General Material and Policies

General Policies

Required Readings:

Almost all assigned readings for the course are primary sources; including readings as well as images and recordings. Virtually primary sources can be found online, some will be available on reserve or I will hand them out in class. IMPORTANT: You will need to download Zotero and create an account on the website. I will invite you to a Zotero group which will then automatically create files in your account with all of the online reading links. If you have any questions about this, feel free to come ask me.

Despite the occasionally long lists of sources, virtually all are excerpts; most weeks have less than 60 pages of reading. To compliment these sources, we will be using the textbook Barbara Rosenwein, A Short History of the Middle Ages. For the papers described on the website, you will have the task of analyzing both primary and secondary literature and preparing different types of writing assignments. All of the secondary books will be in the library - many on reserve - or in my office (See Assignments for more details).


Designated Writing Option:

Students taking this class in order to complete their writing portfolio should expect more revising and resubmission of all of their papers. In general, when the essay is submitted, I will return it with comments within one week, students then have a further week to revise and resubmit the essay for further comments. The exception to this is the final paper, which must be turned in on December 5th. I will provide comments for students by the evening of the 6th or the morning of the 7th so that students can attempt to take them into consideration prior to portfolio submission. Because this time is so short, I strongly recommend meeting with me about the final paper prior to the due date - also because of the short time, I am willing to read drafts of this paper ahead of time. Finally, if there is a sufficient number of designated writing students, we will also form small groups to provide peer review.

Variable Credit:

If a student consults with me, I am willing to offer this course for a variable amount of credits. The standard arrangements will be to reduce the number of papers in direct proportion to the number of credits. The number of credits can only be Lowered until October 1st. I will allow students to increase the number of credits until November 15th, but after that time, no further adjustment of credits for the course will be possible. Students should also be warned that taking the course for less than 4 credits can often make transfer of the course to other schools difficult.

Other Resources:

If you are the kind of person who likes to seek out answers to questions or do random browsing I encourage you to surf online at:

Forham's Medieval Sourcebook (Many of the weekly assignments come from this site.) Although they are primary sources, most documents have a helpful introduction.

For a site without any commentary but with many primary sources from across Europe, see: Eurodocs.

Other primary sources translated into English are also available: A collection of Medieval Women’s Letters; a collection of documents from Female Monastic Foundations; English Parlimentary Rolls; Military History; Urban Life; Crusader Letters; Middle English Literature and Poetry; and finally, a collection of secondary essays, lectures and introductory material to the Middle Ages at the ORB.

For Church history in particular, see the New Catholic Encyclopedia, which, being the official history of the church, has a great many scholarly and well- researched articles on medieval church figures.

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM