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Medieval Studies Minor

Division of Humanities - Adm
Division of Humanities
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Required credits in this minor: 22 to 24
Medieval studies is an interdisciplinary major and minor in the humanities division, administered by the medieval studies faculty and the chair of the humanities division. The field of medieval studies includes primarily European literature and culture from roughly 500 to 1500 and provides an opportunity at the undergraduate level for students to think synthetically across disciplines. To contextualize the medieval period in the "West," the medieval studies curriculum encompasses topics in English, art history, history, French, math, philosophy, theatre, music, anthropology, German, and areas such as gender and religion with historical roots in ancient and classical periods and Byzantine cultures. Coursework in medieval studies enhances students' understanding of artistic and material relics of the Middle Ages such as manuscripts, cookery books, Gothic cathedrals, Crusader castles, and picturesque towns cramped within ancient walls. The period also saw many of the foundational choices that have, for good and ill, made the world what it is today. Many current challenges in the fields of “Western” law, human rights, attitudes toward power, authority, gender relations, and sexual mores derive from the ways in which these were viewed a millennium ago. Objectives Students explore implications and intersections of products of the medieval world across disciplinary, chronological, and geographical barriers. The medieval studies major prepares students for graduate study in many academic fields as well as internship and career opportunities from museum curating to education, law, and data analysis. In the core courses for the medieval studies major, students develop: • Familiarity with diverse methodologies and critical paradigms to analyze, interpret, and synthesize various types of evidence for the medieval period • Reading, writing skills, and critical thinking skills • Skills for reading medieval primary texts in their original language • Analytical skills in art history, history, and literature while studying how the past, including language, is not a fixed entity • Familiarity with range of medieval culture, language, and thought sufficiently broad to allow meaningful exploration of the human experience in the Middle Ages • Insight into the construction of belief, culture, and knowledge in the Middle Ages as reflective of personal and social contexts Study Abroad In light of today's increasingly interdependent world, the UMM medieval studies faculty fully endorses study abroad in combination with a Medieval Studies major or minor, as the most effective means by which to: • Improve language abilities • Gain firsthand access to medieval artifacts • Broaden academic horizons • Globalize one's world view of the medieval past’s role in the present • Expand career opportunities • Advance cross-cultural and problem-solving skills • Gain confidence in oneself personally and professionally Students interested in a foreign study experience may complete English 3163 in York, England, in May term. Other study abroad programs may be considered toward this degree program in consultation with the medieval studies faculty.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Students must complete a significant amount of coursework in medieval studies at UMM, but are also strongly encouraged to study abroad or on other campuses. In order to count study abroad toward the minor, all students must procure formal approval of coursework from the medieval studies steering committee prior to departure. Medieval studies is by nature interdisciplinary. Students are responsible for developing a coherent program from the elective choices available. Work with a medieval studies faculty member to see how a careful selection of your General Education courses can enhance your knowledge of the field. The medieval studies steering committee strongly recommends at least one year of study in another world language in addition to Latin. No grades below C- may count toward the medieval studies minor. Courses may not be taken S-N unless offered S-N only. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the minor to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of "F" are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.
Required Courses
Lat 1002 requires Lat 1001 as a prerequisite. One or both courses may be satisfied through a proctored proficiency exam or transfer credit.
LAT 1002 - Beginning Latin II [FL] (4.0 cr)
Take exactly 3 course(s) from the following:
· ARTH 1111 - Ancient to Medieval Art [FA] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3021 - Grammar and Language [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· FREN 3002 - Civilization and Composition: Tools for Studying the Medieval and Early Modern Periods [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· GER 3101 - Introduction to German Literature and Culture I [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 2103 - Medieval Europe [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· POL 3351 - Ancient and Medieval Political Thought [HUM] (4.0 cr)
Elective Courses
Courses used to meet the elective requirement are exclusive of any used to complete the required courses. No more than four credits of an x993 course (directed study) will be accepted toward the minor. Instructors of courses requiring prerequisites within a discipline may admit students who have taken a similar level course in a comparable discipline.
