Charity L. Urbanski
Each seminar examines a different subject or problem. A quarterly list of the seminars and their instructors is available in the Department of History undergraduate advising office.
This course will examine politicized history writing in the Middle Ages. Themes to be explored include the political functions of dynastic histories; the use of history writing as a means of constructing legitimacy and identity; the invention of fabulous genealogies and mythical ancestors; the roles of visions, miracles, omens, and saintly ancestors in these histories; and the complex interactions between patrons and authors.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Analysis and discussion of primary and secondary sources.
Some background in medieval history will be helpful, but is not required. If you are unfamiliar with the period, I recommend reading a good, general textbook covering western Europe in the Middle Ages before the course begins.
Class assignments and grading
Weekly 1 page reaction papers; an annotated bibliography; a 2-3 page outline of the final paper; a 12-15 page rough draft of the final paper; and a 12-15 page final paper.
Active participation at all seminar meetings (including submission of weekly reaction papers) - 20% Annotated bibliography - 15% Outline of final paper (2-3 pages) - 15% Rough draft of the final paper (12-15 pages) - 20% Final Paper (12-15 pages) - 30%