HN202-01S | Spring 2020
TTH 9:25-10:40, Humanities Center, Room 232
Enrichment Hour 1-1:50, Humanities Center, Room 232
Plenary Seminar 3-3:50pm, Flannery O'Connor Hall, Room 230
Dr. Jeffrey C. Witt | jcwitt [at] loyola [dot] edu | ext. 2947
Philosophy Department 050M
Office Hours: T/TH 3pm-5pm, Fr 11am-1pm, and by appointment
This seminar course will examine the period of history spanning from 400 to 1500 C.E., often referred to as the Middle Ages. We will examine this period from multiple dimensions, looking at the historical development of social ideas, theology, philosophy, and literature. As we will see, it is an extremely diverse period, and the seminar format will provide us with significant time to reflect and debate the ways in which this period does and does not represent a unified whole. Further, in keeping with our Messina theme, "Self and Other," this course will consider the ways different thinkers, writers, and political actors have thought about the individual and the pursuit of happiness in the context of society and the outsider. Finally, the course aims to provide space to reflect on the ways in which the Middle Ages influence and challenge our own assumptions about ourselves and our place in society.
Course Learning Aims and Expected Outcomes
Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of principle actors, historical developments, and foundational texts from the period 400-1500 C.E.
Students will be able to examine and articulate connections between developments in medieval history, literature, philosophy, and theology.
Students will be able to converse cogently about the Middle Ages as an idea and as a historical reality.
Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages (SHMA), 5th ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)
Augustine, The City of God (COG), trans. Marcus Dods (New York: The Modern Library, 1993)
Rule of St. Benedict (RSB) (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1982)
Two Lives of Charlemagne (TLC), trans. David Ganz (New York: Penguin, 2008)
The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres and Other Source Material (TFC), ed. Edward Peeters (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)
Beowulf (B), trans. Seamus Heaney (New York: W. W. Norton, 2002)
Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), trans. William Kibler (New York: Penguin, 2004)
Julian of Norwich, Showings (S), ed. Edmund Colledge and James Walsh (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1977)
Dante, Purgatorio (P), trans. Robert Durling (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
In-class Participation (5%): In-class involvement is a small part of your grade that typically makes a big difference. Class involvement means, first of all, coming to class. Secondly, it means coming to class prepared. This primarily means having both read the assigned text and prepared yourself to engage in discussion. To facilitate this preparation, we will have a discussion board for each assigned reading along with guided reading questions. I encourage you to post short responses and/or comments to the discussion board as you prepare the reading. A good rule of thumb is to be contributing something to the discussion board at least once a week. Participation on the discussion board will count positively toward your participation grade. Thirdly, strong participation means being an active participant in the classroom. It means speaking up and offering your thoughts and reflections. Again, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you are contributing to the class discussion at least once a week. It also means being respectful and considerate of the other voices around the table.
Reading Questions and Discussion Board (5%): At the beginning of the course, you will be assigned responsibility for two class readings. For those texts to which you’ve been assigned, you are responsible for preparing a short summary and guided reading questions for the rest of the class. The goal of these questions is to identify core questions that emerge while reading the text. These questions should not only help guide the reader through the text, but also expose core issues, tensions, or problems that can guide our class discussion. Your questions should include at least five questions that aim to guide the reader through the content of the reading, and at least one reflection question. For those texts to which you have been assigned, I ask that you submit them to the class discussion board 24 hours prior to our scheduled class discussion.
Reading Quizzes (5%): To help push you and hold you accountable for the readings and plenary lectures, we will have small unannounced reading quizzes throughout the semester. Quizzes cannot be made up, but because I know different things come up throughout the semester, I will drop your lowest two quizzes.
Paper 1 (20%) (4 pages)
Paper 2 (20%) (4 pages)
Mid Term Exam (20%)
Final Exam (25%)
Final Grade Distribution
93% A, 90% A-, 88% B+, 83% B, 80 B-, 78% C+, 73% C, 70% C-, 68% D+, 60% D
Honor Code and Plagiarism: Students are expected to follow the university's honor code: "The Honor Code states that all students of the Loyola community have been equally entrusted by their peers to conduct themselves honestly on all academic assignments. Our goal is to foster a trusting atmosphere that is ideal for learning. In order to achieve this goal, every student must be actively committed to this pursuit and its responsibilities, and is therefore called to be active in the governing of the community’s standards. Thus, all students have the right, as well as the duty, to expect honest work from their colleagues. From this, we students will benefit and learn from the caring relationships that our community trustfully embodies. The students of this University understand that accepting collective and individual responsibility for the ethical welfare of their peers exemplifies a commitment to the community. Students who submit materials that are the products of their own mind demonstrate respect for themselves and the community in which they study. These students possess a strong sense of honor, reverence for truth, and a commitment to Jesuit education. Accordingly, students found violating the Honor Code will be reprimanded appropriately in the belief that they will, with the support of their peers, learn from the mistake. This Code not only requires students to understand the ideals of truth and personal care as the two strongest educational factors expressed in cura personalis, but also calls them to demonstrate a general concern for the welfare of their colleagues and for the University." See the honor code for further information. https://www.loyola.edu/academics/honor-code.
