HN202-01S | Spring 2022
01S TTH 9:25-10:40; Humanities Center, 232
01S Enrichment Hour TH 11-11:50; Humanities Center, 338
Plenary Seminar 3-3:50pm; Thea Bowman Hall, 230
Dr. Jeffrey C. Witt | jcwitt [at] loyola [dot] edu | ext. 2947
Philosophy Department 050M
Office Hours: T: 12:00pm-2pm, Th: 12:00pm-2:00pm, F: 1pm-3pm
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)
The Green Knight, ed. by J.R.R. Tolkien (GK), (William Morrow, 2021)
Dante, Purgatorio (P), trans. Robert Durling (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)
Class involvement means, first of all, coming to class. Secondly, it means coming to class prepared. This primarily means both having read the assigned text and having the day's reading out and ready to be marked. Thirdly, it means being an active participant in the classroom.
Class Notes Discussion (10%): To encourage you in the above three areas, we will collaboratively prepare for class using a common set of class notes, with reading/discussion notes. Student will be expected to read and interact with the class notes using the Hypothesis Annotation Tool.
A participatory grade is meant to motivate the goal of active engagement. Thus genuine and sincere engagement, rather meeting a certain threshold or quota is the goal. Those who engage in a sincere way will generally automatically find themselves fulfilling the requirements of participation. What if follows is a general rubric to help clarify expectations.
Exceeds expectations (100). The student goes beyond the minimum and is an asset to the class discussion in ways that are often difficult to quantify. In addition to posting, the student is adding links, responding to others, and asking clarifying questions. During our in person class the student will also be prepared and willing to provide summaries of class notes and previous asynchronous discussions.
Meets expectations (90) student posts around 2 posts or replies totalling around 200 words per class; during class the student will also be prepared and willing to provide summaries of class notes and previous asynchronous discussions.
Check Minus (80) Approaches expectations: student occasionally posts, perhaps just once per class; comments are short, rote, showing a lack of genuine engagement with material and peers.
Because I know everyone has busy weeks, I'll drop your lowest 6 days (out of around 26 possible contributing days).
Weekly Quizzes (5%): To give you just a little push to keep up with the readings, class attendance and plenary lectures, we will have short reading quizzes on Tuesdays which are to be completed on Moodle prior to our Tuesday class. Quizzes may include content from the previous weeks reading, lectures, plenaries, or the upcoming Tuesday class reading. Because I know everyone has busy weeks, I'll drop your lowest 2 quizzes.
Reading Guide (2.5%): In groups of 3, students will take turns preparing the "reading guide" for 5 strategic readings: Beowulf, Knight of the Cart, the Green Knight, and Purgatory 1-15 and 16-33
Paper 1 (20%) (5-6 pages)
Paper 2 (20%) (5-6 pages)
Mid Term Exam (20%)
Final Exam (22.5%)
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).
Remember that while you have five teachers, I have more than 70 students. Thus, while I'm eager to connect with you, I can do this best by enforcing a few procedures.
For questions about the course, both content and procedure questions, please use our moodle help discussion board. Using this system will help ensure that I see and respond to your email. It will additionally ensure that others who have similar questions can also receive an answer. So, if you send me a direct email about course content and procedure, I will politely ask you to ask it again via our moodle "help" discussion board and I will be eager and glad to respond.
For other issues, I will be glad to discuss these with you. But I would ask that you use our office hours booking service and reserve a time slot to discuss it with me. We can generally always communicate better when we speak in person and this is an opportunity for me to get to know you better. This also helps me manage my time and provide you with the best response I can. So again, if you send me a direct email, I'll will be glad to discuss it with you, but I will often direct you to the booking system so that we can schedule a chance to talk about the issue.
**This is a tentative schedule, subject to revision depending on our progress and extenuating circumstances**
Tue Jan 18 (Class 1) -
Thu Jan 20 (Class 2) - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 2, pp. 40-73; SHMA, Chapter 1 (first half), pp. 1-24
Tue Jan 25 (Class 3) - Augustine, City of God (COG), Book 19, pp. 669-709.
Thu Jan 27 (Class 4) - "Introduction to the Rule of St. Benedict" (RSB); Rule of St. Benedict (RSB); SHMA, Chapter 1 (second half), pp. 24-37.
Tue Feb 1 (Class 5) - 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 Feb 3 (Class 6) - "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 8 (Class 7) - Malise Ruthven, Islam in the World, "Muhammad the Model," pp. 26-79 (Moodle).
Thu Feb 10 (Class 8) - "Muhammad's words in the Hadith: Al-bukhari, On Fasting," pp. 147-151 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 3, pp. 81-111.
Tue Feb 15 (Class 9) - 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 17 (Class 10) - 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 22 (Class 11) - 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 24 (Class 12) - The First Crusade (TFC), Part III.1-6, "Peter the Hermit and the 'Crusade of the People'," pp. 102-150.
Tue Mar 01 (Class 13) - Review day (Paper 1 Due).
Thu Mar 03 (Class 14) - Midterm Exam
Tue Mar 8 - Spring Break
Thu Mar 10 - Spring Break
Tue Mar 15 (Class 15) - Anglo Saxon History; Beowulf Background; Make progress on Beowulf reading for Thursday
Thu Mar 17 (Class 16) - Beowulf (B), "Introduction" and Text; Beowulf (B), pp. 3-78
Tue Mar 22 (Class 17) - Court life in the 12th Century; Chretien de Troyes Background; Make progress on Chretien de Troyes reading for Thursday
Thu Mar 24 (Class 18) - Chretien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances (AR), "The Knight of the Cart" (AR), pp. 207-294. .
Tue Mar 29 (Class 19) - Scholasticism, Universities and the 13th Century; Make progress on Green Knight reading for Thursday
Thu Mar 31 (Class 20) - The Green Knight
Tue April 05 (Class 21) - Introduction to Dante's Purgatory; Aristotle's Ethics in the Christian Context; Dante, Inferno, Canto 1-2 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 7 (second half), pp. 282-300.
Thu April 07 (Class 22) - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 1-15;
Tue Apr 12 (Class 23) - Dante, Purgatorio (P), Cantos 15-33.
Thu Apr 14 (Class 24) - No Class; Easter
Tue Apr 19 (Class 25) - John Kelly, The Great Mortality, c. 3, pp. 53-77 (Moodle) SHMA, Chapter 8 (first half), pp. 301-323.
Thu Apr 21 (Class 26) - Julian of Norwich, Showings (S), Revelation XIV, pp. 248-304.
Tue Apr 26 (Class 27) - Dr. Fourni Guest Lecture Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (CT), "The Pardoner’s Tale," pp. 329-341 (Moodle).
Thu Apr 28 (Class 28) - Chaucer, Canterbury Tales (CT), "Prioress's Tale", p. 354-360 (Moodle); SHMA, Chapter 8 (second half), pp. 323-343.
Tue May 3 (Class 29) - Review Day (Paper 2 Due)
Tue May 10, 1pm Final Exam