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.

Course Objective:
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 both directions.

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 "readings tab" ; several of the readings will be available there as well in .pdf, while others may be downloaded from JSTOR. The other readings must be purchased from the York University bookstore, borrowed from a library, or acquired some other way: 1

Tutorial Participation:
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.

Course Journal:
In addition to the assigned readings for each class, there is also a list of supplementary readings , 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.)

Term Paper:
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 grade.

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.

Grade Breakdown:
Participation 15 % Midterm 10 %
Course Journal 20 % Final Exam 20 %
Term Paper 35 %


1 Please 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, for instance.) If in doubt, please ask.