Take 8 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ARTH 1111 - Ancient to Medieval Art [FA] (4.0 cr)
· ARTH 2104 - Irish Art and Archaeology [FA] (4.0 cr)
· ARTH 3112 - Faith, Image, and Power: Art and the Byzantine Empire [FA] (4.0 cr)
· ARTH 3113 - Early Islamic Art and Culture [FA] (4.0 cr)
· ARTH 3132 - Castles and Cathedrals [FA] (4.0 cr)
· CMR 3101 - Rhetorical History and Theories: Pre-Socratic to Modern Periods [IP] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 2016 - Monsters and the Monstrous in English Literature [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 2033 - The Bible and Literature [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 2201 - Survey of British Literature to the 18th Century [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3021 - Grammar and Language [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3043 - Medieval Makings of Tolkien’s Worlds (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3161 - Medieval Literature (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3163 - Life in a Medieval City: Literature and Culture in York, 700-1500 [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 4004 - Research Seminar: Old English Literature and Language (4.0 cr)
· FREN 3002 - Civilization and Composition: Tools for Studying the Medieval and Early Modern Periods [HIST] (2.0 cr)
· FREN 3402 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Pre-Enlightenment Culture in France (2.0-4.0 cr)
· FREN 3406 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Emotional Extremes in Medieval and Early Modern Literature (4.0 cr)
· FREN 3407 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: The "East" and its Marvels (2.0-4.0 cr)
· FREN 3408 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Quests, Quails, and Custards--Food in Life and Literature (2.0-4.0 cr)
· FREN 3410 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Troubadours and Old Occitan: Creative Writing in the Middle Ages [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· GER 3601 - Studies in German Literature [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· GER 3702 - Martial Masculinities: Manhood and Aggression in German Literature and Culture [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· GER 4001 - German Civilization I: From the Stone Age to 1871 [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· GER 4101 - History of the German Language [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 1501 - Introduction to East Asian History: China, Japan, and Korea before 1800. [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 2103 - Medieval Europe [HIST] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 2704 - Gender, Women, and Sexuality in Medieval Europe [SS] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 3008 - The Making of the Islamic World [HDIV] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 3207 - The Crusades [IP] (4.0 cr)
· HUM 1002 - Norse Saga [HUM] (4.0 cr)
· IS 3215H - Honors: Sagas before the Fall: Culture, Climate, and Collapse in Medieval Iceland [ENVT] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3242H - Honors: Two Cosmological Poets: Dante and Lucretius [IP] (2.0 cr)
· IS 3248H - Honors: Art and History of the Crusades [FA] (2.0 cr)
· LAT 2001 - Intermediate Latin I [IP] (4.0 cr)
· POL 3351 - Ancient and Medieval Political Thought [HUM] (4.0 cr)
 
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LAT 1002 - Beginning Latin II (FL)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Continuation of 1001. prereq: 1001 or placement or instr consent
ARTH 1111 - Ancient to Medieval Art (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Survey of the major works of art of western Europe from its origins in the Paleolithic period through to the full development of the Gothic era. Includes the monuments of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome as well as those of the Early Christian and Romanesque periods. Also includes some treatment of non-Western traditions in this era.
ENGL 3021 - Grammar and Language (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of the English language. Historical development and current structure. Includes language variation and change, social history of language, phonology, syntax, semantics, development of English grammar, prescriptive versus descriptive grammar, and contemporary theories of grammar.
