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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "AH 367"
COURSE NAME: "Special Topics in Medieval Art: Visualizing Gender "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Sharon Salvadori
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 9:55-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: One previous course in Art History or permission of the instructor
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Specialized courses offered periodically on specific aspects of the art of the medieval world. Courses are normally research-led topics on an area of current academic concern.
May be taken more than once for credit with different topics.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

The visual construction of gendered identities is a key feature of the figurative art of any period. In the Christian imagery produced in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, gendered representations are often inseparable from religious discourses. At the core of Christian doctrines regarding sin, death, redemption, and immortality was the gendered and sexual identity of Adam, Eve, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus. These and other biblical protagonists feature prominently in the religious art of the period and provide fundamental insights into the gendering of Christian identity. So too do images of saints and martyrs, nuns and monks, abbots and abbesses, bishops, kings, queens, knights, ladies and their courtiers, pilgrims and travelers, servants, peasants, farmers, beggars, lepers, infidels, witches, monsters, and more. As the list suggests, in addition to religion, discourses on class, social and economic status, cultural, geographic, ethnic identity, and even imaginary threats also contributed and indeed were inseparable from gendered visual constructs. Another distinctive characteristic of this diverse visual repertoire is that it includes both hetero-normative constructs and constructs that challenge hetero-normativity as an ideal. Feminized images of Christ, to cite the most obvious example, were popular from late antiquity until the late Middle Ages in artworks patronized by Church authorities and other members of the ruling elite (most of our surviving evidence). These images, like many contemporary written sources, also suggest that gender was a category subject to an on-going re-definition or re-negotiation. Moreover, viewers whose perception and real-life experience of gender and sexuality could differ from that of “authoritative” patrons, must be presumed to have been active agents in the reception and so too in construction of Christian gendered identities.

Our main focus is on artworks produced in North-Western Europe and the western Mediterranean between the 3rd and the 15th centuries. The Medieval Byzantine and Islamic visual traditions beyond these temporal-geographical boundaries, as well as western late medieval- early Modern artworks from western Europe (c. 1500-1600 AD), will occasionally complement this main corpus of images.

The analysis of gender representations in the art of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages is a field of inquiry that is not new (it has been ongoing from the 1960s), but the theoretical bases and methodological approaches are still in the process of being defined (and not without controversy). The course, therefore, includes a number of readings in theory and methods. These will be combined with case studies on gendered representations in individual monuments and artworks, as well as investigations of gendered image-types (e.g. the Virgin Mary) or themes (e.g. violence and gender in images of martyrdom). While the main emphasis is on the interface of gender and religion, political, social, and ethnic identity will also be key to our analyses.

Material for the course is drawn from 1000 plus years and a vast geographical-cultural matrix, but it imperative to pay heed to historical specificity: gender constructs are not a fixed category, even within relatively circumscribed traditions. This means that readings in historical and religious context will also be an important part of the course work. While it is impossible to do justice to all nuances of historical context and, indeed, to the extensive literature in fields outside of art history, the goal is to come to terms with some of the key ways gender was articulated in different historical contexts from late antiquity to the late the middle-ages.  The ultimate aim is to have insights into how visual constructions of gender may have signified to different contemporary patrons and viewers: an image of the Virgin Mary produced and viewed by a family of middle class patrons in the catacombs in third century Rome may not be understood in the same terms as one designed by a learned spiritual advisor and intended for a 14th century French queen for her personal devotions.

     Classes are subdivided into 3 parts. The first is theoretical and methodological (what do we mean by gender in the late antiquity and the middle ages? how does it apply to images?) and is lead by the prof. The second consists in selected case studies on specific image-types and artworks also lead by the prof. The third part consists in selected case studies on specific image-types and artworks led by the students. See also “Course Schedule” and “Course Requirements and Assessment.”


LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Ø becoming familiar with theoretical and methodological approaches in the study of gendered representations from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Ø ability to successfully deploy theory and method in the analysis of gendered representations from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

Ø becoming familiar with a representative repertoire of gendered images produced from Christian Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages (c. 250-1400)

Ø ability to analyze and interpret the intended meaning and reception of gendered images produced in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages in their original historical context

Ø skills for the critical analysis of gendered representations generally

Ø ability to apply critical thinking and analysis generally

Ø ability to select and organize material to produce a coherent and cogent argument both orally and in writing- and to do so to so respecting deadlines

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
   
ParticipationActive participation is expected of all students, but the level or amount of your engagement is graded. Participating means coming to class having read the "Required Reading" (listed in the course schedule), prepared to ask and answer questions and to share any pertinent observations. Participation is especially important in the context of a seminar, as students are expected to be fully engaged. Remember too that the more you participate, the more interesting the class will be not only for you but also for everyone else (prof. included).10
Critical Review Due both in hard copy (brought to class) and electronically (send me copy via email) Length: 1000-1500 words The critical review focuses on a scholarly article intended to familiarize students not only with monument/s, artwork/s, or object types in more depth, but to come to terms with how scholars approach the evidence and its interpretation. Students will be given a have a choice of articles to review; students should consider publications that are relevant to their visual analysis, presentation and term paper (see below). You may, in fact, request the permission to focus on a different publication if it is more relevant to your other assignments presentation. **Critical Review Guidelines including publications to be reviewed, will be posted on Moodle in the first few weeks of the semester and discussed during the class after the mid-term exam, but please feel free read the guidelines and to set up an appointment with me to discuss your presentation any time before then. 10
Visual AnalysisDue both in hard copy (brought to class) and electronically (send me copy via email) Length: 1000-1500 words The visual analysis must focus on a single artwork or monument from c. 250 to c. 1450 that lends itself to a gendered reading. The choice is at your discretion and, in fact, part of the exercise is to find a viable and interesting work. But the visual analysis should ideally be integral or related to both your presentation and term paper and may be drawn directly or indirectly from the Critical Review. The paper must combine formal, iconographic and contextual readings. More specifically, given the course theme, the analysis of the visual construction of gender must be the main emphasis of the analysis. This means analyzing how the specific image re-presents gender, keeping in mind – of course- that gender is invariably articulated in combination with other visual constructs, of status, race, ethnicity, religious identity, etc. **Visual Analysis Guidelines will be posted on Moodle in the first few weeks of the semester and discussed during the class after the mid-term exam, but please feel free read the guidelines and to set up an appointment with me to discuss your presentation any time before then.10
PresentationStudent presentations will take place in last three or four sessions of the term. Each presentation consists of a 15-minute oral report to the class on one or more monuments or artworks. It is intended to develop your skills in research, observation, interpretation, evaluation and public speaking. Developing the ability to express yourself orally in a clear, concise and effective manner is as important as the content of the presentation (content without form undermines content itself...) The presentation must be accompanied by a power point presentation with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 slides. This also means that another key part of the exercise is image research: finding 5-10 images of monuments or art works that pertain to the topic of your presentation (they may be drawn from class lectures and, obviously, from the sources you consulted). The images inserted in the PPoint presentation must be labeled correctly (name/subject/ date and location/ patron if known, etc). Your PP presentation will be posted on Moodle so as to be available to whole class (images could show up on final exam!) In some cases, the topics are intended to focus in more depth on artworks or image-types already discussed in class. In other cases the topics are on artworks or image-types that we have not examined or have examined only very briefly and which warrant more attention. The key aim in every case is to provide 1. a general introduction to one or more monuments or art works 2. a gendered reading of the monument/s or art work/s In your presentation you are required to critically engage with at least two scholarly interpretations on your topic. One source must be selected from the Course Bibliography. The second (and or third, fourth, fifth...) source is at your discretion (but may also be selected from the Course Bibliography.) Again, please choose your topic carefully because, ideally, the presentation should be a research project leading to your Term paper, if not a synthesis of your Term Paper (see below). **Presentation Guidelines, including suggested topics will be posted on Moodle in the first few weeks of the semester and discussed during the class after the mid-term exam, but please feel free read the guidelines and to set up an appointment with me to discuss your presentation any time before then. 15
Term PaperThe term paper is intended to develop skills of independent research, ability to evaluate and interpret materials and their inherent interests, and capability for discussing these in a nuanced manner in writing. The paper must combine visual analysis, iconographic and historical research and contextual interpretation. In other words, it should be a formal essay that demonstrates the skills that you have developed and honed during the semester. The assignment consists in two parts 1. An abstract and an annotated bibliography - worth 15% of paper grade 2. The paper itself -worth 85% of paper grade The abstract must be c. 150 words. It is essentially a thesis statement, but it must mention what work/s you will be focusing on. The annotated bibliography must contain a minimum of 5 publications. Each must be summarized and its relevance to your paper explained (150 words per title). The Term Paper itself must be 4000-4500 words, exclusive of bibliography and images. The paper must include a complete bibliography of primary and secondary sources used and all references must be fully cited in the paper itself. Images must also be included. Generally speaking, it should build on the assignments due previously (the Critical Review, Visual Analysis and Presentation) and represent a culmination of those efforts. This also means that you should consider topic carefully already in choosing the Critical Review. **Paper guidelines with suggested topics, suggestions on how to write an annotated bibliography, and other specifications will be posted on Moodle in the first few weeks of the semester and discussed in class during the class after the mid-term exam, but please feel free read the guidelines and to set up an appointment with me to discuss your presentation any time before then.20
ExamsThe mid-term exam takes place during Class 12 for the duration of regular class time (75 minutes). It will cover material studied up to class 11. It consists in two parts: Part 1: 4 short-answer questions (10 minutes each; 15% each; 60% of exam total) on terms, definitions, methods, theories in the study of gender and their relevance to the late antique and medieval periods as analyzed in class and through readings. A week prior to the exam you will be given a list of 6-8 questions. Four of these will be on the exam. Part II: 2 comparisons: 10 minutes each (20% each; 40% of exam total). Both comparisons are intended to assess your knowledge of how images may be read as visual constructs of gender and how they function in individual images or monuments (e.g. the Wound of Christ in late Medieval illuminated mss.) This also means that in addition to identification (subject, date, location, viewing context, patron, media, as relevant or known), you must demonstrate in your answers your understanding of how gendered representations are effected and affected by religious, political, social and ethnic determinants, as relevant. It should go without saying that your answers must also demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches to the study and interpretation of gendered images. A week prior to the exam, a PPoint with a series of labeled images (c. 20) will be posted on Mooodle. Four of these will constitute the two comparisons. The final exam takes place during exam week (exact date, time and classroom TBA) and lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes. It consists in: -10 comparisons: 12 minutes each. A week prior to the exam, a PPoint with a series of labeled images (between 30 and 40) to be reviewed for the exam will be posted on Moodle. The final exam is structured to assess your knowledge of specific gendered visual constructs in individual images or monuments (e.g. the “Cappella Greca” in the catacomb of Priscilla) or image types (e.g. Adam and Eve at the Tree of knowledge) and your ability to critically interpret and assess their original (late antique, medieval) significance. Again, this means that in addition to identification (subject, date, location, viewing context, patron, media, as relevant or known) and you must demonstrate in your answers your understanding of how gendered representations are effected and affected by religious, political, social and ethnic determinants, as relevant. The final exam is cumulative, although with a greater emphasis on material studied from the mid-term exam onwards. It should go without saying that your answers must also demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and methodological approaches to the study and interpretation of gendered images examined before the mid-term. Review sheets will be posted a week prior to each exam. A brief review session is also scheduled for each exam (see Course Schedule)mid-term 15; final 20

