University Bulletin 2001-02
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program


The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program provides students with a broad introduction to the development of western civilization from the end of antiquity to the 17th century. It is founded on the principle that an interdisciplinary perspective is the most profitable way to gain an understanding of the formation of early modern Europe. In order to develop a multifaceted picture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, all students select one of two core courses in history, and they are encouraged to explore a variety of disciplinary perspectives provided by various national literatures, fine arts, and philosophy. The exact balance of these approaches depends on a student's interest. The program offers a useful complement to many concentrations, and it is a good foundation to graduate study in a variety of fields.

How to Become a Program Member

The most important requirement for taking part in the program is an interest in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Students may enter the program at any time in their undergraduate careers, but an early start maximizes a student's range of choice because a number of courses are offered at different intervals. Students should consult with their advisor and the chair of the program to map out their particular plan of study.


Charles McClendon, Chair

(Fine Arts)

Bernadette Brooten

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Mary Campbell

(English and American Literature)

William Flesch

(English and American Literature)

Dian Fox-Hindley

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

William Kapelle


Richard Lansing

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Avigdor Levy

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Joan Maling


Sarah Mead-Ramsey


Jessie Ann Owens


Michael Randall

(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Benjamin Ravid

(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Govind Sreenivasan


Cheryl Walker

(Classical Studies)

Requirements for the Program

A. Core Course: HIST 110b (The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages) or HIST 123a (The Renaissance).

B. Students in the program must complete the University language requirement in one of the following: French, Italian, Spanish, German, Latin, Greek, Russian, Arabic, or Hebrew.

C. Four other courses from the program listing. In order to promote an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, two of these courses should be in two different fields other than history.

D. In addition, completion of one semester of independent study (98a or b), under the direction of one or more members of the program faculty, requiring completion of a research paper;


Participation in a program seminar or colloquium, when offered;


A senior thesis in the student's department of concentration, with an emphasis on some aspect of medieval or Renaissance studies and read by at least two faculty members in the program.

Special Notes

Please note that MUS 10a and 10b yield half-course credit each, therefore two semesters of MUS 10 are required to equal one full semester course, i.e., one elective course.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

MEVL 98a Independent Study

Signature of the instructor required.

Usually offered every year.


MEVL 98b Independent Study

Signature of the instructor required.

Usually offered every year.


Elective Courses

The following courses are approved for the program. Not all are given in any one year. Please consult the Course Schedule each semester.

COML 102a

Love in the Middle Ages

COML 103b

Madness and Folly in Renaissance Literature

ENG 3a

The Renaissance

ENG 33a


ENG 63a

Renaissance Poetry

ENG 132b

Chaucer I

ENG 133a

Advanced Shakespeare

ENG 142b

Introduction to Old Norse

ENG 143a

Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama

ENG 152b

Arthurian Literature

ENG 173a

Spenser and Milton

FA 40b

The Formation of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Art

FA 41a

Art and the Origins of Europe

FA 42b

The Age of Cathedrals

FA 43a

The Art of Medieval England

FA 45a

St. Peter's and the Vatican

FA 51a

Art of the Early Renaissance in Italy

FA 54b

Renaissance Art in Northern Europe

FA 58b

High and Late Renaissance in Italy

FREN 120a

The French Middle Ages

FREN 122b

The Renaissance

HIST 110a

The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages

HIST 110b

The Civilization of the High and Late Middle Ages

HIST 112b

The Crusades and the Expansion of Medieval Europe

HIST 113a

English Medieval History

HIST 120a

Colloquium in Medieval Studies: Britain in the Later Middle Ages

HIST 123a

The Renaissance

HIST 123b

Reformation Europe (1400-1600)

HIST 126a

Early Modern Europe (1500-1700)

HIST 127b

Household and Family in Late Medieval and early Modern Europe (1300-1800)

IECS 140a

Dante's Divine Comedy

IMES 104a

Islam: Civilization and Institutions

LAT 125a

Medieval Latin

MUS 10a and b

Early Music Ensembles

(two semesters required to equal one elective course)

MUS 110b

The Authenticity Question: Applying Historical Performance Practices

MUS 121a

History of Music to 1700

NEJS 123a

Medieval Jewish Philosophy

NEJS 140a

History of the Jews from Maccabees to 1497

NEJS 147a

The Rise and Decline of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800

NEJS 151b

Merchants, Moneylenders, and Ghetti of Venice

SPAN 110a

Introduction to Peninsular Spanish Literature

SPAN 120b

Don Quijote

SPAN 125b

Literary Women in Early Modern Spain

SECS 150a

Golden Age Drama and Society