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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Robert C. Stacey
HSTAM 533
Seattle Campus

Medieval European Seminar

Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Latin.

Class description

For spring 2008, HSTAM 533 is being offered jointly with Comp Lit 596, and will be jointly taught by Robert Stacey and Miceal Vaughan. This seminar, on Oral and Scribal Texts, is also part of the Textual Studies Core Sequence. Our focus will be on the chronological stages in the production and transmission of written texts from the late antique period until the end of the 15th century, with a particular emphasis on texts from medieval England, in both Latin and English. It will examine a number of distinct features in the development of scribal handwriting (paleography), the construction of books (codicology), and the ways in which written texts may reflect and interact with elements of their writers' and readers' oral cultures. We will consider topics dealing with a range of books frmo the production of early monastic Insular manuscripts (such as the Lindisfarne Gospels) to vernacular literary collection such as the Auchinleck MS. With the increasing availability of facsimiles online, we will ahve access to a rich variety of texts for individual research and study.

Student learning goals

Identify and describe the principal scripts in which medieval English texts were written.

Analyze and describe medieval book manuscripts in order to understand the processes by which they were composed and assembled.

Understand and explain the complex relationships between oral and written traditions in the composition and transmission of medieval texts

General method of instruction

Weekly readings and discussion; instruction in paleography and codicology; in-class and out-of-class transcription exercises

Recommended preparation

At least one year of university-level Latin is strongly recommended.

Class assignments and grading

To be determined.

To be determined.


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: 01/28/2008