Disintegration of the medieval order under the impact of the national state, the secularization of society, and the decline of the church. Movements of reform and revolution. The culture of late gothic Europe.
The official course description emphasizes decay and decline, but we will see that the Late Medieval period, despite disasters such as the Black Death and the Hundred Years War, was a time of impressive creativity and cultural achievement. In addition to learning the major events of the period, students will also get a sense of what life was like for people in the late Middle Ages.
Student learning goals
Basic knowledge of main events of the late middle ages and what life was like for the people who lived then
Understanding of the difficulty of defining differences between the medieval and early modern worlds, and of finding an end to the middle ages and a beginning for the renaissance
Understanding of modern perceptions of the middle ages and their sources
Increase in research skills and the ability to assess what information we can learn from primary sources
Students will create, through a collaborative class wiki, a website that will be useful to the world at large: see http://faculty.washington.edu/mkay/medievalmyths
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading