History | The High and Later Middle Ages in Western Europe
B352 | 26658 | Shopkow
A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class carries Culture Studies credit
Above class open to undergraduates and Education MA’s only
When this course begins, about 1100, western European society had
just discovered the world outside its borders, which contained
competitors that were certainly its economic and cultural equals,
and in some ways were more developed. Contacts with this world were
carried out alternately through peaceful means--trade and
intellectual exchange--as well as violent means--war and crusade.
At the end of the period, western Europe, no longer rural, but now
an urbanized, economically complex, culturally sophisticated and
highly politically organized society, had colonized much of eastern
Europe, was facing a new challenge from the Ottoman Turks, and was
beginning to move beyond its own boundaries. By 1500 it is possible
to see the first contours of a world system dominated by Europe.
In this course we will examine both Europe's internal development
between 1100 and roughly 1450 and its relations with its neighbors.
The emphasis will be on western European developments, but we will
also talk about political, social, and economic developments within
the Islamic world and the Byzantine Empire.
Format and goals: The class will contain some lecturing, some group
projects and presentations, and some discussion. Reading and
interpreting primary sources is a very important component of this
class. Students will develop their skill in writing historical