Sexuality in the Middle Ages (HIST*4140) | College of Arts

Sexuality in the Middle Ages (HIST*4140)

Code and section: HIST*4140*01

Term: Fall 2018

Instructor: Jacqueline Murray


Course Synopsis:

This course will examine the foundations of Western attitudes towards sexuality, as they developed in the European Middle Ages. The course is historiographical in methodology and thematic in approach. We will focus on how historians have understood and discussed complex issues of human sex and sexuality, and the impact of contemporary debates on formulating and reformulating the study of medieval sexuality. The course is learner-centred with responsibility resting with the students. There will be weekly discussions and short written assignments on the course materials. Students may elect to have a final grade based on the average of their weekly course work or to write a final take-home essay if they wish. Grades will be averaged out of 100%.

Learning Outcomes:

After successful completion of this course, students will:
1)    understand some of the fluid and intersectional issues that together comprise human sexuality across time and cultures;
2)    have engaged with the major theoretical debates and methodological challenges that underlie the study of the history of sex/sexuality;
3)    have experience critiquing and evaluating contradictory, differing, or conflicting interpretations of historical questions;
4)    have engaged in historiographical analysis and debate;
5)    have written critiques and developed persuasive arguments;

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

Weekly Seminar Participation - 30%
Weekly Analytical Assignments (8 out of 10) - 40%
Optional Final Take-Home Essay - 30%
Total 100%

Texts Required:

• Vern L. Bullough and James A. Brundage. Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church. (Prometheus Press, 1982).

Please note: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.