Medieval Studies Department

Medieval Studies gives you an opportunity to focus your studies—art, history, languages, literature, philosophy—of one of the most fascinating and important historical epochs. The program provides an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for a nuanced and deep understanding of the roots of contemporary culture and modern problems—such as capitalist economies, theories of just war and pacifism, ideas on marriage and sexuality, law, the nuclear family, religious tolerance and intolerance, conquest and colonialization, immigration, ethnic identities, and the separation of church and state. Students will learn about and appreciate the beauties of medieval culture for its own sake, such as troubadour literature, medieval music, manuscript painting, Gothic art and architecture, Arthuriuan romance, and Chaucer.

Degree offered: minor

Each year, the program features a lecture by a distinguished scholar of the European Middle Ages.
Example include:

  • Richard Gyug (History, Fordham University) on the history of pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago,
  • Paul Hyams (History, Cornell University) on feud and vendetta in medieval English law and society
  • Mary Elizabeth Perry (History, Occidental College) on Muslim women in late medieval and early modern Spain
  • Joan Mueller (Theology, Creighton University) on Clare of Assisi and the privileges of poverty among nuns
  • Martin Foys (Art History, Hood College) on print and digital media, and early medieval expression in the Bayeux embroidery