Medieval Studies Graduate Courses

The wide variety of research interests among the faculty participating in the Center for Medieval Studies results in an array of courses available to graduate students in the program. Find out more about current course offerings below as well as upcoming and past courses from the links on the left.
Notice: The Modern Languages and Literatures Department administers Foreign Language Proficiency Assessments for enrolled, degree-seeking graduate students who have a foreign language proficiency requirement as part of their degree program. The assessments are offered as an alternative to coursework (5090 and 5001-5002 reading courses) for those students who have reading proficiency in a language but may not have a documented means of showing it.
Assessments are offered in French, German, Italian and Spanish (they may also be offered in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese and Russian, depending on availability). Assessments are offered twice each semester and once in the summer. Please contact Ms. Maria Totino at [email protected] or 718-817-2651 for further information.

Summer 2023 | Upcoming Courses | Past Courses

HIST 5204 (4) Medieval Environmental History | Bruce 
Session III, Online, F 10:00-12:00 | CRN: 15066
This seminar is intended to familiarize graduate students with current themes and trends in medieval environmental history. Weekly reading assignments comprise historical monographs and scholarly articles in English. 

MVST 5311 (4) Arthurian Literature | Hafner
Session II, TR 1:00-4:00 | CRN: 15053
This seminar will provide an overview of Arthurian romance themes and adaptations in Europe. Chrétien de Troyes may not have written the very first chivalric romance, but he was the pioneer who defined the genre and created the texts which would set the standard for centuries to come. The central role which Chrétien’s œuvre occupied in the French-speaking world is reflected in a wave of adaptations into many other vernacular languages, set off almost instantly and covering all of medieval Europe. In this class, we will focus on three literary traditions: the Yvain, Tristan, and Perceval stories in their early Old French versions as well as their Middle High German, Middle English, and Old Norse adaptations. The degree to which these translations try to recreate their sources’ original content varies greatly and is determined by a nexus of cultural, political, and social factors which we will examine in some detail. Students are expected to read the Middle English versions in well-annotated editions. All other texts can be prepared in English translation while some of the class time will be dedicated to closely reading some crucial passages in the original vernacular languages. Additional texts in other languages (Italian, Latin), in post-medieval renditions (e.g., T.S. Eliot’s "Wasteland" or Richard Wagner’s "Parsifal"), other media (films, opera, musicals), and material culture (frescoes, tapestries, book illuminations, etc) will be determined based on the interest of the seminar participants. In addition, we will make use of the rich resources New York City has to offer and explore some of the spectacular Arthurian artifacts housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, and the J. P. Morgan Museum and Library—online if necessary, on site if possible. 

LATN 5090 (0) Latin for Reading | McGowan 
Session I, MW 1:00-4:00 | CRN: 15080
A course designed for graduate students seeking a reading knowledge of Latin in their discipline. Some prior study of Latin is desirable but not necessary. 

LATN 5083 (3) Ecclesiastical Latin | McGowan 
Session II, MW 1:00-4:00 | CRN: 15081
A study of the grammatical structure, form, and vocabulary of Church Latin, focussing on the Bible, the Church Fathers, and medieval thinkers.