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Basic program 2020-2021

The basic program comprises a total of six courses, organized by the Research School, that have been purpose-developed for training and support of PhD students and Research Master students who specialize in Medieval Studies (history, art history, and literary history, in particular). The courses have a study load of 3-5 ECTS points. In addition, there will be one international symposium, co-organized by the Research School, and the yearly Medieval Studies Day, whose active attendance can generate 1-2 ECTS points.

  1. Introduction to Medieval Studies
  2. Foundations of Research - 1
  3. Foundations of Research -2
  4. Material Culture
  5. Medieval Latin
  6. Presenting Medieval Research at International Conferences
  7. Medieval Studies Day
  8. International symposium

The course wants to offer an introductory survey of what is going on in the field of international medieval studies. It tries to answer such general questions as: what disciplines contribute to medieval studies; how can we get informed on the field; which are the leading international centers of education and research; what are fashionable themes and topics in medieval studies; what’s new in theory and methods of research; and what have Dutch universities to offer in all these respects?

- Aimed at: Research MA students and PhD students at the start of their programs resp. research projects.
- Period and location: February-March 2021; six course days in total; starting with 2 sessions (of 3 hours each) in Leiden, followed by 4 sessions in several medieval studies departments of other Dutch universities as well as the Huygens/ING.
- Course Co-ordinator: the Academic Director of the Research School (Leiden)
- Course load: 5 ECTS

The course offers researchers who are in the initial stage of their project the opportunity to reflect thoroughly on the primary sources they are going to use - in terms of typology, heuristics, (theoretical) approaches, and methods of analysis – together with specialists who first give short presentations on their own use of the same or similar source types.

- Aimed at: Research MA students and PhD students in the initial stages of their research.
- Period: 27-28/29 January 2021 (depending on the number of participants)
- Location: Amersfoort
- Course Co-ordinator: Em. prof. dr. P.C.M. Hoppenbrouwers (Leiden).
- Course load: 3 ECTS

The course offers PhD-students who are about halfway with their project the opportunity to have the complete lay-out of their project scrutinized by invited specialists in their field who are not their supervisors. A close and critical look will be taken at research questions, the (first, provisional) analysis of research results, and the design of the dissertation in the making. In preparation the participants are expected to turn in a draft of the introductory chapter of their dissertation.

- Aimed at: advanced PhD students.
- Period: second half of June 2021; 1-2 full days (depending on the number of participants).
- Location: Leiden University, Institute for History
- Course co-ordinator: the Academic Director of the Research School (Leiden).
- Course load: 3 ECTS

The course will be dealing with various kinds of material culture as sources for knowledge and research in Medieval Studies. A basic premise is that material sources are of the same level of relevance as other source types, such as written sources. With respect to relics of material culture, the questions of reliability and meaning are particularly fascinating. In addition, various types of material sources will be discussed and analyzed, varying from pictorial to archaeological remains, and from liturgical objects to buildings. Part of the course will be on-site and museum visits, in Utrecht, but possibly also abroad (Rome?).

- Aimed at: Research MA students (and PhD students).
- Period: March-April 2021
- Location: University of Utrecht.
- Course coordinators: prof. dr. A.F.W. Bosman (Amsterdam), dr. A.J.M. Irving (Groningen) and dr. W. van Welie-Vink (Amsterdam)
- Course load: 5 ECTS

The course trains medieval historians, art historians and literary historians in the practical reading of all sorts of source texts/source text types written in medieval Latin. The participants bring in texts from, or related to, their own research projects. Aim of the course is to considerably widen the use of primary sources in the practicing of medieval history, and through that to enlarge its effectiveness. A requirement for participation is a basic knowledge of classical Latin (secondary school-level).

- Aimed at: Research MA students (and PhD students).
- Period: May-June 2021; weekly class of 2 hours
- Location: Utrecht University
- Course coordinator: prof. dr. E. Rose (Utrecht).
- Course load: 5 ECTS

The course is designed to aid participants in their preparations for presenting an academic paper at an international congress on Medieval Studies (e.g. the yearly International Medieval Congress at Leeds).

- Aimed at: second year Research MA students and PhD students.
- Period: second semester 2021
- Location: RU Nijmegen / Utrecht University 
- Course coordinator: dr. S. Meeder.
- Course load: to be determined

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the Medieval Studies Day will not be organized in the first semester of 2020.

Medicine, Slave Markets and Labour 1300-1700 in the Mediterranean and Atlantic World

The symposium is centred around Hannah Barker's ground-breaking book That Most Precious Merchandise: The Mediterranean Trade in Black Sea Slaves (Philadelphia 2019), which explores the common culture of slavery in Genoa, Venice, and the Mamluk sultanate of Egypt and Greater Syria in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Barker's work is exceptional in that she presents a combined analysis of Arabic and Latin sources on the application of medical and physiognomical knowledge in Mamluk and Italian appraisals of the enslaved destined to work in domestic, army or agricultural settings.

In preparation of this symposium, students will write an academic review of Barker's monograph. In addition, they will each prepare three questions in advance, pertaining to 1) methodology, 2) source analysis, and 3) relevance.

- Aimed at: Research MA students and PhD students.
- Period and location: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the course will be split into two parts. For the first part, the participants will have to submit their written work by the end of September 2020 at the latest. Their submissions will be discussed in a ‘master class’ to be held at a later date and led by dr. Weeda and, if practically possible, involving the physical or digital participation of dr. Barker. The second part of the course is provisionally scheduled for the (early) spring of 2021, and it will consist of a concluding conference, with key note papers by dr. Barker and one or two other invited specialists. Participants in the course will be expected to attend this conference.
- Course coordinator: dr. C. Weeda (Leiden).
- Course load: 2 ECTS

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