Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Maryanne Kowaleski, Department of History, Fordham University

Graduate Courses (click course link for most recent course syllabus)

HSGA 6152 Medieval Women and Family
This course surveys recent historiography on the roles and status of women in medieval society, as well as the structure and dynamics of medieval families. Among the debates to be explored are the effect on medieval society of the Christian Church’s teachings on virginity, sex, and marriage, and the influence of geography (northern vs Mediterranean Europe), environment (village, town, and convent), and status (noble, bourgeois, or peasant) on the work, family role, and authority of women. Chronologically the course will range from the early Christian period to the Renaissance. Recent scholarly work on nuns, mystics, and beguines will be examined, as will recent work on medieval mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, children and adolescents, and widows and the aged. The readings will also cover different approaches to the study of women and family, including the methodologies of literary scholars, anthropologists, demographers, feminists, and legal historians. The course will also take advantage of the March 2005 Medieval Studies conference, Medieval Domesticity: Home, Housing, and Household, to stress the material culture aspects of family life.

HSGA 6153 Medieval Economy and Society
This course explores major themes in the social and economic history of medieval Europe, including the impact of the “barbarian” migrations, technology and social change, agriculture and rural life, the commercial revolution, the Black Death, social revolts, craft guilds and the textile industry, and changing notions of poverty and charity, among other topics. The different methodological approaches to these issues will also be highlighted in examining not only “schools” of history (such as the Annales school, the Toronto school, prosopography, and feminist analysis) but also the contributions of other disciplinary approaches, including archaeology, demography, environmental science, historical geography, and numismatics.

HSGA 6154 Medieval Warfare and Society
This course examines the role of warfare in medieval society from the “barbarian invasions” through the Hundred Years War and the Wars of the Roses. We sill focus in particular on the impact of technological developments on the conduct of war and on social hierarchies; on the relationship between social stratification and the conduct of war; on the influence of the church on warfare; and on the social consequences and economic costs of warfare. Students will be required to do a short oral report and annotated bibliography, as well as an historiographical

HSGA 7150 Proseminar: Medieval England
This is the first half of a year-long course that focuses on the social, economic, and administrative history of England from the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Special emphasis is placed upon 1) how to identify, interpret, and exploit a wide variety of primary sources (such as wills, cartularies, court rolls, account rolls, chronicles, among others); 2) how to use major historical collections (such as the Rolls Series, VCH, Record Commissioners, Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Ordnance Survey, Selden Society, and others); and 3) gaining an awareness of the regions and landscape of medieval England, as well as the contributions of historical geography. Besides treating thematic issues such as the church and society, law and the legal system, the growth of government and administration, maritime trade and industry in town and country, the weekly discussions will also consider economy among the peasantry, townspeople, and the landowning elite. Some knowledge of Latin is recommended.

HSGA 8150 Seminar: Medieval England
Students continue to work on the research project they defined in the Proseminar to this course. They also learn to design and use a computer database that includes data gathered in the course of research on the final paper, participate in seminars to improve their academic writing and public speaking skills, and familiarize themselves with professional standards for writing a scholarly article, giving a talk at an academic conferences, and writing an academic curriculum vitae. They complete the seminar by giving a 20-minute conference paper on their research project and writing a thesis-length original research paper that could be published as a scholarly article.

Undergraduate Courses

HSRU 1300 - Introduction to Medieval European History (3 credits)
The emergence and development of Europe from the decline of the Roman Empire to the early Renaissance. A topical study of political, social, economic, religious and cultural issues, ideas, and institutions.

HSRU 3301 - Women in the Middle Ages (4 credits)
This course will discuss women in medieval society: the noblewoman who influenced major political developments, the peasant woman who performed agricultural and manorial tasks, the townswoman who served as merchant and producer, and the wife and mother who provided the basis of family life. The course will also cover attitudes toward women revealed in legal, religious, and secular literature of the period.

HSRU 3305 - Medieval Warfare (4 credits)
A social, economic, and military history of the institutions of warfare in the Middle Ages.

HSRU 3307 - Medieval Urban History (4 credits)
Covers the revival of town life, the social and political structure of towns from the 12th to 15th centuries. Also focuses on the urban family, religious life, culture and education, and the topography of towns in medieval Europe.

HSRU 3310 - Medieval England: Worlds We Have Lost (4 credits)
This course will examine five different societies in medieval England such as Anglo-Saxon warriors, noble women's households, peasant society, the gentry class, and female monastic communities. Emphasis will be placed on how other disciplines inform and influence history: geography, archeology, literature, and demography.

HSRU 4305 - Seminar: Warfare and Medieval Society (4 credits)
This course will examine the later stages of the feudal military system, focusing in particular on the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) between England and France. Topics to be surveyed include the changing social composition of medieval armies, the social impact of technological changes in weapons and armor and the social and economic costs of warfare for the non-combatant.

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