HN202-02S | Spring 2019
TTH 9:25-10:40, Humanities Center, Room 232
Enrichment Hour 2-2:50, 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: Tue 11-3pm, Thu 1-3pm, 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 two reflection questions. 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. The Students of this University understand that having 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 minds demonstrate respect for themselves and the community in which they study. All outside resources or information should be clearly acknowledged. If there is any doubt or question regarding the use and documentation of outside sources for academic assignments, your instructor should be consulted. Any violations of the Honor Code will be handled by the Honor Council."
See the honor code for further information. http://www.loyola.edu/academic/honorcode.aspx.
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 15 - "Introduction" to City of God, ix-lvii (Moodle).
Thu Jan 17 - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 2, pp. 40-73; SHMA, Chapter 1 (first half), pp. 1-24.
Tue Jan 22 - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 19, pp. 669-709.
Thu Jan 24 - "Introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict" (RSB); Rule of St. Benedict (RSB); SHMA, Chapter 1 (second half), pp. 24-37.
Tue Jan 29 - 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 31 - "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 05 - Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, "Muhammad the Model," pp. 26-79 (Moodle).
Thu Feb 07 - "Muhammad's words in the Hadith: Al-bukhari, On Fasting", pp. 147-151 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 81-111.
Tue Feb 12 - 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 14 - 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 19 - 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 21 - The First Crusade (TFC), Part III.1-6, "Peter the Hermit and the 'Crusade of the People'," pp. 102-150.
Mon Feb 28 - Paper 1 Due.
Tue Feb 26 - Review day.
Thu Feb 28 - Exam 1.
Tue Mar 05 - Spring Break
Thu Mar 07 - Spring Break
Tue Mar 12 - Beowulf (B), "Introduction" and Text, pp. 3-40.
Thu Mar 14 - Beowulf (B), pp. 41-78.
Tue Mar 19 - 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 21 - Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), "The Knight of the Cart" (AR), pp. 251-294.
Tue Mar 26 - Richard Southern, "Old Institutions, New Needs" in Scholastic Humanism and the Unification of Europe: Foundations, pp. 198-205 (Moodle); 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 28 - Aquinas, Treatise on Happiness, Questions 1 and 5 (Moodle); Dante, De Monarchia III.16, pp.91-94 (Moodle).
Tue Apr 02 -- Dante, Inferno, Canto 1 (Moodle); Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 1-10; SHMA, Chapter 7 (second half), pp. 282-300.
Thu Apr 04 - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 11-20.
Tue Apr 09 - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 21-33.
Thu Apr 11 - SHMA, Chapter 8 (first half), pp. 301-323.
Tue Apr 16 - Julian of Norwich, Showings (S), Revelation XIV, pp. 248-304.
Wed April 18 - Paper 2 Due.
Thu Apr 18 - Easter [no classes].
Tue Apr 23 - Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (CT), "The Pardoner’s Tale," pp. 329-341 (Moodle) and "The Prioress’s Tale," pp. 354-359 (Moodle).
Thu Apr 25 - SHMA, Chapter 8 (second half), pp. 323-343; review day.
Final Exam - Sat May 4, 9:00am.