Medieval Studies 490

MEDIEVAL STUDIES 490 Research Seminar in Medieval Studies

Although MDVL 490 is not offered in 2017W, there are two courses offered by other unites that fulfill the Medieval 490 requirement.

Please email the Medieval Studies advisor ( if you have enrolled in one of the following courses so that she can edit your program in Degree Navigator accordingly.

ARTH 432 001 Seminar in the Art of the Middle Ages (3 credits):The Holy City of Jerusalem: Desire and Conflict

Term 2:  Wed. 2:00-5:00 pm

Frederic Lasserre 211

Carol Knicely, Department of  Art History Visual Art & Theory
Office: Auditorium Annex 260
Phone: 604–822–6187

Today political control over Jerusalem and its holy sites is one of the most difficult sticking points for any accord that hopes to end the current Arab-Israeli conflict. Jews and Arab Palestinians each claim they have superior rights to the city while many Christians around the world would prefer some international arrangement that would insure respect for Jerusalem’s Christian holy sites as well. Moreover, historically, Jerusalem has been at the center of the development of concepts and practices of holy war that today are threatening to engulf our world in ever-wider hostilities. The aim of this seminar is to promote a better understanding of this deep-rooted conflict by exploring the sanctity and centrality of Jerusalem to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from Biblical times through the Middle Ages considering both the actual city and the city as metaphor for salvation. Special attention will be given to the era of the Crusades and the role of art and architecture as well as space, vision, pilgrimage and ritual as they have helped to construct, and often contest, meaning and memory of this site for diverse audiences.


HIST 490N 201 Seminar for Majors in History (3 credits):The Early Modern Mediterranean
Medieval Studies students should contact the instructor to register for this course.        

Term 2:  Fri. 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Prof. John Christopoulos
Department of History
Office: Buchanan Tower 1106
Phone: 604–822–5938

This seminar explores topics and debates in late medieval and early modern Mediterranean history, 1450-1750. Historically and in current affairs, the Mediterranean is often portrayed as a ‘borderland’ or ‘frontier’ separating vastly different cultures and peoples: the Christian and Muslim worlds; Europe, Asia and Africa. Historians, however, have shown that the Mediterranean has been a space of constant entanglement and exchange, a “liquid continent” where societies and cultures met, overlapped and co-existed, sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently, since ancient times. In the early modern period, the cultural, religious, linguistic and even physical borders between Mediterranean societies were permeable and ill-defined: many people participated in several cultures and religions over the course of their lives, and thus embodied complex identities. Through a range of secondary and primary sources, we explore the thoughts, beliefs, conditions of existence and life experiences of the women and men who crossed the Sea and lived on its shores.  Our focus is on the movement, both voluntary and forced, of individuals across the Mediterranean world, and the encounters and entanglements these produced. We also consider questions of scale and perspective. Should the Mediterranean be studied as a coherent unit or be studied in parts? How do our understandings of the Mediterranean as a site of historical analysis change when examined from national, religious, gender, and linguistic perspectives, or when approached from the Sea’s eastern, western, northern or southern shores? How does our image change when we move from a macro to a micro-historical perspective?