HTY 517: Seminar in Pre-modern European History

Instructor: Joel Anderson

Time: W 4-5:50pm

Location: Stevens Hall 310

Course Number: 23662 and 23663

Course Description: The Middle Ages are often considered an era of superstition, repression, and ignorance; an age of stagnation and injustice; a period best contemplated from a safe distance. As it turns out, however, the medieval millennium is not so easy to ignore.  This class will explore the many ways in which the Middle Ages “matter.”  We will retrace some of the “great matters” of medieval historiography, emphasizing medievalists’ responses and contributions to broad debates in the historical discipline.  We will also take up “The Matter of the North,” analyzing the unique cultures that developed on the northern edges of medieval Europe with help from scholarship on borderlands and frontiers.  Finally, the works and lives of major medieval historians of the previous generation will serve as an opportunity to explore the paradoxical ways in which medieval history mattered during the upheavals of the twentieth century.  A primary goal of this course will be for students to expand their potential teaching fields.  Throughout our investigations, we will foreground matters of pedagogy, historiography, and professionalization.  No previous knowledge of medieval history is expected or required.