The Flowering of the Middle Ages

Course Description

HIST 4330 - The Flowering of the Middle Ages
Professors: Sally Vaughn
Description: Aspects of the Middle Ages from the perspectives of different disciplines such as history, English, French, Spanish, philosophy, music, art history, engineering, architecture, and law. The Flowering of the Middle Ages comprises a cross-disciplinary investigation of the period variously called The High Middle Ages, The Twelfth Century Renaissance, or The Medieval Renaissance--c. 1000-1300 AD. The course will be presented by some 15-20 different lecturers from a variety of disciplines, ranging through history, art history, architecture, drama, music, literature, technology, law, society, economics, and so on, with the goal of constructing a holistic, integrated view of the many and varied components of the Medieval Renaissance through lectures, readings, and “hands-on” experiences. The course is constructed for students at the senior level, with the expectation that students have mastered their core writing, analytical, intellectual and research skills; and have completed their Cultural Heritage requirements. The course is divided roughly into three parts: a paper is due at the end of each part.

Part I--Introduction and background to the Medieval Renaissance. These lectures will set the scene, considering the origins of and problems associated with the study of the Medieval Renaissance.

Part II--Medieval Thought and Culture--music, literature, drama, art, philosophy, society, etc. This group of lectures will explore the Medieval Renaissance mentalite’ and world view through artistic and literary expressions. Part II will also include “hands-on” experiences. Students will have a choice of three out of some six options, including musical performances, art museums, liturgy, and manuscripts. In the second paper, due at the end of Part II, students will assess these “hands-on” experiences in conjunction with their continuing reading and class lectures in this section. A list of these options will be attached to your returned First Paper.

Part III--Institutional developments--Church and State, law, technology, society, and the matured culture. These lectures focus on the products of the maturing or developed achievements of the Twelfth Century Renaissance--the more concrete evidence of its creative milieu, including institutions such as the hierarchical church and the bureaucratic state, systems of record-keeping, advancements in technology, and society and culture in its matured stages.

Prerequisites: ENGL 1304 and MATH 1310. Introduction to the cultures and histories of the peoples of the Americas. Cr. 3. (3-0).


The Flowering of the Middle Ages
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