Medieval Women

  • 3/17/03:     I do not propose to post the take-home essay questions for the final exam here. If you were unable to attend the final day of class, you will have to get in touch with me directly.
  • 3/10/03, Friday:    HERE is the list of identification items for the final exam that I promised. The ID questions for the in-class portion of the final exam will be drawn from this list. Remember, what's important to me on these questions is not merely that you know who these people are, but that you be able, briefly, to explain how or why they are important in the context of this class.
  • 3/7/03, Friday:    Don't forget this morning we have a guest speaker, Mary O'Neil Why are Witches Always Women, Don't miss it!

A Note About This Syllabus
person at work imageThis syllabus is permanently under construction. This course is a work in progress. How it proceeds will be, at least in part, a function of your interests. I will have some things to say about various topics, but much of the class's agenda should be driven by your reading and thinking. The reading and written assignments are intended to give you a basis from which to investigate ideas and historical circumstances which may not be touched upon in the class.
The syllabus and the schedule of lectures and reading is therefor only a skeleton which will be fleshed out with additional or alternative readings as needed or as the interests of the class dictate. From time to time I may add links to on-line resources of interest. Watch this space for changes. You should check for changes or new material daily, they will be clearly noted in the "Announcements" section on this page.
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Course Objectives
This course seeks to acquaint students with the history of women in Europe during the middle ages. (c.500-1600 CE). Such a project will naturally present certain epistemological problems since such women are largely silent in the historical record. We will discuss those theoretical problems at some length. We will investigate what can be known of particular historical women. And we will consider changing representations of women in the middle ages and the changing attitudes of the dominant culture toward women.
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Required Books and Reading
There is quite a lot of reading assigned for this class: history is all about reading and writing! The books in the list that follows are required reading and they are available for purchase at the University Bookstore and on 24 hour reserve at the Odegaard Library reserve desk. There will be other required readings assigned from time to time and these will be made available via on-line reserve. Nota Bene! When we meet to discuss these texts AND the texts on ERes, you MUST HAVE COPIES OF THEM IN HAND! It is simply not possible to have a useful discussion of a text unless you have it, or detailed notes on it, before you!
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Class Participation
The assigned readings are complex and contain some very unfamiliar ideas. Primary sources from the period are sometimes obscure and nuanced. It is very difficult to grasp such readings in a vacuum. Accordingly, we'll be spend a good deal of time discussing this material together. Since the class is rather large to do this as a single group, I'd like to divide into two sections that will usually meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In this first week we will meet on Thursday and Friday to discuss the Scott article in order to give us time to read it and find our feet.
Your participation in these discussion sections is crucial and will comprise 20% of your grade. I will expect you to have read the assigned material in advance and to come prepared with some detailed notes on your reading and a list of questions, observations, talking points that you will be able to share with your colleagues. I may occasionally ask you to turn in these notes for review. Also I will be asking you to submit a statement of topic, a preliminary bibliography and an abstract of your argument for the term paper. The quality and timely submission of these REQUIRED assignments will also contribute to your class participation grade.
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Written Assignments
In addition to your participation in class (20% of the course grade), you will be evaluated on three written assignments as well: Additional information on these assignments will be posted here as the quarter progresses.
Nota Bene! ALL of the written assignments INCLUDING the topic statement, bibliography and abstract MUST be completed in order to pass the class.
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Important Links
From time to time there will be links posted to on-line articles or other items of interest on the internet. These will appear in the announcements section above; in the schedule of lectures and readings if appropriate; and, so they don't get lost they will be listed here as well in no particular order.
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Instructor Contact Information
I am easy to get in touch with. I check my e-mail several times a day. I will hold only one regular office hour per week, but I am more than willing to meet with you at a time that is mutually convenient. I encourage you to come see me to discuss your papers or anything else.
E-mail   jjcrump @ u. washington. edu
(Note the spaces intended to foil the spammers. Don't use copy and paste.)
Office   Smith Hall #4 (It's in the far SE corner of the basement)
Office Hours   Monday 10:30AM - 11:30AM
And by appointment
Mail   Department of History Office
Smith 315
Phone   616-1972, Office
543-5790, Department office
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