History | Colloquium-Med European History
H610 | 3140 | Shopkow


A portion of the above section reserved for majors

Topic:  Ethnicity and Identity in the Middle Ages

In many other fields of history, scholars have been exploring the
creation and meaning of ethnicity. Medievalists have come to this
topic more recently, but in the past twenty years, a number of
scholars have been examining the question of ethnicity in the Middle
Ages. We will be examining this question from two perspectives. The
first is the creation of ethnicity in the early Middle Ages--"The
Barbarian West," and we will be reading a number of products of
the "ethnogenesis" school, such as Wolfram, Pohl, and Amory.
However, we will also consider how ethnic identities were generated,
thought about, and maintained in the high Middle Ages, as states
came to absorb peoples of various languages and customs and as
individuals from one linguistic or cultural group came in contact
with those from others (for instance, the English and Welsh on their
frontier or the Germans and Slavs).  What did it mean to be "French"
or "English" or "German" or "Welsh"?

Class participants will take turns leading class discussions of the
week's readings. Each participant will create and present a
bibliographic essay on a particular problem of ethnicity or ethnic
group.