6: College of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Academic Information | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Afro-American and African Studies | Anthropology | Archaeology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern
Asian Studies | Astronomy | Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Cognitive Science | Comparative Literature
Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences | French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs
History | Latin American Studies | Linguistics | Mathematics | Medieval Studies
Middle East Studies | Music | Personal Skills | Philosophy | Physics | Political and Social Thought
Psychology | Religious Studies | Service Physical Education | Slavic | Sociology
Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | University Seminars | Women's Studies

Program in Medieval Studies

Course Descriptions

Overview   Every period in history is better illuminated and better known by making use of evidence from research in different fields, than if it were studied solely from the point of view of a single discipline. People of the past, after all, did not live their lives according to the departmental divisions of a modern university. Medieval studies, particularly in the last half century, have benefited enormously from this interdisciplinary approach. Work, for example, in family history, genealogy, women's studies, folklore, anthropology, archaeology, religious and intellectual history, textual criticism, iconography, linguistic analysis and statistical research has advanced and deepened our knowledge of the highways and byways of the period.

Faculty   At the University of Virginia, a strong program in teaching and research is supported by more than thirty-five faculty members who offer upwards of eighty courses on medieval topics in the departments of history, classics, religious studies, philosophy, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, art history, music, and government; the University libraries have significant holdings of printed works in the primary and secondary sources; and the Medieval Circle at the University, founded in 1968 as a forum for the discussion of current topics and of research in progress, is flourishing in its thirtieth year.

Students   For the able and interested student, the major provides a way of pursuing medieval studies free of existing departmental requirements, a program of language study within the field, a sound training for graduate work, and a chance to share knowledge and opinions with other scholars on the incunabulum period of western civilization. Moreover, by its comprehensive structure, it promotes cordiality, collegiality, and an exchange of views across departmental lines.

The major in medieval studies, because it helps to develop and refine powers of criticism and imagination, and because it encourages, through practice, the ability to think and write with clarity and precision, furnishes the skills necessary to succeed in a wide variety of vocational fields. The administrative responsibility of the major rests with an interdepartmental committee appointed by the Dean of the College and chaired by Professor Everett U. Crosby in the Department of History.

Requirements for Major   The major is open to all qualified students in the College. Competence in a modern foreign language at the level of a second-year course, or better, will be expected.

Requirements for graduation from the major are:

  1. Thirty credits in courses approved by the student's advisor with passing grades, with at least a 2.0 GPA, distributed over the following fields of study:
    History (9 credits)
    Language (6 credits, at the 200-level or above, other than LATI 201-202)
    Literature (9 credits)
    Art or Music (3 credits)
    Philosophy, Religious Studies or Political Thought (3 credits)
  2. The satisfactory completion of LATI 201, 202, or the equivalent.
  3. A senior essay on an approved subject and written under the supervision of a member of the faculty to be submitted to the chair of the committee in the spring of the final year (6 credits).

The problems inherent in an interdisciplinary major, that the student faces sources and methods in different fields, and that the work must be organized on the basis of courses selected from a vast array, can be dealt with to a large extent by fitting the program to each student's abilities and needs through individual consultation, by work in seminar, and by careful supervision of the senior essay, which is designed to furnish a measure of coherence in the student's view of the period.

The major may be combined with another departmental program as a double major, or it may be taken as a minor subject provided at least 18 credits are in medieval courses approved by the student's advisor.

Additional Information   For more information, contact Everett Crosby, Program Chair, Department of History, 220 Randall Hall, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 924-6407.

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