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Introduction to Medieval Studies (5 ECTS)

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 is new in theory and methods of research; and what have Dutch universities to offer in all these projects?


prof. dr. Peter Hoppenbrouwers (Leiden University): p.c.m.hoppenbrouwers@hum.leidenuniv.nl 

Course schedule and assessment

The first session of the course will take place on Wednesday 16 October in the Conference Room of the History Institute of Leiden University, Doelensteeg 16. In the session we will enter upon four broad topics: the international field of Medieval Studies; the sense or nonsense of the Middle Ages as a traditionalized period in history; doing research in the medieval period; some trendy topics in Medieval Studies. There is no need to read or prepare anything in advance (but of course you are free to read or prepare anything you like, and bring this up during class). The session will start at 12.00 hours AM, and take up about 4 hours of instruction & discussion, including several breaks. At the end, drinks will be served and there will be ample time to meet and get acquainted with each other informally.

The first session in Leiden will be followed by a tour along the medieval studies departments of the universities and/or related scholarly institutes in Amsterdam (Wednesday 13 November), Nijmegen (Wednesday 20 November), Utrecht (Tuesday 26 November), Groningen (Wednesday 4 December) and Leiden again (Wednesday 11 or Wednesday 18 December).

Research Master students who want to earn 5 ECTS credits will be required to write an historiographical essay of about 3,000-4,000 words on a subject in International Medieval Studies of their own choice, to be submitted ultimately on Friday 20 December 2019.

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