Medieval Studies

Academic Year 2023 – 2024

General Information

206 Scheide Caldwell House

Program Offerings:

  • Interdepartmental Program

Director of Graduate Studies:

Graduate Program Administrator:


The Program in Medieval Studies seeks to encourage interdisciplinary study of medieval period (c. 500-1500): its art, literature, music, religion, philosophy, science, politics, and economic and social structures. 

Interested students should apply for graduate study through an individual affiliated department, not through the program.

Program Offerings

Program Offering: Interdepartmental Program


The program encourages graduate students to undertake interdisciplinary study of the Middle Ages by circulating lists of relevant courses offered by the affiliated departments each semester. Students interested in interdisciplinary medieval study may also consult directly with the director of the program, or members of the program's executive committee, in addition to their regular consultations with their departmental adviser.


  • Director

    • William C. Jordan
  • Executive Committee

    • Charlie Barber, Art and Archaeology
    • Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Classics
    • Marina S. Brownlee, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Daniel Heller-Roazen, Comparative Literature
    • Beatrice E. Kitzinger, Art and Archaeology
    • Daniela E. Mairhofer, Classics
    • Simone Marchesi, French & Italian
    • Sara S. Poor, German
    • Helmut Reimitz, History
    • Jamie L. Reuland, Music
    • Esther H. Schor, English, <i>ex officio</i>
    • Jack B. Tannous, History
  • Associated Faculty

    • Charlie Barber, Art and Archaeology
    • Wendy Laura Belcher, Comparative Literature
    • Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Classics
    • Marina S. Brownlee, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Thomas D. Conlan, East Asian Studies
    • Michael A. Cook, Near Eastern Studies
    • Pietro Frassica, French & Italian
    • Anthony T. Grafton, History
    • Eric S. Gregory, Religion
    • Lara Harb, Near Eastern Studies
    • Thomas W. Hare, Comparative Literature
    • Daniel Heller-Roazen, Comparative Literature
    • William C. Jordan, History
    • Beatrice E. Kitzinger, Art and Archaeology
    • Eve Krakowski, Near Eastern Studies
    • Christina H. Lee, Spanish & Portuguese
    • Russ Leo, English
    • Hendrik Lorenz, Philosophy
    • Bryan D. Lowe, Religion
    • AnneMarie Luijendijk, Religion
    • Daniela E. Mairhofer, Classics
    • Simone Marchesi, French & Italian
    • Benjamin C. Morison, Philosophy
    • Sara S. Poor, German
    • Jennifer M. Rampling, History
    • Jamie L. Reuland, Music
    • Marina Rustow, Near Eastern Studies
    • Teresa Shawcross, History
    • Daniel J. Sheffield, Near Eastern Studies
    • Anna M. Shields, East Asian Studies
    • D. Vance Smith, English
    • Brian R. Steininger, East Asian Studies
    • Jack B. Tannous, History
    • Stephen F. Teiser, Religion
    • Moulie Vidas, Religion
    • Rob C. Wegman, Music
    • Xin Wen, East Asian Studies
    • Trenton W. Wilson, East Asian Studies
  • Sits with Committee

    • Sarah M. Anderson
    • William G. Noel
    • Pamela A. Patton
    • Alain St. Pierre
    • Alan M. Stahl

For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Permanent Courses

Courses listed below are graduate-level courses that have been approved by the program’s faculty as well as the Curriculum Subcommittee of the Faculty Committee on the Graduate School as permanent course offerings. Permanent courses may be offered by the department or program on an ongoing basis, depending on curricular needs, scheduling requirements, and student interest. Not listed below are undergraduate courses and one-time-only graduate courses, which may be found for a specific term through the Registrar’s website. Also not listed are graduate-level independent reading and research courses, which may be approved by the Graduate School for individual students.

ART 537 - Seminar in Medieval Art (also MED 500)

Intensive seminar on selective topics in Medieval art and theory from 400 to 1400.

CLA 517 - Problems in Post-Classical and Byzantine Literature (also HLS 517/MED 517)

As the late antique present began to dramatically assert its variance with the venerable Greco-Roman past, historical writing took on a significance hardly surpassed before, or after. Course surveys the diverse corpus of historiography in Greek from the 4th to the 7th centuries (and perhaps a bit beyond) when an unprecedented number of registers entered and enlarged the historiographic genre. Class reads texts in Greek (for accuracy and formal concerns) as well as in translation (for scope). Scholarship will buttress our weekly discussion.

CLA 565 - Problems in Medieval Literature (also HLS 565/MED 565)

This course casts a wide net over Medieval literature, Greek and/or Latin, as well as in comparison with other medieval languages and cultures. Its aim is to furnish graduate students in a variety of fields, including Classics, History, Philosophy, Religion, and Art & Architecture, with proficiency in the primary texts of the Middle Ages, as well as the scholarship about medieval literary culture.

CLA 598 - Methods in Byzantine Literature and Philology (also HLS 598/MED 598)

This course emphasizes proficiency in post-Classical and Medieval Greek language through close readings and translations of literature. In addition to surveying the principal genres of literature and the questions surrounding them, it also introduces Ph.D. students to the instrumenta studiorum of Late Antique and Byzantine philology, such as palaeography, codicology, text editing, databases and bibliography.

GER 508 - Middle High German Literature (also MED 508)

Based on one specific text, the first term provides an introduction to language, metrics, manuscript tradition, and textual criticism. The second term deals with special topics in German literature between 1150 and 1450 or interdisciplinary topics such as orality and literacy, word and image.

GER 509 - Middle High German Literature II (also MED 509)

Based on one specific text, the first term provides an introduction to language, metrics, manuscript tradition, and textual criticism. The second term deals with special topics in German literature between 1150 and 1450 or interdisciplinary topics such as orality and literacy, word and image.

HIS 536 - Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean (also HLS 536/MED 536)

The littoral of the Mediterranean Sea has long been viewed as a major place of contact, conflict and exchange for groups belonging to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course approaches the encounters of different religions and ethnicities in such a manner as to introduce students not only to the classic historiography on the subject, but also to the main controversies and debates current in scholarship. Our discussions involve forays into the fields of transnational and global history.

HIS 544 - Seminar in Medieval History (also MED 544)

Selected problems in the social, administrative, and legal history of Western Europe in the Middle Ages, primarily during the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries.

MUS 512 - Topics in Medieval Music (also MED 512)

Source-critical, historical, and stylistic studies of one of the late medieval polyphonic repertories are studied.

NES 502 - An Introduction to the Islamic Scholarly Tradition (also MED 502)

A hands-on introduction to such basic genres of medieval scholarship as biography, history, tradition, and Koranic exegesis, taught through the intensive reading of texts in Arabic. The syllabus varies according to the interests of the students and the instructor.

NES 545 - Problems in Near Eastern Jewish History: Jewish and Islamic Law (also JDS 545/MED 545/REL 548)

A study of a number of central problems, historiographical issues, and primary sources relevant to the history of the Jewish minority under Islam in the Middle Ages.