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Spring 2018 History GU4083 section 001
|Day & Time
|Course Description||Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. How a society defines crime, and how it deals with the criminals tells us a lot about the moral values, and the political and economic structure of that society, as well as its internal conflicts, superstitions, and fears. Often supposed to be a barbaric community of ignorant unruly men governed by greedy kings and popes, the medieval society in the popular culture is often an inspiration to the grotesque representations of violence and torture. Even an intellectual like Michel Foucault did not hesitate to advance a theory of medieval punishment, albeit a terribly wrong one, as one that focuses on the body and spectacle. This course is designed to trace the origins of the modern criminal legislation and practices to the Middle Ages, some of which were jury trial, public persecution, and prisons. How did these practices come about, and under which social conditions? The focus of the course will be on violent crimes, such as murder, robbery, assault and suicide, and some particularly medieval crimes like sorcery, blasphemy and sodomy. The geographical scope will be limited to England, Italy and France. The class discussions are expected to take the form of collective brainstorming on how the political powers, social classes, cultural values, and religious beliefs affect the development of criminal legislation and institutions. Whenever possible the weekly readings will feature a fair share of medieval texts, including trial records, criminal laws, a manual for trying witches, and prison poetry. Field(s): *MED|
|Enrollment||15 students (18 max) as of 11:46PM Tuesday, April 24, 2018|
|Open To||Columbia College, Engineering and Applied Science: Undergraduate, General Studies, School of Professional Studies, Global Programs, Graduate School of Arts and Science, School of the Arts, International and Public Affairs, Barnard, Engineering and Applied Science: Graduate|
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