diversity. We will also critically reflect on the category of mobility, engaging in questions related to how movement participated in processes of knowledge production in the sciences and medicine and, conversely, how scientific and medical pursuits encouraged mobility.


Italian Studies

This year no course will be offered in the field of Medieval Italian Studies. Students interested in working in this field are invited to contact directly Prof. E. Brilli (elisa.brilli@utoronto.ca) for alternatives.  


Musicology (Faculty of Music)


Near and Middle Eastern Civilization

Course Instructor Details
NMC 1105Y

Syriac Historical Texts

A. Harrak Tuesdays, 10am–12pm

Selected texts from the extensive Syriac historiographical literature will be read in the original Syriac language and scripts and analyzed for style, grammar, and content. The texts will be taken from Syriac chronicles, of which there is a series culminating in the voluminous works of Michael the Syrian (12th century) and Bar-Hebraeus (13th century). Both are precious sources, mainly but not exclusively, for the history of the Crusades. Particular attention will be paid to the history of the Middle East and Byzantium from the 5th to the end of the 14th centuries. Students are expected to prepare the texts in advance for reading and analysis in class.

NMC 2055S

The Qur’an and Its Interpretation

W. Saleh Wednesdays, 6–8pm

This course is designed to orient students to the field of contemporary Qur’anic studies through reading and discussion of the text itself (in translation) and of significant European-language scholarship about the Qur’an as well as through examination of the principal bibliographical tools for this subject area.

NMC 2129F

Arabic Manuscript Studies

J. Miller Tuesdays, 2–5 pm

An introduction to Arabic manuscript studies, including codicology and palaeography, this course centers around hands-on learning, drawing on the collections of the Fischer Library. Students will be exposed to debates in the field, resources, and the variety of questions scholars ask of manuscripts.  
Prerequisites: NML210Y (2nd year Arabic) or permission of the instructor.

NMC 2130S

Adab: Arabic Literary Prose

J. Miller Mondays, 10am–1 pm 
This class surveys the rich and varied literary prose tradition in the Arabic language up to the Mamluk era. These works are frequently referenced in modern Arabic literature, in addition to being beautiful and intellectually challenging in their own right. We will read essayistic epistles, in addition to narrative works of a variety of genres, including biographical compilations, maqāmāt, anecdotes, histories, and fables. All texts are in the original Arabic. The course focuses equally on developing reading skills and grammatical knowledge specific to classical Arabic texts, and on developing an ability to analyze the themes, literary techniques, generic features, and ideas within those texts. 
Prerequisites: NML 310Y (3rd year Arabic) or permission of the instructor. 
NMC 2219F

Persian Literature: The Epic Tradition

M. Subtelny Mondays, 2–5pm

Selected representative readings from the iconic masterpieces of classical heroic and romantic epic poetry, including the Persian national epic, Shahnameh; the magisterial ode of Khaqani on the ruins of a Sasanian palace; and tales from the Khamseh, or Quintet, of Nizami about the star-crossed lovers Laili and Majnun, and the world-conqueror Iskandar, or Alexander the Great. Emphasis is on close reading and analysis of the linguistic and literary content and style of these works, and discussion of their historical and cultural backgrounds. Students will acquire essential skills in the technical requirements of classical Persian poetry, such as prosody, rhyme, and poetic devices.

NMC 2220S

Persian Literature: Ethical, Erotic, Mystical

M. Subtelny Mondays, 2–5pm

Selected representative readings from the ethical works of Sa‘di (Bustan and Gulistan); the mystical parable Mantiq al-tayr of ‘Attar and the Masnavi of Rumi; and the ghazals, or mystico-erotic lyrics, of Rumi and Hafiz. Emphasis is on close reading and analysis of the linguistic and literary content and style of these works, and discussion of their historical, cultural, and religious backgrounds. All readings are in the original Persian. Students will acquire essential skills in the technical requirements of classical Persian poetry, such as prosody, rhyme, and poetic devices, as well as an understanding of the key concepts and terminology of Persian Sufism.

