Medieval/Renaissance Studies Major

Goals for the Medieval/Renaissance Studies Major

The Medieval/Renaissance major seeks to develop the following areas of knowledge and skills in its majors:

  • An acquaintance with the richness and variety of European and Mediterranean civilization from the later Greco-Roman times through the Renaissance and Reformation (c. 300-1600 C.E.), as reflected in art, history, literature, music, and religion
  • The opportunity to work across disciplines and make connections between the approaches and subject matters in the different fields that make up the major
  • An in-depth understanding and special competence in at least one area of humanistic study during the period
  • The ability to analyze and critique primary and secondary source material in a variety of humanistic disciplines
  • The ability to express ideas clearly and cogently in both written and spoken language, and to conduct original research

Students entering Wellesley in the Fall of 2012 or later must take at least nine units of course work from the preceding list. Of these, at least four must be above the 100 level in an area of concentration—a single department, a geographi­cal location, a topic or theme.

Students who entered Wellesley prior to Fall of 2012 must take at least eight units of course work from the preceding course listings. Of these, at least four must be above the 100 level in an area of concentration—a single department, a geographi­cal location, a topic or theme.

A major in Medieval/Renaissance Studies will normally select her major advisor from the depart­ment or area in which she is concentrating. Two units of course work must be at the 300 level, and under normal circumstances, both of these courses must be taken at Wellesley College. Normally, credit/noncredit courses do not count for the major.

Honors in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100-level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.

Graduate Study and Careers in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

Majors who are contemplating postgraduate academic or professional careers in this or related fields should consult faculty advisors to plan a sequence of courses that will provide them with a sound background in the language and critical techniques essential to further work in their chosen fields. We make every effort to accommodate individual interests and needs through independent study projects (350s and senior theses) carried out under the supervision of one or more faculty members and designed to supplement, or substitute for, advanced seminar-level work.

Advanced Placement Policy in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

The Medieval/Renaissance Studies program does not accept AP credits to replace course work in the major.

Transfer Credit in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

Under normal circumstances, no more than two courses taken outside of Wellesley College will be counted toward the major.

Study Abroad in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

There are numerous opportunities for study abroad for those who wish to broaden their experience and supplement their research skills through direct contact with European and Mediterranean culture. Up to three courses in accredited programs abroad may be counted toward the major. By participating in the Collegium Musicum, students can learn to perform Medieval and Renaissance music; see the departmental entry for Music.

Courses for Credit Toward the Medieval/Renaissance Studies Major

ARTH 100Global Perspectives on Art and Architecture: Ancient to Medieval

1.0

ARTH 101Global Perspectives on Art and Architecture: Renaissance to Contemporary

1.0

ARTH 201Medieval Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 202Byzantine Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 218From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Painting in the Netherlands in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

1.0

ARTH 221Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Painting

1.0

ARTH 244Art, Patronage, and Society in Sixteenth-Century Italy

1.0

ARTH 247Islamic Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 251The Arts in Renaissance Italy Before and After the Black Death

1.0

ARTH 267Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean

1.0

ARTH 299History of the Book from Manuscript to Print

1.0

ARTH 330Seminar. Italian Renaissance Art

1.0

ARTH 331Seminar. The Art of Northern Europe

1.0

ARTH 332Seminar. Topics in Medieval Art

1.0

ARTH 344Seminar. Topics in Islamic Art

1.0

ARTH 369Seminar. Conservation Studies: The Materials and Techniques of Painting and Sculpture

1.0

CLCV 240/REL 240Romans, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire

1.0

Narrative Theory

1.0

ENG 213Chaucer

1.0

ENG 222Renaissance Literature

1.0

ENG 223Shakespeare Part I: The Elizabethan Period

1.0

ENG 224Shakespeare Part II: The Jacobean Period

1.0

ENG 225Seventeenth-Century Literature

1.0

ENG 227Milton

1.0

ENG 315Advanced Studies in Medieval Literature

1.0

ENG 324Advanced Studies in Shakespeare

1.0

ENG 325Advanced Studies in Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Literature

1.0

FREN 224Versailles and the Age of Louis XIV

1.0

FREN 301Books and Voices in Renaissance France

1.0

FREN 302Discourses of Desire in the Renaissance

1.0

FREN 333French Classical Tragedy: Corneille versus Racine: Rethinking the Parallel

1.0

HIST 208Society and Culture in Medieval Europe

1.0

HIST 209The British Isles: From Roses to Revolution

1.0

HIST 213Conquest and Crusade in the Medieval Mediterranean

1.0

HIST 214Medieval Italy

1.0

HIST 219The Jews of Spain and the Lands of Islam

1.0

HIST 222The Barbarian Kingdoms of Early Medieval Europe

1.0

The Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe

1.0

HIST 232The Transformation of the Western World: Europe from 1300-1815

1.0

HIST 246Vikings, Icons, Mongols, and Tsars

1.0

HIST 279Heresy and Popular Religion in the Middle Ages

1.0

HIST 307Seminar. Religious Change and the Emergence of Modernity in Early Modern Europe, 1600-1800

1.0

HIST 330Seminar. Revolution and Rebellion in Twelfth-Century European Society

1.0

HIST 375Seminar. Empire and Modernity: The Rise and Fall of Spanish World Power

1.0

HIST 379Heresy and Popular Religion in the Middle Ages

1.0

ITAS 263Dante (in English)

1.0

ITAS 311Theatre, Politics, and the Arts in Renaissance Italy

1.0

ITAS 312Rinascimento e Rinascimenti: Cultural Identities in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Italy

1.0

MUS 200History of Western Music I

1.0

MUS 224/REL 224Hildegard of Bingen

1.0

PHIL 221History of Modern Philosophy

1.0

PHIL 301Seminar. Early Modern Philosophy: Spinoza, Mind, and Nature

1.0

REL 109Religions of the Silk Road

1.0

REL 215Christian Spirituality

1.0

REL 216Christian Thought and Practice: 100-1600

1.0

REL 224/MUS 224Hildegard of Bingen

1.0

REL 226The Virgin Mary

1.0

REL 240/CLCV 240Romans, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire

1.0

REL 260Islamic/ate Civilizations

1.0

REL 261Cities of the Islamic World

1.0

REL 262The Formation of the Islamic Tradition

1.0

REL 361Seminar. Studying Islam and the Middle East

1.0

REL 364Seminar. Sufism: Islamic Mysticism

1.0

SPAN 252Christians, Jews, and Moslems: The Spirit of Spain in Its Literature

1.0

SPAN 300Seminar. Honor, Monarchy, and Religion in Golden Age Drama

1.0

SPAN 302Cervantes

1.0

SPAN 307Seminar. The Clothed and the Naked in Colonial Latin America

1.0

SPAN 318Seminar. Love and Desire in Spain's Early Literature

1.0

SPAN 325Seminar. Candid Cuisine: Food in Latin American Literature and Culture

1.0

WRIT 107ARTH 100 Introduction to the History of Art Part I: Ancient and Medieval Art

1.0

WRIT 108ARTH 101 Introduction to the History of Art Part II: Renaissance to Present

1.0

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