Queen's University


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Instructor: Dr Lucas Villegas-Aristizábal

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Students are expected to develop a good general knowledge of the medieval period in relation to the key themes being explored i.e., the development of feudal societies and the transformative role of religion in the period. The students will also explore the historiographical debates over concepts such as feudalism, tolerance, and crusade. The course will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminar classes. Lectures are  primarily designed to give an overview of the issues and problems on a particular topic, and provide guidance for seminar discussion. Seminars will be used for debates and group/sub-group discussion of primary sources and historiographical questions. They are intended to provide an interactive and participatory learning environment. Students are expected to do the set readings for each week, and to be prepared to contribute the seminar discussion. The general approach to classes is informal, and discussion is viewed as an essential part of learning.

Available in Winter 2018 and Fall 2018.

PREREQUISITE    Level 2 or above.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to
1. Access and contextualise the great variety of sources available to historian of the Middle Ages.
2. Produce a coherently written argument that shows their ability to critically work with both primary and secondary sources.
3. Grasp how archaeologists and historians interpret physical evidence in order to reconstruct the past.
4. Have a critical understanding of the historiographical debates that exist in relation to development of concepts such as ‘crusade’, ‘feudalism’, ‘Reconquista’, peasantry, etc.
5. Understand the main points of tension that existed in medieval societies, such as over religion, political settlement, social stratification, political power, and legitimacy.


Experiential learning opportunities

During the term students will take part in two very exciting experiential learning opportunities. The first field study will take place Sunday, February 7, when the students will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Medieval Galleries. Through this visit, students will be expected to find an object, or a collection of objects, which represent an important part of medieval life. The gallery has an impressive collection of reliquaries and stained glass
windows. Further, information on the visit will be given later in the course. The second EL opportunity will take place on Friday, February 26, when the class will visit Rochester Castle. During the visit students will have the opportunity to explore the castle as an example of Norman military architecture and its relation with the landscape. Students will be given specific tasks in order to explore the specific function of the building in its historical context.
Following both visits students will write short 750 words report on their particular area.



750 words report on V&A Museum
750 words report on Rochester Castle
2500 Words Essay
Final Exam


Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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