MA Modern History (Medieval and Early Modern History Strand)
Semester 2 (Jan - June)
Co-ordinator: Dr James Davis
'Topics in Medieval and Early Modern History' gives students the opportunity to explore Medieval and Early Modern documents in depth, drawing on the expertise of particular staff within the School. This includes Professor Marie Therese Flanagan (Irish medieval history), Dr James Davis (later medieval social and economic history), Dr Dion Smythe (Byzantine History), Dr Chris Marsh (early modern English history), Dr Scott Dixon (early modern European history) and Dr Sinead O'Sullivan (Carolingian intellectual history). Students will concentrate on two specific topics during this module, with a number of options available each year. This might include medieval village and town life, saints' lives, frontier societies, the Carolingian court and scholars, the Jews in the Middle Ages, the Komnenoi dynasty, peasants and alewives, the European Reformation, early modern street entertainment and the medieval landscape. When available, students can also opt to take an elective course from the School of English or School of Geography and Archaeology in place of one of the three four-week options.
How will this module be taught?
Students will be taught in three four-week courses, where each course explores in depth a topic that draws on the research expertise of staff. Each week students will attend a two-hour seminar, which will consist of student presentations, group discussion, and analysis of key primary and secondary sources. In addition to the core readings, students will have the opportunity to select for discussion some primary readings closer to their particular interests.
How will this module be assessed?
Students write two essays (3,000 words) for two of the courses in this module on an individually-devised topic and question. Each essay represents 50% of the overall mark.
What can I read over the summer?
John H. Arnold, What is Medieval History? (Polity Press, Cambridge, 2008).
Peter Burke, Popular Culture in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 1978).
Joel T. Rosenthal (ed.), Understanding Medieval Primary Sources (Routledge, 2011).