When Spike Lee made Chi-Raq (2015), he based it on Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (5th cent. BCE).
When J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter Series (1997-2007), she borrowed her hero’s journey, plus a variety of characters (Fluffy or Firenze, anyone?) from Homer and classical mythology, as well as a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance literature.
When George R. R. Martin wrote his series, A Song of Ice and Fire (1996-2018), which became the Game of Thrones television series, he drew upon classical epic vetted through Tolkien’s brand of epic fantasy and the English medieval Wars of the Roses.
When Akira Kurosawa made his award-winning film Ran (1985), he based it on Shakespeare’s King Lear (1605). His Throne of Blood (1957) was based on Macbeth (1606).
What do Lee, Rowling, Martin, and Kurosawa have in common, besides being globally famous, wildly successful artists? They are students of the Premodern World.
The Premodern World
The premodern world belongs to us. It made us. Its discoveries, its art, its wars, and its systems of belief all echo in the discoveries, art, wars, and systems of belief that we encounter every day.
To better understand the modern world we live in, we need to know what came before, why, and how. Choose your issue: Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, Immigration, Tyrants, Democracy, or Demigoguery, and study the premodern world. Follow your art: creative writing, music, drama, or visual art, and study the premodern world. Pursue your discipline: liberal arts, science, health studies, business, or economics, and study the premodern world. You will find roots and revelations. You might just find that, for ill or for good, the world that you live in suddenly makes more sense.
The Interdisciplinary Minor
Spanning the Classical through Renaissance periods, Premodern Global Studies at EIU offers courses across 12 departments. Topics range from history, philosophy, literature, and music to anthropology, geography, and mathematics.
The Premodern Global Studies Minor comprises your choice of 6 courses (18 credits) chosen from at least 3 departments.
For more information, contact Dr. Bailey Young, History, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Lee Patterson, History, email@example.com; Dr. Julie Campbell, English, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Melissa Caldwell, English, email@example.com; Dr. Grant Sterling, Philosophy, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr. Donald Holly, Sociology & Anthropology, email@example.com; or Dr. Stefan Eckert, Music, firstname.lastname@example.org.