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History Department

Medieval / Early Modern Studies

Minor, Interdisciplinary


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The medieval and early modern period (ca. 400-1800 C.E.) has been profoundly formative of the world we live in today. Study of this period, a time markedly different from our own, provides a crucial vantage point for understanding the present age. The medieval/early modern studies minor aims at introducing students to interdisciplinary developments in literature, religion, history, philosophy and culture. It explores such matters as: the determination of life’s meaning; the encounter with diverse civilizations; the pursuit (or evasion) of truth through reason, faith and experience; the unsettled confluence of three great world religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam); the relation among religion, arts and science; the origins of romantic love and humanism; the development of bourgeois society and urban centers out of feudalism and manorialism; the emergence of the great national literatures of Europe; and the shaping of the mythological foundations of the modern West.

Although the locus of study is clearly Europe, students may take courses in medieval China, Japan and Africa, which offer alternative perspectives on this time period and our own.

The minor requires a minimum of 16 credit hours (four courses).


College Catalog

For more information about courses for the History Department, visit the online, searchable College Catalog. In addition to the Undergraduate Catalog, information includes academic department and major information as well as academic regulations and resources; admission standards and requirements; and tuition, fees and financial aid information.