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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 7, 2016
Canadian Excellence

2009 - 2010 Course Descriptions

ML 100 Discovering the Middle Ages        0.5 Credit

This course will explore the cultural traditions of the Western world in the Middle Ages through representations of the monstrous and the heroic: stories and images of dragons, giants, beasts, demons, devils, and the men and women who face them. In addition, we will examine a variety of images in illuminated paintings, stone carvings, and woodcuts, as well as explore some modern adaptations of the medieval imagination.

ML 100A   Fall Term           Instructor:    Dr. Renee Ward                    MWF 10:30 - 11:20 am
ML 100B   Fall Term           Instructor:    Prof. Alicia McKenzie             TR 11:30 - 12:50 pm
ML 100C   Fall Term           Instructor:    Prof. Dawn Matthew              MW 4:00 - 5:20 pm
ML 100D   Winter Term       Instructor:    Prof. Alicia McKenzie            TR 11:30 - 12:50 pm
ML 100E    Winter Term      Instructor:    Dr. Renee Ward                   MWF 10:30 - 11:20 am

ML 201 The Church and Its Impact        0.5 Credit
Fall term
Instructor: Dr. Alicia McKenzie
MWF 10:30 - 11:20 am   

This course provides an understanding of the impact of the church on medieval culture and society. It considers the way in which the church influenced, and was influenced by, the economy, politics, social structures, the arts, science and medicine, and education of the Middle Ages. It concludes with a consideration of the way in which the church dealt with the 'outsiders' of Western Christian society: Jews, Muslims and heretics. Topics include: the scholarly and artistic contribution of the monasteries, the importance of the cathedral to the economy and geography of a town, the role of mystics, religious drama and art as tools for the instruction of popular belief, the conflict between religious fervour and economic motivations, and the violent reaction to non-belief in the form of crusades, pogroms, millennialism and inquisitions.

ML 202 Privilege and Practice        0.5 Credit
Winter term
Instructor: Dr. Ron Ross
TR 4:00-5:20 pm

This course examines the first and third estates of medieval society -- the warrior aristocracy and the broad mass of the peasantry. The interaction and evolution of society, economy and technology are examined via a series of case studies on topics such as the castle, the house, the ship, the sword, the crown, the plough, the family, and the manor estate. The case studies use a variety of different sources, including various types of documents, artwork, folklore, and archaeology. Students will have an opportunity to study one artefact or category of artefacts in detail.

ML 300I        Vilence, Identity and Change:  The Werewolf Renaissance of 12thC       0.5 Credit
Fall term
Instructor: Dr. Renee Ward
MW 2:30-3:50 pm   

This course exams what Caroline Walker Bynum refers to as the "werewolf renaissance" (94) of the twelfth century:  the emergence of the sympathetic werewolf in literature, especially in medieval romance. It examines how the werewolf romances differ from their classical antecdents, especially narratives such as the story of the Arcadian King Lycaon in Ovid's Metamorphoses; it examines how the romances grapple with the conflicting philosophical and theological views of the twelfth century, specifically those views that arose with the recovery of Aristotle's lost works; and, finally, it examines the romances within the social context of the crusades, as a literary articulation of society's increasing anxieties concerning the knight's capacity for excessive violence.

ML 300H          Illuminating the Dark Ages        0.5 Credit
Winter term
Instructor: Dr. Alicia McKenzie
TR 2:30 - 3:50 pm

This course examines the evolving image of the Early Middle Ages in history and popular culture.  By considering the traditional narrative of the 'Dark Ages' and the comparatively new model of 'Late Antiquity', it will explore how the ongoing debate over the nature of the period has influenced its interpretation by popular cuture.  The sources examined will include historiography, novels, and films.  Topics will include periodization, the fall of the Roman empire, ethnogenesis, the Arthurian tradition, the Viking Age, and modern uses of the 'fallen world' image.

ML 401     The Medieval Book          0.5 Credit
Winter term
Instructor: Dr. Jim Weldon
TR  1:00 - 2:20 pm

This course provides students with a history of book production in the medieval west from 1100-1500.  Students explore various aspects of book production in the Middle Ages, and although the subject requires some attention to vernacular and Latin script, the course also focuses upon interdisiplinary aspects regarding the physical make-up and production of medieval manuscripts.