Title IX Loyola University Maryland is committed to a learning and working environment free from sexual and gender-based misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual verbal abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual exploitation. Reports of such offenses are taken seriously, and Loyola encourages students experiencing sexual misconduct to report the incident in accordance with the University’s policy on Reporting Misconduct (PDF) (pages 36-37). Loyola is also committed to an environment free of other forms of harassment and discrimination. For information about policies and reporting resources, please visit harassment and discrimination policy (PDF).
Computer, Cell Phones and Email Policy
I ask you not to use your computers or cell phones in this class (unless otherwise instructed). They are almost always a distraction: if not to you, then to me and to others. (If there is a special reason that you need a computer please let me know, and we can most likely work something out.) Students using cell phones in any capacity will find their participation grade negatively affected. If you find this policy frustrating, then I encourage you to watch the Frontline documentary: Digital Nation http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/view/?utm_campaign=viewpage&utm_medium=grid&utm_source=grid .
Papers will not be accepted via email. Please print out hard copies and turn them in on the assigned due date. If, for some reason, this is not possible, a hard copy in my mailbox is the next best option. Email is useful for setting up appointments or informing me about emergencies, but, about most other things, I prefer to meet with you face to face. This is what office hours are for. Do not be scared; I am nice! If my office hours conflict with your schedule, I will be glad to work with you to find a time that does fit.
**This is a tentative schedule, subject to revision depending on our progress and extenuating circumstances**
Tue Jan 14 - "Introduction" to City of God, ix-lvii (Moodle).
Thu Jan 16 - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 2, pp. 40-73; SHMA, Chapter 1 (first half), pp. 1-24.
Tue Jan 21 - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 19, pp. 669-709.
Thu Jan 23 - "Introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict" (RSB); Rule of St. Benedict (RSB); SHMA, Chapter 1 (second half), pp. 24-37.
Tue Jan 28 - Isabelle Cochelin, "When the Monks were the Book" in The Medieval Bible as a Way of Life ed. Susan Boyton and Diane Reilly, pp. 61-83 (Moodle); Joseph Lynch, "Monastic Life: The Twelfth Century" in The Medieval Church: A Brief History, pp. 197-215 (Moodle).
Thu Jan 30 - "The Siege of Constantinople: Easter Chronicle", pp. 55-59 (Moodle); "The Quinisext Council", pp. 60-62 (Moodle); "The iconoclastic argument: The Synod of 754", pp. 62-66 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 2, 41-80.
Tue Feb 04 - Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, "Muhammad the Model," pp. 26-79 (Moodle).
Thu Feb 06 - "Muhammad's words in the Hadith: Al-bukhari, On Fasting," pp. 147-151 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 81-111.
Tue Feb 11 - The Life of Charlemagne (TLC), "General Introduction," pp. ix-xx and “Introduction,” pp. 3-13; Einhard, The Life of Charlemagne (TLC), pp. 15-44.
Thu Feb 13 - The First Crusade (TFC), "Introduction," pp. 1-24 and Part I, "Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont," pp. 25-46; SHMA, Chapter 4, pp. 113-151.
Tue Feb 18 - The First Crusade (TFC), Part II, "The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres, Book I," pp. 47-101; SHMA, Chapter 5 (first half), pp. 161-184.
Thu Feb 20 - The First Crusade (TFC), Part III.1-6, "Peter the Hermit and the 'Crusade of the People'," pp. 102-150.
Tue Feb 25 - Review day. (Paper 1 Due).
Thu Feb 27 - Exam 1.
Tue Mar 03 - Spring Break
Thu Mar 05 - Spring Break
Tue Mar 10 - Beowulf (B), "Introduction" and Text, pp. 3-40.
Thu Mar 12 - Beowulf (B), pp. 41-78.
Tue Mar 17 - Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), "Introduction," pp. 1-22 and "The Knight of the Cart," pp. 207-250; SHMA, Chapter 6, pp. 207-232.
Thu Mar 19 - Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), "The Knight of the Cart" (AR), pp. 251-294.
Tue Mar 24 - Richard Southern, "The Tradition of Thought" in The Making of the Middle Ages, pp. 170-218 (Moodle); Philipp Rosemann, "From Story to System" in Peter Lombard, 8-33 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 5 (second half) 188-203; SHMA, Chapter 7 (first half), pp. 251-282.
Thu Mar 26 - Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness, Questions 1 and 5 (Moodle); Dante, De Monarchia III.16, pp. 91-94 (Moodle).
Tue March 31 - Dante, Inferno, Canto 1 (Moodle); Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 1-10; SHMA, Chapter 7 (second half), pp. 282-300.
Thu Apr 02 - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 11-20.
Tue Apr 07 - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 21-33.
Thu Apr 09 - Easter
Tue Apr 14 - SHMA, Chapter 8 (first half), pp. 301-323.
Thu Apr 16 - Julian of Norwich, Showings (S), Revelation XIV, pp. 248-304.
Tue Apr 21 - Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (CT), "The Pardoner’s Tale," pp. 329-341 (Moodle).
Thu Apr 23 - Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (CT); SHMA, Chapter 8 (second half), pp. 323-343;
Tue Apr 28 - review day. (Paper 2 Due)
Final Exam - Thu May 5, 1:00pm.