NMC 2221F

Persian Mirrors for Princes

M. Subtelny Wednesdays, 2–5pm

The Persian literature of advice on kingship and kingly ethics constitutes an important source for understanding medieval Islamicate political philosophy and concepts of rule and social organization. These works are sometimes referred to as “mirrors for princes,” although they are not consistent in terms of their contents. Excerpts from selected texts dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries will be read and analyzed, including such classics as the Qabusnameh of Kay Ka’us, the Siyar al-muluk of Nizam al-Mulk, and Nasir al-Din Tusi’s Akhlaq-i nasiri.

NMC 2223S 

The Persian Manuscript Tradition

M. Subtelny Wednesdays, 2–5pm

An introduction to medieval Persian codicology, including the technical terminology used in the study of manuscripts; paleographical issues, such as script styles and dating; textual criticism and editing techniques; and the use of manuscript catalogues. Some attention will also be paid to the arts of the book. Digital copies of selected Persian manuscripts will form the basis of study.

NMC 2345Y

The Steppe Frontier in Eurasian & Islamic History

V. Ostapchuk Thursdays, 6–8pm

Explores the roles of Turks, Mongols and other primarily pastoral nomadic peoples as raiders, migrants, slave-soldiers, and empire-builders in the ancient and medieval history of Eurasia (Inner and Central Asia, Middle East, Eastern Europe) including the formation of the Islamic world, as well in the configuration of the modern world in general. Topics covered include long-distance economic and cultural contacts (“silk roads”) facilitated by so-called “steppe empires,” Islamization of the Turks in Central Asia, and their gradual takeover of Iranian, Arab, and other lands, the partnership of Turks and Mongols in conquests in Eurasia from China to Ukraine and beyond, and from Siberia to the Middle East. In addition, lifeways (especially pastoral nomadism), economic and cultural interplay between nomadic and sedentary societies, political structures, steppe warfare, and the roles of physical geography and environment. The chronological coverage is from prehistoric (ca. 1000 BC) to early modern times.

NMC 2541Y

Contextualizing Medieval Middle Eastern and Islamic Pottery

R. Mason Thursdays, 4–6pm

This course will use ceramics to study the material culture of the medieval Middle East and the central Islamic lands. As such, they will be running narrative, to which other materials will be referred, or in turn used to refer to other materials. The same motifs found on ceramics may be found in the contemporaneous buildings, textiles or woodwork; the same forms are found in metalwork and glass; illustrations on ceramics will survive better than manuscript paintings, and there are more illustrations of, for instance, medieval swords to be found on pottery than there are actual swords. The course will rely heavily on the collections of the ROM, and provide a thorough grounding on the technical production and typological variability of the various types of materials attested within their archaeological and cultural context. This course offers an excellent opportunity to study this important period of ceramic production, the period of occupation which covers most early sites in the Middle East. It provides essential understanding of the ceramic corpus for anyone seriously considering archaeological research in the Middle East and Mediterranean.




Religious Studies (Department for the Study of Religion)

Course Instructor Details
RLG 3544F

Muslim Material Cultures

K. Ruffle Tuesdays, 11 am–1 pm 

This course examines the role of things, practices, circulation, space, and embodiment have played a critical role in shaping material forms of religious culture to reveal the historically contingent nature of trans-local practices in Muslim history. As Muslims settled beyond the Arab core In Iberia, South Asia, China, Iran, and Sub-Saharan Africa, we will focus on issues of repurposing and reuse of objects and space and questions of ownership, gifting and alienability, and the many lives of an object. We will examine such topics as relics, re-use/appropriation of sacred spaces/objects, amulets, and tombs. Primary sources for this course will include the Islamic collection at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Aga Khan Museum.

RLG 2020H

Early Christianity, Ancient Judaism, Ancient “Magic”

J. Marshall Wednesdays, 3 pm–5 pm 

Primary readings in curse tablets, grimoires, objects of ritual power, and literary accounts of socially marginal acts of ritual power, as well as of culturally approved acts of miracle. These will be coupled with readings in secondary literature on the methodological problem of “magic” as a category that often spans folk and academic domains as well as historical and critical scholarly literature on “magical” materials and related primary sources.


Slavic Languages and Literatures

Course Instructor Details
SLA 1104S

Intro: Old Church Slavonic    

T.A. Smith Fridays, 1–4pm

Study of the basic grammar of the oldest Slavic religious texts. Reading and translation of selected texts, which are presented in both the old Cyrillic alphabet and modern Latin alphabet transcription (similar to Czech and Polish).Prerequisite: Good reading knowledge of one modern Slavic language.


