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:

  • An acquaintance with the richness and variety of European and Mediterranean civilization from the later Greco-Roman times through the Renaissance and Reformation (c. 300-1650 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 must take at least nine units of course work from the following 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.

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 Advanced Placement 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 may be counted toward the major. For students entering in the fall of 2014 and later, neither of these can be the required 300-level course for the major. Students entering in the fall of 2013 and earlier should consult the Chair of Medieval/Renaissance about counting such courses as 300-level courses in the major.

International Study in Medieval/Renaissance Studies

There are numerous opportunities for international study for those who wish to broaden their experience and supplement their research skills through direct contact with European and Mediterranean culture. Under normal circumstance, up to two courses in accredited programs abroad may be counted toward the major. For students entering in the fall of 2013 and earlier, up to three courses in accredited programs abroad may be counted toward the major.

Collegium Musicum

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 201Medieval Art and Architecture, 400-1400

1.0

ARTH 202Byzantine Art and Architecture

1.0

ARTH 215The Medi-terranean(s)

1.0

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

1.0

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

1.0

ARTH 246Collectors, Saints, and Cheese-Eaters in Baroque Italy

1.0

ARTH 247Islamic Art and Architecture, 650-1500

1.0

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

1.0

ARTH 299History of the Book from Manuscript to Print

1.0

ARTH 313Seminar: Eurasia: Empires, Merchants, and Missionaries (1600 - 1800)

1.0

ARTH 330-01-SSeminar: Italian Renaissance Art

1.0

ARTH 331-01-FSeminar: The Art of Northern Europe

1.0

ARTH 344Seminar: Topics in Islamic Art

1.0

ENG 112Introduction to Shakespeare

1.0

ENG 210History of the English Language

1.0

ENG 213Chaucer: Community, Dissent, and Difference in the Late Middle Ages

1.0

ENG 221/HIST 221The Renaissance

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 247/ME/R 247Arthurian Legends

1.0

ENG 315-01-FAdvanced Studies in Medieval Literature

1.0

Advanced Studies in Shakespeare

1.0

FREN 210-01-FFrench Literature and Culture Through the Centuries

1.0

FREN 224Versailles and the Age of Louis XIV

1.0

FREN 241Laughter is the Best Medicine

1.0

FREN 278Court, City, Salon: Early Modern Paris—A Digital Humanities Approach

1.0

FREN 302Discourses of Desire in the Renaissance

1.0

FREN 303-01-SAdvanced Studies in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

1.0

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

1.0

HIST 208Society and Culture in Medieval Europe

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 221/ENG 221The Renaissance

1.0

HIST 222The Barbarian Kingdoms of Early Medieval Europe

1.0

HIST 232The Transformation of the Western World: Europe from 1350 to 1815

1.0

HIST 234The Holy Roman Empire: Religion, Politics, and Culture from Luther to Napoleon

1.0

HIST 246Vikings, Icons, Mongols, and Tsars

1.0

HIST 279Heresy and Popular Religion in the Middle Ages

1.0

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

1.0

HIST 353Seminar: Sentimental Education in Early Modern Europe

1.0

HIST 354Seminar: King-Killers in Early Modern Britain and France

1.0

HIST 358Seminar: Pepper, Silver, and Silk: The Political Culture of Early Commodity Circulation

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's Divine Comedy (in English)

1.0

ITAS 274Women in Love: Portraits of Female Desire in Italian Culture

1.0

ITAS 275/ME/R 275Between Transcendence and Transgression: Desire from Dante to Milton

1.0

ITAS 316Dreams of Eden: Gardens in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature and Art

1.0

MUS 200History of Western Music I

1.0

MUS 224/REL 224Hildegard of Bingen

1.0

PHIL 200Philosophy and Witchcraft

1.0

PHIL 220Philosophy of Literature

1.0

PHIL 221History of Modern Philosophy

1.0

PHIL 300Seminar: Topic in Modern Philosophy

1.0

Religions of the Silk Road [2014-15]

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 260Islamic/ate Civilizations

1.0

REL 261Cities of the Islamic World

1.0

REL 262The Formation of the Islamic Tradition

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 308Masculinities in Medieval and Golden Age Spanish Literature

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

Love Manuals: Medieval and Modern [2014-15]

1.0

The Making of the Modern Self: Writing and Identity from the Middle Ages to the Present [2014-15]

1.0

WRIT 148Sex in the Middle Ages

1.0

WRIT 167Saints and Sinners in the Middle Ages

1.0

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