ARTH 52H - First-Year Seminar: Celts--Druid Culture

Who were the Celts, and more specifically, who were the Druids? Little is known about the ancient Druids, yet they have captured the imagination of Western Europeans and North Americans for centuries. They have defined ethnic identity for disparate cultures. So who were they, and who are they today?. Class Notes: Students wishing to enroll should submit a wait list request at ARTH 052H.001 | Druid CulturesTR, 8:00AM - 9:15AM. Instructor(s): Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk. Enrollment = 20. The Druids have intrigued the non-Celtic world since Julius Caesar. They have also enjoyed a revival in the 18th century and, more recently, in the 20th century. There are no original documents written by the ancient Druids themselves, only texts written by outsiders who often had a specific agenda to fulfill. The lack of verifiable information about the Druids allows for them to be romanticized at different times and for different reasons. They are virtually a tabula rasa on which can be written any narrative. Thus, the study of how Druids are portrayed give a great deal of information and insight into how they are depicted. The seminar will explore the question of whether we can define an iconography of Druidry. Is there a definable iconography? What are its origins or inspirations? How has it evolved?FIRST YEAR STUDENTS ONLY.Dorothy Hoogland Verkerk received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Her area of specialization is in early medieval art, and her research interests include the interplay between images and texts in early medieval manuscripts, particularly the ways in which images interpret the meanings of texts through visual references to extra-textual elements such as popular sermons, liturgical rites, political necessities, and catechisms. Also, she is interested in the fluid and diverse iconography found in early Christian catacombs and sarcophagi, with rich references to death rituals. She has also explored Irish high crosses as potential sculptural responses to pilgrimage to Rome. Add Consent: Department Consent Required. Enrollment Requirements: RC CLAS UGRD FIRST YR STDTS.
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