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

All scheduled classes are mandatory. Roll will be taken at the beginning of each class (i.e. you must also be on time!) Lectures do more than simply complement required reading assignments so being absent inevitably results in extra work to catch up. Typically, missing 4 or more classes results in poor performance, if not a failing grade.

 

 

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

N.B. Suggested Readings are listed by author and date. You must consult Course Bibliography for full citations and locations.

1.

 

 

Introduction

Ø course aims and content

Ø course logistics: syllabus, course texts, assignments, etc.

2.

Required Reading: 

 

Suggested reading:

Gender 

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. An Encyclopedia (2006): Femininity and Masculinity, 284-7, Gender Ideologies, 308-312, and Gender in Art, 312-13 

 
Davis, W. (2003); Eliot, D. (2013); Franzen (1993); Kurmann-Schwarz, B. (2006); Lochrie, K. (2001); Lochrie, K. (2005a), Lochrie, K. (2005b); Partner (1993); Schultz, J. A. (2006); Scott, J.W (1986); Scott, J.W. (1999), Scott, J.W. (2010); Shepard, A. and Walker, G. (2008); Whittigton (2014)

3. 

Required Reading: 

 


 

Suggested reading:

Gender, cont. 

Caviness, M. (2010) “Feminisms, Gender Studies, and Medieval Studies” Diogenes 57/1: 30-45 

Lindquist, S. (2012) “Gender” in Rowe, N. ed. Medieval Art History Today- Critical Terms (Special Issue of Studies in Iconography), 113-130

 
See previous class

4.

Required Reading: 

 

Suggested reading:

Gender, cont.

Murray, J. (2010), “One Flesh, Two Sexes, Three Genders?” in Bitel, L. and Lifshitz, F. eds. Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives, 34- 51

See previous class

5. 

