Min

Medieval Studies

About

The Medieval Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program that offers students the opportunity to explore the development of medieval culture and society in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa from the fifth through the fifteenth centuries. Much of the modern world, from the political and economic to the arts, is rooted in (and better understood by) studying medieval society. Guided by personal interests, students can draw on courses from Classics, History, English, Fine Arts, Religious Studies, Modern Languages, and Philosophy to fulfill the Medieval Studies minor. “Our students tend to be very productive with very broad interests” says program coordinator George Dameron from the History Department. In fact, many students who declare a minor in Medieval Studies also major or double-major in an area such as History, Education, or Religious Studies.

Course Offerings

Required:

Choose one of the following:

HI 108 – Medieval World
HU 101 – Ancient and Medieval Civilization
And take:
RS 217 – Medieval Christianity
And:

Choose three courses from the list below from at least two different departments. Two of those three courses must be at the 300- or 400-level.

Classics
GR 101 – Elementary Greek
GR 201 – Intermediate Greek
LA 101 – Introduction to Latin
LA 211 – Intermediate Latin
LA 310 – Directed Readings in Latin Literature
(if focus is medieval)

English
EN 219 – British Literature I
EN 406 – Old English
EN 408 – Tolkien and Medievalism
EN 413 – Topics in Literature
(if focus is medieval)

Fine Arts
AH 251 – Ancient and Medieval Art
AH 280 – Culture and Society in Medieval Burgundy
AH 347 – Saints, Kings and Barbarians
AH 348 – Castles and Cathedrals: Art of the High Middle Ages
MU 222 – Medieval and Renaissance Music
TH 301 – Western Theatre History from Aeschylus to Zannis

History
HI 108 – Medieval World
HI 343 – Advanced Topics in Medieval History
HI 345 – The Black Death
HI 461 – Society and Culture in Medieval Italy
HI 463 – The Franciscans

Humanities
HU 101 – Ancient and Medieval Civilization
Modern Languages
FR 315 – Topics in French Culture
(if focus is medieval)

Philosophy
PH 309 – Author/Text – Ancient
PH 311 – History of Medieval Philosophy
PH 319 – Major Author/Text:Medieval Christian
PH 350 – Advanced Topics in Philosophy
(if focus is medieval)

Religious Studies
RS 217 – Medieval Christianity
RS 339 – Celtic Christianity
RS 340 – Saints and Holiness
RS 350 – Advanced Topics in Religious Studies
(if focus is medieval)

In Depth

The introductory course in History surveys the medieval history of Europe, Islam, and Byzantium from the fifth through the fifteenth century (from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the rise of the Ottoman Empire), and it emphasizes the study of primary sources. The Humanities introductory course takes a chronological yet interdisciplinary approach to the study of significant texts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages, emphasizing the Western tradition but not excluding the non-Western. Readings in this course may include Plato’s Virgil’s Aeneid, Saint Augustine’s Confessions, the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Lays of Marie de France, an Arthurian romance, and Dante’s Inferno.

The array of Religious Studies courses, introductory as well as upper level, acquaint the student with the origins and development of medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  The electives in other disciplines from which students may choose to fulfill the minor leave wide room for the student’s own particular interests. Choices may include courses in Greek and Latin, British and Old English literature, art history, the history of drama, philosophy, religious studies, and music. Students may choose to focus on one particular geographical area in particular, such as Spain, France, Italy, or Syria. An 18-day study-abroad course in Burgundy, France, is a popular choice for students in this minor.

Special Opportunities

Students may choose to take an 18-day academic study tour course in Burgundy, France. It emphasizes the historical, political, artistic, religious, literary, cultural, and social developments of medieval Burgundy. Based in Pontigny, a striking site from where Saint Michael’s College draws its roots, students travel to cities, abbeys, castles, cathedrals, museums, and archaeological sites. This counts as a full course and offers an optional applied language component. An additional academic study tour to Assisi, Italy is currently under development for the future.

Students may choose to complete their minor with a major research paper in a particular area of interest to them. They can do this within the format of a senior seminar of an existing major, such as History or English or Religious Studies. Student-faculty research grants in the summer are also available for Medieval Studies minors. For example, one summer a student worked with a faculty member to explore the vexed relations between Christians and Jews in the European Middle Ages.

Careers

The minor emphasizes critical and intensive thinking, writing, and speaking about primary sources that date from the medieval past. These are skills that translate well into any major profession, whether it is in diplomacy, law, academia, or business. Medieval Studies minors have gone into a variety of professions, including teaching, law, and public history. It has also helped provide a strong academic preparation for students who have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in a variety of subjects.

In Depth

The introductory course in History surveys the medieval history of Europe, Islam, and Byzantium from the fifth through the fifteenth century (from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the rise of the Ottoman Empire), and it emphasizes the study of primary sources. The Humanities introductory course takes a chronological yet interdisciplinary approach to the study of significant texts from Antiquity and the Middle Ages, emphasizing the Western tradition but not excluding the non-Western. Readings in this course may include Plato’s Virgil’s Aeneid, Saint Augustine’s Confessions, the Rule of Saint Benedict, the Lays of Marie de France, an Arthurian romance, and Dante’s Inferno.

The array of Religious Studies courses, introductory as well as upper level, acquaint the student with the origins and development of medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  The electives in other disciplines from which students may choose to fulfill the minor leave wide room for the student’s own particular interests. Choices may include courses in Greek and Latin, British and Old English literature, art history, the history of drama, philosophy, religious studies, and music. Students may choose to focus on one particular geographical area in particular, such as Spain, France, Italy, or Syria. An 18-day study-abroad course in Burgundy, France, is a popular choice for students in this minor.

Special Opportunities

Students may choose to take an 18-day academic study tour course in Burgundy, France. It emphasizes the historical, political, artistic, religious, literary, cultural, and social developments of medieval Burgundy. Based in Pontigny, a striking site from where Saint Michael’s College draws its roots, students travel to cities, abbeys, castles, cathedrals, museums, and archaeological sites. This counts as a full course and offers an optional applied language component. An additional academic study tour to Assisi, Italy is currently under development for the future.

Students may choose to complete their minor with a major research paper in a particular area of interest to them. They can do this within the format of a senior seminar of an existing major, such as History or English or Religious Studies. Student-faculty research grants in the summer are also available for Medieval Studies minors. For example, one summer a student worked with a faculty member to explore the vexed relations between Christians and Jews in the European Middle Ages.

Careers

The minor emphasizes critical and intensive thinking, writing, and speaking about primary sources that date from the medieval past. These are skills that translate well into any major profession, whether it is in diplomacy, law, academia, or business. Medieval Studies minors have gone into a variety of professions, including teaching, law, and public history. It has also helped provide a strong academic preparation for students who have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in a variety of subjects.