FREN 3002 - Civilization and Composition: Tools for Studying the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study Paris as the center of society, culture, religion, and literature from 1100-1300, while also refining the ability to write academic papers and engaging in academic discussions in French. Read primary texts about religion, mythology, and Classical epics that form the foundation of much of medieval French literature. prereq: 2002 or instr consent
GER 3101 - Introduction to German Literature and Culture I (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 2002 or #; may enroll concurrently with 3001
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduces German culture through a variety of texts and media (music, film, etc.) throughout all periods of German literature with the aim of building reading, writing, and listening skills. Ideally taken together with Ger 3001. prereq: 2002 or instr consent; may enroll concurrently with 3001
HIST 2103 - Medieval Europe (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Survey of historical developments in Europe from about 500 to 1500.
POL 3351 - Ancient and Medieval Political Thought (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
A survey of Western social and political thought from 5th century BCE through the 15th century. prereq: 1101 or instr consent
ARTH 1111 - Ancient to Medieval Art (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Survey of the major works of art of western Europe from its origins in the Paleolithic period through to the full development of the Gothic era. Includes the monuments of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome as well as those of the Early Christian and Romanesque periods. Also includes some treatment of non-Western traditions in this era.
ARTH 2104 - Irish Art and Archaeology (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Ireland looms large in our imaginations and remains a bucket list item for many. Yet, what is it exactly that one sees when one visits the emerald isle? This course introduces students to the rich artistic and architectural heritage of Ireland and the various historical, literary, social, political, and environmental forces that shaped it. prereq: any 1xxx ArtH course or soph status or instr consent
ARTH 3112 - Faith, Image, and Power: Art and the Byzantine Empire (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
How are the seemingly unrelated strands of faith and power combined to make art in the Byzantine Empire? This course explores this question through a chronological and socio-political treatment of Byzantine art and the various roles that it acquired. Examine political art, religious art, and the many ways in which they were combined. prereq: any 1xxx ArtH course or jr status or instr consent
ARTH 3113 - Early Islamic Art and Culture (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: any 1xxx ArtH course or jr status or #
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
An investigation of Islamic art and architecture in both the secular and religious realm. Examination of these works in the context of the cultures and historical periods that produced them. Begins with the birth of Islamic art and continues up until the Ayyubid dynasty (14th century). prereq: any 1xxx ArtH course or jr status or instr consent
ARTH 3132 - Castles and Cathedrals (FA)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
An investigation of the two major forms of architectural construction in the Middle Ages. Exploration of the development of the cathedral and castle as architectural forms and examination of the circumstances surrounding their evolution through the medieval period. Examples are drawn from continental Europe, the British Isles, and the Levant. prereq: any 1xxx ArtH course or instr consent
CMR 3101 - Rhetorical History and Theories: Pre-Socratic to Modern Periods (IP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Rhetoric from the classical theories of the older Sophists, Aristotle, and Cicero to the modern theories of Blair, Campbell, and Whately. prereq: 1101 or instr consent
ENGL 2016 - Monsters and the Monstrous in English Literature (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Monsters in literature reveal our fascination with the supernatural and the grotesque, with the unknown and the boundaries of what it means to be human. Explore how writers have imagined monsters and in what contexts, with examples from the Middle Ages to the present and from British and American literature and film.
ENGL 2033 - The Bible and Literature (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 1601 (or 1011) or equiv or declared English major
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Introduction to the role of the English Bible in the western literary tradition. Readings include key Biblical narratives, as well as English and American literary texts that are either deeply influenced by these stories or attempt to re-write them. prereq: 1601 (or 1011) or equiv or declared English major
ENGL 2201 - Survey of British Literature to the 18th Century (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Readings in English poetry, prose, and/or drama from the beginnings to the 18th century. Specific authors vary.
ENGL 3021 - Grammar and Language (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of the English language. Historical development and current structure. Includes language variation and change, social history of language, phonology, syntax, semantics, development of English grammar, prescriptive versus descriptive grammar, and contemporary theories of grammar.
