This is the course page for Hist 3200. Below you will find
information relating to the content, structure, and organization of
the course, as well as some other relevant information. The tabs at
the top of the page list the mandatory and supplementary readings for
the course. Please note that this is a revised version of the syllabus.
Through research in primary sources for
law, government, economics and social organization, a detailed
examination of the institutions of life in Medieval Europe, plus a
review of major schools and analytic techniques in the recent
historiography of the subject. So the course calendar reads. In
practice we shall try to examine medieval institutions in a series of
thematic, overlapping blocks. Ideally, we shall come to see how these
institutions functioned in medieval society, how they were perceived
by the people of the time, and how the vectors of influence flowed in
Each class will consist of a lecture and tutorial period, which will
last (approximately) an hour and a half-hour respectively. The
tutorial period will be devoted primarily to the readings pertaining
to that class, though questions relating to the lecture may naturally
be raised as well. It should not be a surprise that your
participation in the discussion, or lack thereof, will correspond
directly to your participation grade; naturally, you are also expected
to have read carefully the assigned readings for that week.
All required readings are listed under the
; several of the readings will be available there as well in .pdf, while others may be downloaded from
The other readings must be purchased from the
York University bookstore, borrowed from a library, or acquired some other way:
- A 'Course Reader'
- Peter Abelard, Ethical Writings: Ethics and
Dialogue between a Philosopher, a Jew, and a Christian,
trans. P. V. Spade (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company,
- R. S. Lopez and I. W. Raymond, eds., Medieval Trade in the
Mediterranean World: Illustrative Documents Translated with
Introductions and Notes (New York: Columbia University Press,
- B. Tierney, ed., The Crisis of Church and State,
1050-1300, Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching 21 (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1988 )
Each student is expected to participate actively in the tutorial
discussions. Participants in the course are expected to read
all the required readings for each class
before the relevant tutorial discussions. My first
priority is to encourage everyone to be involved thoughtfully in the
discussions. Brilliance is not required, though neither is it discouraged.
In addition to the assigned readings for each class, there is also a
, which serve as the basis for the
course journal. Everyone is responsible for three over the
course of the semester; each one is worth 10% of the final grade,
with the lowest of the three discarded.
Each entry should summarize and
evaluate one of the supplementary readings. You should begin each
entry with a short summary of the main arguments in the chosen reading
as they bear on (or not) that week's primary readings, and follow this
with an evaluation of those arguments. You should provide your
reasoned views on the significance, strengths and weaknesses of the
ideas and arguments involved.
Be concise. The journal entries need be no longer than one or two
pages. Clarity, thoughtfulness, and minimal abuse of the language are
expected. Please submit these journal entries electronically
before the start of the class to which they pertain.
Finally, at least one journal entry must be submitted for in March.
(I believe it's important that you get a sense of how I wield a red
pen before the midterm strikes.)
Prepare a short essay (10–15
double-spaced pages) on any aspect of medieval institutions broadly
construed. This assignment must be typed, properly referenced, and
follow an accepted style guide. Consistency is more important than
following any one system (if in doubt, ask). As always, plagiarism
will result in serious consequences; be sure to familiarize yourself
with York University's policy
on academic honesty. Remember: at the very least,
citing your sources clearly and honestly will result in a better
Students must consult with
me regarding their proposed topic, either in person or by email. If
need be, I am happy to provide some initial ideas regarding a possible
paper topic; please email me if you would like some guidance.
The paper is due 5 May 2009
(by 4:30 pm if submitted electronically)
In the interests of equity, penalties (2% per day) will be assessed
for late submission of the final paper.
|Participation ||15 % ||Midterm ||10 % |
|Course Journal ||20 % ||Final
Exam ||20 %|
Paper ||35 % |
note that the actual edition of any of these books is relatively
unimportant for this class. You may be able to find used copies of
any of these texts at local bookstores or online. (I am a fan
of Bookfinder.com, for
instance.) If in doubt, please ask.