This World History course emphasizes the development of communities and civilizations and how encounters between them shaped our world from the first written records to the sixteenth century. Through the study of primary and secondary sources, students: explore various civilizations' cultural wealth and diversity as well as their problems; recognize not only each civilization's distinctive features, but also the commonality of the human experience; and study and discuss the controversial issues arising from various interpretations of World History. Topics to be covered include the emergence and diffusion of the world's great religions, the impact of cultural contact along trade routes and on military frontiers, the ordering of societies, and significant political developments. The course consists of lectures twice a week and discussion sections once a week both terms. Evaluation is based on several analytical and research essays of varying length, four examinations, and participation in all aspects of the course.
From a world of peasant communities dominated by a small aristocratic landed elite, Europe after 1000 underwent a variety of intense alterations. Population grew, cultivated area increased, and urbanization and innovative commerce restructured economic and social life. Through local agricultural projects, incorporated towns, organized universities, political representative bodies, centralized monarchies, and the international institutions of the Roman Catholic Church, Europe began self-conscious and deliberate expansion. When disasters struck in the fourteenth century, this society painfully recovered through innovative responses that once more reshaped its civilization. Europe in the Late Middle Ages examines various aspects of these transformations through selected primary and secondary sources. Attention will be given to medieval historiography – how our understanding of the Middle Ages has changed over time, in particular regarding the crusades, the medieval family, and socio/political organization. Assigned readings most weeks include a survey text, scholarly journal articles, and primary sources. The class meets twice a week, incorporating both lectures and discussions. Final grades are based on the essays and written assignments (about 50%), class activities and participation (about 10%), a midterm quiz and a final exam (about 40%).
This course investigates the cultural, social, legal, and economic roles of women in the Middle Ages. We begin with the Classical, Judeo-Christian, and Germanic traditions that provided the basis for medieval European concepts and treatment of women and then focus on them in the history of Middle Ages to 1500. Through the study of primary and secondary sources, students examine: women’s contributions to the strength and diversity of European civilization; the historical interpretations that shaped western conceptions; and gender as an important aspect in studying history and society. Weekly readings include scholarly articles as well as selections from historical monographs and a range of primary sources from literature and treatises to legal records and letters. The rhythm of the course most weeks consists of lectures, examination of primary sources, and scheduled student discussions over the readings. Evaluation is based on writing assignments (50-60%) that include several brief analytical essays and a final research project, class activities and discussions (10%), and a midterm quiz and final exam (30-40%).
In Term 2 Dr. Sindelar is also teaching MDVL 310B The Medieval Town. Students may request that this course count for History programs.
Program Advisor for Majors and Minors in History and the Medieval Studies Program, and the Law and Society Minor.
Advisor for the History Major and Minor programs
Advisor for Medieval Studies Major and Minor programs
Chair and Advisor for the Law and Society Minor program
Chair, Student Directed Seminars, Faculty Advisory Committee