Introduction to the Middle Ages (3 CREDITS)
Term 1: MWF, 14:00-15:00 pm
Prof. Stephen Partridge, Department of English
Office: Buchanan Tower 410
This course introduces students to the Middle Ages as a subject and to the interdisciplinary nature of the study of the period. Through three units, students encounter a range of historical, literary, and artistic material from medieval Britain and Northern Europe: the Anglo-Saxons and their culture in context (449-1066); the Vikings and their influence (c. 800-1100); and Britain as one element of a cross-Channel Norman kingdom during the renascence of the twelfth century.
These thematic units expose students to a range of disciplines through which scholars approach the Middle Ages: history, literature, art, religion, music, material culture, and theory. In their assignments students will have opportunities to pursue specific topics and fields in greater depth.
In the course introducing the Middle Ages, students become familiar with the basic structure and nature of medieval society. This introduction prepares students for upper level courses in both the Medieval Studies Program (MDVL 310 and 490), and for disciplinary specific medieval courses within the wider Faculty of Arts. Primary texts and documents (translated into English) are read in conjunction with secondary literature of scholars so students learn to critically evaluate how scholarly arguments are constructed based on primary evidence. The final research paper allows students to explore in further depth an issue or topic that has engaged them during the course.