Required Reading:

 

  

Suggested reading:

Feminism 

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. An Encyclopedia (2006): Feminist Theories and Methodologies, 287-291

Dressler, R. (2007) "Continuing the Discourse: Feminist Scholarship and the Study of Medieval Visual Culture" Medieval Feminist Forum 43/1: 15-34. Project Muse

Easton, M. (2012); Lifschitz (2014)

6. 

Required Reading:  


Suggested reading:

Feminism, cont.

Borland, J. (2008) "The Immediacy of Objects: Reassessing the Contribution of Art History to Feminist Medieval Studies" Medieval Feminist Forum 44/2: 53-73

See previous class; and Williamson (2014)

7. 

Required Reading:

  
Suggested reading:

Masculinity 

Bullough, V. L. (1994) "On Being a Male in the Middle Ages" in Lees, C. A. ed. Medieval Masculinities: Regarding Men in the Middle Ages, 31-45 

Cohen, J.J.  (1996); Mills, R. (2004); Murray, J. (2004); McNamara (1994), Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. An Encyclopedia (2006): Femininity and Masculinity, 284-7 (reread/review notes from class 2)

8. 

Required Reading:  

Suggested reading: 

 Queering the Middle Ages 

Whittington, K. (2012) “Queer” Studies in Iconography 33: 155-168

Drake, G. N. (2008); Kruger (2009); Lochrie (1997); Lochrie, K. (2001); Lochrie, K. (2005a), Lochrie, K. (2005b); Whittington, K. (2014)

9. 

Required Reading:

  

Suggested reading:

Nudity and Sexuality 

Lindquist, S. (2012) “The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art. An Introduction” in ibid. ed. The Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art, 1-28

Camille (1997); Lewis, S. (2003); Lindquist (2014); Puff, H. (2013); Salih, S. (2014); Schultz, J. A. (2006); Smith, J.Z. (1966); Voaden, R. (2014); Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. An Encyclopedia (2006): Body in Literature and Religion, 79-82Ÿ Body in Art, 82-85, Sexuality: Extramarital Sex, 742-4; Sexuality: Female Same-Sex Relations, 745-8; Sexuality: Male Same-Sex Relations, 748-750; Sexuality: Regulation of Sexuality, 750-5; Sex in Marriage, 755-6; Chastity and Chaste Marriage,122-4; Virginity, 816-20

10. 

Required Reading: 

 
Suggested reading:

Nudity and Sexuality, cont.

Easton, M. (2008) “Was it Good for You Too? Medieval Erotic Art and its Audiences” Different Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art 1, 1-30

See previous class

11. 

Required Reading:

Suggested reading:

Nudity and Sexuality, cont.  

See previous class

See previous class 

**Review for mid-term exam**

12. 

 

MID-TERM EXAM  

13. 

 

 

 

 

LOOKING AHEAD and Strategezing Time and Resources: REVIEWING ASSIGNMENTS

Critical Review

Term Paper Abstract and Annotated Bibliography

Visual Analysis

Presentation

Term Paper

14.  

Required Reading:

 

   

 
Suggested reading:

 

Gendered visual constructs: Eve and Mary  

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe. An Encyclopedia (2006): Eve, 266-8, Mary, Virgin 537-42, Mary, Virgin in Art, 542-546, Virginity, 816-20Body in Literature and Religion, 79-82,  Body in Art, 82-5

Kraus, H. (1982), “Eve and Mary: Conflicting Images of Medieval Woman” in Broude, N.  and Garrard, M.D. eds., 79-99

Ambrose, K. (2000); Clark, A. L. (2002); Cohen, A.S. and Derbes, A. (2001); Corrington, G.P. (1989); Dockray-Miller, M. (2003); Ericksen, J. S. (2003); Gertsman, E. (2011); Katz, M. R. (2009); Lewis, S. (1980); Lindquist, S. (2012); Lindquist (2014); Miles, M. R. (1992); Neff, A. (1998); Reed, A. (2007); Salih, S. (2014); Sand, A. (2014); Salvadori (2009); Spitzer, L. (1994); Smith, J.Z. (1966); Warner, M. (1976)

15. 

