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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert C. Stacey
HSTAM 333
Seattle Campus

Late Middle Ages

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.

Class description

Students can expect to learn, first of all, that the official description for this course badly needs to be revised! The description presents the history of western Europe from c.1250-c.1550 as if this period were the worn-out, run-down leftover from the truly creative periods that came before it. Instead, this course will present the later middle ages as a creative, dynamic, and fundamentally transformative period in its own right. Special attention will be paid to Dante, the impact of war and plague upon the states of western Europe, changes in European social and religious life, and the coming of the Protestant Reformation.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion class, with readings from both late medieval and modern authors. Two films.

Recommended preparation

Some background in either medieval or early modern European history is strongly recommended, but not required. Ideally, students would have taken either HIST 112 or another 300-level class in medieval or early modern history prior to taking this class. If you do not have this background, then it would be a good idea to read through a basic western civilization textbook that covers the period from 1100 to 1600 before the beginning of spring quarter.

Class assignments and grading

Reading assignments will average about 75 pages per class session (two class sessions per week). Regular attendance at all class sessions is expected, as is a willingness to participate in class discussions.

Class participation (20%) and two 8-10 page essays (40% each). No mid-term or final examinations.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Robert C. Stacey
Date: 01/25/2006