Robin C Stacey
Europe in the central Middle Ages: culture of cathedrals and universities, formation of national states, development of urban society.
A survey of western European history between 1000-1300 of the Common Era. Topics and themes include the relationship between church and state, and between religion and politics; the rise of the state; women and gender; the "persecuting society" and attitudes towards social and religious minorities; medieval court culture; the crusades over the course of two quarters. This is a W course.
Student learning goals
Students should acquire a reasonably detailed knowledge of the main political, social, cultural, and intellectual developments in medieval Europe between c. 1000-1300 C.E.
Learning how to read and analyze primary texts: reading between the lines and thinking about how historians account for personal bias (both their own and the author's) in making use of that evidence
Practice in developing good historical questions and in marshalling the sources that will allow one to answer them
Learning the various steps of writing a persuasive historical essay: how to organize an argument, how to support that argument from primary sources, how to integrate secondary historical literature into one's own argument, how to write introductions and conclusions, how to articulate transitions, how to outline
Learn to edit and comment on the work of others in workshop format
General method of instruction
I plan to lecture three days a week, use Fridays for slide lectures, movies, or exams, and use Thursdays for discussions of primary source readings. Discussion is an essential part of the course, and will count a significant percentage of the grade. Readings will be 100-150 pages a week, including textbook and primary sources. In addition to class meetings and discussions, students will be asked to write two papers and do a midterm and a final exam.
An entry level survey course in medieval history is recommended, but not required. The textbook will be Edward Peters, Europe and the Middle Ages, if students would like to get started on it (sections pertaining to the tenth through early fourteenth centuries only).
Class assignments and grading
In addition to class meetings and discussions, students will be asked twice during the term to write rough drafts of two short primary source papers (3-4 pages and 5-6 pages respectively). These rough drafts will then be commented on by their peers in an in-class writer's workshop, and students will thenuse those comments to produce a final graded draft of each paper. The second paper will require that students integrate a secondary book or article into their research and argument.
Discussion; two rough drafts, two final drafts; a final exam. The rough drafts are required, as is full participation in the in-class writer's workshops. However, these rough drafts will not be graded as long as they represent good-faith rough drafts.