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A Medieval Summer in London

Medieval Studies courses at Fordham University’s London Campus
at Heythrop College in Kensington Square

Heythrop College, University of London Westminster Abbey

Medieval English Heretics and Mystics           The Knights of the Round Table
(Offered in Summer 2012)                     (Offered in Summer 2013)

MVST 3500/8999: The Knights of the Round Table (4 credits)

Instructor: Dr Susanne Hafner (hafner@fordham.edu)
Dates: 05/29/2013 — 06/28/2013

Cost: $2600, plus tuition.  Cost includes apartment housing, local transportation, cell phone, course activities, and supplementary insurance
Excursions to:  Winchester (to see King Arthur’s original “Round Table”), Stonehenge, Canterbury, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, British Library, and various London museums.

This course will look for the traces of King Arthur and his Knights in modern-day London and its environs. Reading the foundational texts of Arthurian literature right where it happened, students will be able to go to the sites and see the artifacts as they occur in the readings. The course will study excerpts from the early annals and chronicles, which laid the foundation for Arthur’s fame in history, and it will follow the exploits of some of the most prominent members of the Round Table as they were depicted in medieval literature: Sir Gawain, the ladies’ man,, Sir Perceval, the Grail Knight, Sir Tristrem, the knight who fell in love with his uncle’s wife, and Merlin the magician (in the modern rendition by Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave). The course will go on excursions to Winchester to have a look at King Arthur’s original “Round Table;” Stonehenge, the mythical stone circle associated with Merlin and his craft; and Canterbury, the destination of the most important pilgrimage on English soil. In London, participants will visit Westminster Abbey, the Tower, museums holding Arthurian artifacts, and the British Library, which holds many manuscripts of the texts that will be read. This immersion into medieval culture will allow students to read Arthurian literature in way uniquely possible in London.

This course will count as an interdisciplinary capstone course as well as an elective in English, Literary Studies and Medieval Studies. Credit in other disciplines may be possible after consultation with your advisor. Graduate students may enroll in the course as a 4-credit tutorial, MVST 8999: Knights of the Round Table.  For the course syllabus, click here.  Click here for an application.

Student reviews:
I am writing you simply to express my gratitude and praise for Professor Hafner's class, and my overall trip this summer.  The course on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table was an amazing experience; being able to view London and its rich medieval history was a unique and exciting opportunity.  Professor Hafner truly made the course what it was with her enjoyable trips, assignments, and overall direction of the course.  I could not have asked for a better class/teacher, and I would take this course over again in a heartbeat.
- Matthew DeSilva, FCRH ‘13.

Words cannot even fully explain the experience I had this summer in London Professor Hafner designed her Knights of the Round Table course in a way that made the entire trip an extraordinary adventure. The course involved the students reading various pieces of Arthurian literature and going on scavenger hunts throughout London. Once we found and photographed objects relating to the texts we read, we wrote about it for our class blog. We also took numerous trips to placess we read about including Canterbury Cathedral and the great hall in Winchester where the Round Table hangs. Not only did I learn more about medieval literature and London, but I learned more about myself as i searched the city and surrounding places. I highly recommend this course to those looking for adventure. Amy -Gembara FCRH '14


Medieval English Heretics and Mystics (4 credits)

Check out the class blog from Summer 2012!

Instructor: Dr J. Patrick Hornbeck (hornbeck@fordham.edu)
Dates: June1- June 30, 2012
Excursions to: Oxford - University Church, Bodleian Library, dinner at an Oxford College; Canterbury - Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey; Westminster Abbey; Norwich, to see the cell of Julian of Norwich; and Hampton Court Palace

This course explores the evolution of the Church in England during the later Middle Ages, a particularly formative time in its history. We will cover the period beginning roughly around the year 1200 and ending with the Church of England’s break from Rome in 1534. In doing so, we will explore several models of the English church: the early church with its shadowy records of saints like Patrick, Alban, and Aidan; the medieval country parish church and its inspiring architecture; the royal church, still governed in name by the sovereign, dating back to the time of King Henry VIII’s reformation; and the modern church, struggling to retain a place of relevance in the lives of today’s Britons. Readings and class discussions will take both a “top-down” and a “bottom-up” approach to the English church in the Middle Ages, and excursions to medieval churches in London, as well as to Oxford, Canterbury, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament will help to bring medieval sources to life. This course is MVST 3750 and counts as an elective in History, Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Theology.  Graduate students may enroll in this course as a, MVST 8999 (4 credits) or THEO 8999 (3 credits): Medieval English Mystics and Heretics.

For reviews of this course when it was taught in Summer 2010, see the Fordham Observer and The Ram articles; see also the course blog.

Other student reviews of the Summer 2010 course:
Studying the Church in late medieval England with Dr. Hornbeck while in London was an amazing experience, not only because it is Dr. Hornbeck’s area of expertise but also because he designed the course so that it utilized all of the resources that London made available to us.  We were able to bring the historical contexts of our course material to life through both our weekly class excursions to sites such as Julian of Norwich’s shrine and through various class projects which required us to do things such as visit and research medieval places of worship and to examine 16th century manuscripts at the British Library.   The course was unlike any other learning experience I have ever had and I can definitely say that my decision to take Dr. Hornbeck’s five-week course at the London Centre was one of the best decisions I’ve made during my undergraduate career
- Rachel Malinowski, FCRH ‘12

On the Graduate Tutorial:
Dr Hornbeck gave me extensive reading lists each week, and I completed my work in the excellent theology library at Heythrop College as well as supplementary primary and secondary sources at the British Library. Dr Hornbeck and I would meet for one to two hours to discuss in detail the readings, placing them in the greater context of the course material and breadth. This portion of my London time was the most productive for me as a scholar, as I learned to consult a vast amount of reading and to partake in a dialogue viva voce with a prominent scholar in the field. I intend to present my final paper for the course at a professional conference next year in the UK, after revisions. Thank you again for your part in this professional opportunity.
- Rachael Williamson, GSAS (English)

Eligibility: Open to both Fordham and non-Fordham students who have completed at least 2 college-level semesters, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Costs: $2500 (includes excursions, shared room in furnished apartment in central London, insurance, cell phone, and Oyster card for local transportation within London plus usmmer tuition for 4 credits.

For more information, contact Dr Patrick Hornbeck at hornbeck@fordham.edu.


For more information on Medieval Studies Study Abroad, please contact the Center for Medieval Studies at medievals@fordham.edu or the International Study Abroad Programs Office at isap@fordham.edu.


Last modified: September 17, 2012
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