Spanish and Portuguese


St. Michael's College


Toronto School of Theology

Course Instructor Details
TST 6104F

Theology & the Birth of the University 

J. Ginther Tuesdays, 5-7 pm

In this course, students will explore the origins of theological education in the medieval university. The course begins with the foundations from monastic theology and will then trace the emergence of “scholastic” theology, with particular attention paid to the development of pastoral theology. Topics will include the sources of theological work; pedagogical practices; the doctrines of Trinity, Christology, and the sacraments; as well as key figures from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries.

TST 6614S 

The Seven Ecumenical Councils: Theology, History and Synodality

A. Summerson Day/time: TBA

In this course, students will explore the historical debates and the doctrinal formulations of the seven ecumenical councils (325-787 AD). This course will address the development of fundamental themes in trinity, Christology, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and the theology of iconography. Students will be introduced to the historical context of these debates and attend to the relationship between the early church and its relationship to secular authority. The course will further examine the theological method of early and late antique Christian thinkers that gave rise to these doctrines as well explore the enduring contribution of these conciliar debates for ecumenical dialogue and contemporary theology.

Reminder: Level One Latin/MST 1000Y is the only language requirement for the MA program (see the MA requirements); and Medieval Latin (level I and II), modern French and German are the language requirements for the PhD program (see the PhD requirements). 

Beyond program requirements, advanced training in a variety of languages relevant to the field of Medieval Studies, broadly conceived, is available to CMS students. Please find below a non-exhaustive list of such languages and the Department & CMS faculty member contacts for each.

Language Department / Contact

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
At CMS: prof. J. Miller, W. Saleh

Aramaic Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
Chinese, Classical and Modern

Department of East Asian Studies
At CMS: prof. J. Purtle

English, Old

Department of English
At CMS: prof. R. Getz, F. Michelet, S. Pelle, A. Walton

English, Modern Department of English
French, Old

Department of French Studies
At CMS: prof. D. Kullmann

German, Middle High

Department of German Studies
At CMS: prof. M. Stock and S. Ghosh

Ge’ez At CMS: prof. M. Gervers and R. Holmstedt
Greek, Byzantine At CMS: prof. D. Kullmann
Greek, Classical Department of Classics
Greek, Modern Centre for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES)
Greek, New Testament Toronto School of Theology
Hebrew, Biblical

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
Toronto School of Theology

Hebrew, Modern

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
Department for the Study of Religion

Irish, Old and Middle At CMS: prof. B. Miles
Italian, Medieval and Modern

Department of Italian Studies
At CMS: prof. E. Brilli

Japanese, Classical and Modern Department of East Asian Studies
Latin, Classical Department of Classics
Mongolian, Preclassical and Modern At CMS: prof. J. Purtle
Norse, Old At CMS: prof. R. Getz, S. Ghosh
Occitan At CMS: prof. D. Kullmann
Ottoman Turkish Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
Pali Department for the Study of Religion
Persian, Medieval and Modern

Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
At CMS: prof. M. Subtelny

Portuguese, Medieval and Modern Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Department for the Study of Religion
Department of Philosophy

Slavonic, Old Church Slavic Languages and Literatures
Spanish, Medieval and Modern

Department of Spanish and Portuguese
At CMS: prof. Y. Iglesias

Syriac Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilization
Tibetan Department for the Study of Religion
Welsh, Middle At CMS: prof. B. Miles
Yiddish Department of German Studies


Reminder: The School of Graduate Studies provides helpful resources, courses, boot camps, and workshops in various fields. While these activities do not count toward satisfying course requirements, they might prove crucial to a successful and comprehensive educational path. Please find below a non-exhaustive list of areas of interest and the Graduate Centres responsible for each. 

Training Centre
Advanced training in academic writing and speaking Graduate Centre for Academic Communication (GCAC)
Professional development, including developing research and communication skills, and refining professional goals Centre for Graduate Professional Development (CGPD)
Support to supervisory relationships Centre for Graduate Mentorship and Supervision (CGMS)


For additional info about SGS services, please consult the SGS website.