Charity L. Urbanski
Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
The Supernatural and the Monstrous in the Middle Ages
This course will introduce history majors to the basic techniques of historical analysis. It will emphasize the assessment and use of source materials, and offer students the opportunity to plan, research, and write their own historical essays. This seminar will be organized around the theme of the supernatural and the monstrous in medieval Europe. We will explore tales of ghosts, Icelandic zombies, Old French werewolves, and monstrous races, among others. Our goals will be to assess how tales of the supernatural and monsters functioned, how people understood them, and what they can reveal about medieval society and patterns of thought.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Seminar course with intensive reading, writing, and discussion requirements.
Some background in medieval history will be useful, but it is not required. It is more important that you are interested in learning to analyze primary and secondary sources, prepared to attend every class meeting, and willing to devote an average of 5 hours a week outside of class to reading and preparing assignments.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments and grading will be outlined in the course syllabus, but our main assignment will be a 10-12 page research paper.