ENGL 3043 - Medieval Makings of Tolkien’s Worlds
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Texts in Old and Middle English, as well as some Welsh, Old Irish, and Old Norse ones, are the basis for this course, framed by references and uses in the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, one of the most influential fantasy writers of the 20th century and a scholar of medieval literature. (Readings will be mostly medieval literature.) prereq: 2501, two from 2201, 2202, 2211, 2212
ENGL 3161 - Medieval Literature
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 2501 (or 1131), two from 2201, 2202, 2211, 2212
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Early and later medieval prose, poetry, and drama produced and/or widely read in England from about 700-1500. prereq: 2501 (or 1131), two from 2201, 2202, 2211, 2212
ENGL 3163 - Life in a Medieval City: Literature and Culture in York, 700-1500 (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Travel to York, England, to study the literature and history of the city from Anglo-Saxon times to the end of the Middle Ages. Focus on the role that York played as the second city of medieval England, emphasizing the diverse cultural influences on the city. Day trips to historically significant sites in the vicinity of York. prereq: 2501 (or 1131), two from 2201, 2202, 2211, 2212 or instr consent
ENGL 4004 - Research Seminar: Old English Literature and Language
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: two from 31xx-35xx, #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Prose and poetry of early medieval England (650-1100) in translation and in Old English (which is studied), with attention to material (manuscripts) and cultural contexts and to reception history. prereq: two from 31xx-35xx, instr consent
FREN 3002 - Civilization and Composition: Tools for Studying the Medieval and Early Modern Periods (HIST)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study Paris as the center of society, culture, religion, and literature from 1100-1300, while also refining the ability to write academic papers and engaging in academic discussions in French. Read primary texts about religion, mythology, and Classical epics that form the foundation of much of medieval French literature. prereq: 2002 or instr consent
FREN 3402 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Pre-Enlightenment Culture in France
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course traces the history of French culture in the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern Period; it examines the geography, language, and institutions of medieval and early modern France through literature. Meets Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) requirement in French major. prereq: (or coreq) 3002, 3011 or instr consent
FREN 3406 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Emotional Extremes in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Theories from cultural and religious studies, anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology combine to approach emotional expression in society and in literature. Readings: Durkheim, Freud, Laplanche, Bataille, Chretien's Lancelot, Partonopeus, Le Roman de Troie, troubadour lyric, Aucassin et Nicolette, Legenda Aurea, Saint Augustine, Ovid's Metamorphoses. Meets Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) requirement in French major. prereq: (or coreq) 3002, 3011
FREN 3407 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: The "East" and its Marvels
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
A Medieval French course introducing cultural and literary aspects of the Middle Ages through marvelous figures and manifestations of the medieval French interpretation of the "East," including attention to exotic forms of clothing and food in romance, crusades, bestiaries, and fabliaux. Students read medieval interpretations of adventure stories such as the Iliad and Aeneid. Meets Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) requirement in French major. prereq: (or coreq) 3002, 3011
FREN 3408 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Quests, Quails, and Custards--Food in Life and Literature
Credits: 2.0 -4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Spices, game, and chocolate trace the real and imagined movement of European people in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in literary and historical sources. Make authentic recipes and read authors, including Marco Polo, from many genres of literature. Meets Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) requirement in French major. prereq: (or coreq) 3002, 3011 or instr consent
FREN 3410 - Medieval and Early Modern Studies: Troubadours and Old Occitan: Creative Writing in the Middle Ages (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
The Troubadours considered Occitan, at the crossroads of French, Spanish, and Italian, the best vernacular for lyric poetry. Poetic innovation flourished at the courts from Auvergne to Catalonia. Learn the grammar of this medieval language as you translate lyric texts and compose and workshop parallel modern poems in a variety of forms. Non-French students and students below French 3xxx write and workshop their poems in English, and French students above French 2002 wanting to count the course for the MEMS elective in the major write and translate in French. Language of instruction is English. Meets Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) requirement in French major. prereq: completion of 1002, its equivalency, or above in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, or Greek or instr consent
GER 3601 - Studies in German Literature (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Selected readings in German reflecting modern literary trends. The course examines the cultural politics in the evolvement of the literature in the formerly divided Germany, using plays, novels, biography, and documentary reports. It deals with questions of literary theory, history, and socio-political structures. prereq: 3011
GER 3702 - Martial Masculinities: Manhood and Aggression in German Literature and Culture (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Summer
Examination of masculinity in German-speaking lands by exploring history, literature, film, and graphic art from a theoretical perspective with particular focus on patterns of representation that define and shape "manliness" from the medieval to the modern era.
GER 4001 - German Civilization I: From the Stone Age to 1871 (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
This course facilitates effective engagement with the history and culture of German-speaking countries and Europe throughout the 19th century. This is a lecture style course taught entirely in German to improve listening, speaking, and writing abilities as well as to prepare for a study abroad experience. prereq: 3333 or equiv
GER 4101 - History of the German Language (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 1001 or equiv
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
A linguistic history of the German language from its Proto-Indo-European roots to the present day. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the historical origins of modern structures, leading to a deeper understanding of Modern German. Taught in English. Some knowledge of German required.(German majors must turn in written work in German.) prereq: 1001 or equiv
HIST 1501 - Introduction to East Asian History: China, Japan, and Korea before 1800. (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Examination of the social, political, economic, technological, and cultural changes in East Asia before 1800. Possible sub-themes include the rise of the Confucian world order, the spread of Buddhism, and East Asian interactions with the outside world. Discussion of changing perceptions of gender.
HIST 2103 - Medieval Europe (HIST)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Survey of historical developments in Europe from about 500 to 1500.
HIST 2704 - Gender, Women, and Sexuality in Medieval Europe (SS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Analysis of the history of European women and gender systems as constructed during the Middle Ages (c. 500-1500).
HIST 3008 - The Making of the Islamic World (HDIV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Examines the origins, spread, and impact of Islamic civilization from the 6th through 15th centuries with particular emphasis upon political, religious, and intellectual developments.
HIST 3207 - The Crusades (IP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Explores the historical contexts and consequences of the European Crusades between the 11th century and early modern period, including the perspective of European Jews, Turkish and Arabic Muslims, and Byzantine and Near Eastern Christians.
HUM 1002 - Norse Saga (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Study of medieval sagas, in translation, from Iceland and Norway, and the culture that produced them.
IS 3215H - Honors: Sagas before the Fall: Culture, Climate, and Collapse in Medieval Iceland (ENVT)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Exploration of the literary and physical record of society in Viking-age Iceland from its settlement during the Medieval Warm Period, through centuries of environmental degradation and changing religion, to the onset of the Little Ice Age and the end of the Icelandic free state. prereq: participation in Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3242H - Honors: Two Cosmological Poets: Dante and Lucretius (IP)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Prerequisites: participation in the Honors Program or #
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Explore, compare, and contrast the cosmological poems "On the Nature of Things" (De Rerum Natura, DRN) of Titus Lucretius Carus (ca. 99-55 BCE) and "The Divine Comedy" (Commedia) of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321 CE). The two poets diverge on almost every aspect of cosmological outlook and notion of the moral life and right living. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
IS 3248H - Honors: Art and History of the Crusades (FA)
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
The Crusades mark a crucial turning point in the Christian West's interaction with the Holy Land that still has immense repercussions to this day. The focus of this co-taught honors course is the multi-layered intersections between the history of the Crusades and the "Western" kingdoms established in the eastern Mediterranean (c. 1099-1291 CE) and the art and architecture produced there. prereq: participation in the Honors Program or instr consent
LAT 2001 - Intermediate Latin I (IP)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: 1002 or #
Typically offered: Every Summer
Continued development of listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills; review of the fundamental elements of the Latin language. Emphasis on authentic cultural and literary texts appropriate to this level. prereq: 1002 or instr consent
POL 3351 - Ancient and Medieval Political Thought (HUM)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
A survey of Western social and political thought from 5th century BCE through the 15th century. prereq: 1101 or instr consent