Required Reading: 

 
Suggested reading:

 

Gendered visual constructs: Eve

Werckmeister, K. (1972), “The Lintel Fragment Representing Eve from Saint-Lazare, Autun” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 35: 1-30

Ambrose, K. (2000); Cohen, A.S. and Derbes, A. (2001); Dale, T. (2010); Dockray-Miller, M. (2003); Ericksen, J. S. (2003); Lindquist, S. (2012); Lindquist (2014); Pagels, E. (1989); Salvadori (2009); Smith, J.Z. (1966)

16. 

Required Reading:

   

Suggested reading:

Gendered visual constructs: Jesus 

Trexler, R. (1993), “Gendering Jesus Crucified” in Cassidy, B. ed. Iconography at the Crossroads: papers from the colloquium sponsored by the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University, 23-24 March 1990, 107-119 

Bromberg, S. (2008); Bynum, C.W. (1982); Derbes, A. (1996); DeVun, L. (2008); Freeman, J. (2012); Lifshitz, F.(2004); Mathews, T. (2001); Mills (2002); Muir, C.D. (2008); Schleif. C. (2012); Schleif, C. (2014); Smith, S. (1995); Steinberg, L. (1996); Thebaut, N. (2009); Voaden, R. (2014); Whittington, K. (2008); Whittington, K. (2015)

17.

Required Reading:

 


 
 Suggested reading:

Gendered visual constructs: Jesus, cont. 

Easton, M. (2006), The Wound of Christ, the Mouth of Hell: Appropriations and Inversions of Female Anatomy in the Later Middle Ages” in L’Engle, S. and Guest, G. eds. Tributes to Jonathan G. J. Alexander. The Making and Meaning of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, Art and Architecture, 395-409 

See previous class

18. 

Required Reading:

Suggested reading:

 

Gendered visual constructs: more nudity 

Ambrose, K. (2012), “Male Nudes and Embodied Spirituality in Romanesque Sculpture” in Lindquist, S. ed. Meanings of Nudity in Medieval Art, 65-83

Ambrose, K. (2000); Camille, M. (2001); Dale, T. (2010); Easton, M. (2012); Ericksen, J. S. (2003); Karkov, C. E. (2003); Mathews, K.R. (2003); Shalev-Eyni (2009)

19.

Required Reading: 
 


Suggested reading:

 

Gender Constructs: Christian Martyrs and Saints 

Easton, M. (2002), “Pain, Torture and Death in the Huntigton Library Legenda Aurea” in Riches, S. and Salih, S. eds. (2002) Gender and Holiness: Men, Women and Saints in Late Medieval Europe Routledge, 49-64

Ambrose, K. (2004); Anson, J. (1974); Carrasco, M.E. (1990); Carrasco, M.E. (1999); Drewer, L. (1993); Easton, M. (1994); Easton, M. (2009); Grayson, S. (2009); Hahn, C. (1998); Jirousek, C.S. (2001); Kao, W.C. (2011); Loconte, A. (2011); Mills, R. (2005); Muir, C.D. (2008); Newman B. (1998); Pearson, A.G. (2005); Riches, S. (2008); Rubin, M. (2013); Schleif, C. (2009); Sheingorn, P. (1993); Schulenburg, J.T. (2008); Smith, K.A. (2008); Wolfthal, D. (1993)

20. 

Required Reading:

Suggested reading:
  

Gender Constructs: Christian Martyrs and Saints, cont. 

See previous class

See previous class 

21. 

Required Reading:

Suggested reading:

 

Gender Constructs: the “Other”

Rhoades, G. (2010), “Decoding the Sheela-Na-Gig” Feminist Formations 22/2 (The Politics and Rhetorics of Embodiment), 167-194 

Bleeke, M. (2005); Bleeke, M. (2014); Bradbury, C.A. (2011); Camille, M. (2001); Mills, R. (2012); Freitag, B. (2004); Friedman, J.B. (1981); Kim, S.M. (2003); Riches, S. (2008)

22. 

Required Reading: 

 

Suggested reading: 

Gender Constructs: the “Other”, cont. 

Oswald, D. (2010) “Unnatural Women, Invisible Mothers: Monstrous Female Bodies in the Wonders of the EastDifferent Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art 2

See previous class

23. 

Required Reading: 

Suggested reading:

Gender Constructs: the “Other”, cont. 

See previous class

See previous class

 

24. 

 

Case Studies: crossing ts and dotting is

25. 

Student Presentations 1-4

 

26. 

 

Student Presentations 5-8

27. 

 

Student Presentations 9-12

 

28. 

 

Loose ends, Review for Final

 

 

Final Exam Week Apr. 30- May 4 (except Tues. May 1)

Final Exam

date, time and classroom TBA