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Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

History 336 Spring 2011
0/High Middle Ages in Europe 900-1300

TR 9:00-10:15 Holmes 242

Dr. Karen Jolly
Department of History, University of Hawaii at Manoa
office: Sakamaki A408 web:
office hours: Tu 10:30-12:00, W 9:30-11, Th 3:00-4:00 or by appointment
voice: 956-7673 email:

This course introduces students to the main trends in European cultures from the tenth to the fourteenth century. We will read primary sources (online) and study issues of economy, society, religion, politics, scholarship and the arts. As part of the oral communications component and paper assignments, each student will focus on a particular region of Europe: Holy Roman Empire (Germany), Kingdom of Sicily, Italian city-states, Capetian France, Kingdom of England, eastern European states, northern European states, Iberian kingdoms and the Crusader states.

For the oral communications focus, we will use various forms of discussion and presentation intertwined with written assignments that together allow students to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the course material, particularly the primary source readings. The three informal and two formal presentations build communication skills in discussion dynamics and presentation styles while developing skills in historical analysis. Likewise, the five papers grow in size and complexity, requiring greater analysis



See below for specific assignment details.
In each section, the grade is split evenly
between the oral and written portions:
  • I. 10%
  • II. 15%
  • III. 20%
  • IV. 30%
  • V. 25%
Final grades are calculated on a 100 point scale, as follows:
  • A+ 97-100
  • A 93-96.9
  • A- 90-92.9
  • B+ 87-89.9
  • B 83-86.9
  • B- 80-82.9
  • C+ 77-79.9
  • C 73-76.9
  • C- 70-72.9
  • D+ 67-69.9
  • D 63-66.9
  • D- 60-62.9
  • F 0-59

Attendance and participation: is assumed and included in each section grade. Frequent absences or lack of preparation for, and participation in, class will have an adverse effect on the graded work, including random quizzes on the reading as well as the section papers. The instructor reserves the right to refuse papers handed in from a student who has failed to attend class regularly without a documented excuse. If you are struggling to keep up with the coursework, please consult the instructor as soon as possible so that we can work out a plan.

Virtual Reality: Students will need to use the Internet on a regular basis to access the syllabus and course readings as well as to submit papers and communicate with the instructor. The syllabus is online at Laulima and at the instructorís website with hotlinks to the IMS readings. Papers can be submitted through Laulima or directly to the instructorís email. Students are responsible for checking their UH email account regularly for messages from the instructor and to notify the instructor of any absences or problems.

Disability Access and Support Services: If you feel you need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, please 1) contact the KOKUA Program (V/T) at 956-7511 or 956-7612, QLCSS 013; 2) speak with me privately to discuss your specific needs. I will be happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program to meet you access needs related to your documented disability.

Go Here Student Success Center at Sinclair Library offers a full range of academic help 24/7. Student Services also provides counseling and support services to meet your needs. For assistance with writing, see links on my main webpage or go to the Manoa Writing Program help for writers, including the Writing Workshop.

Student Conduct: Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university norms and expectations stated in the Catalog and the Student Conduct Code. Common courtesy is expected in the classroom, including but not limited to: arriving and departing on time or notifying the instructor of a need to be excused, cell phones off, laptops in use only for course work, listening respectfully to other students, and timely submission of work. The instructor assumes students will behave honorably in submitting their own work and has no tolerance for cheating, particularly plagiarism.

Plagiarism, a form of cheating punishable under the UHM Student Conduct Code, is the use of someone else's words or ideas without citation or acknowledgement. This includes exact/unique phrases without quote marks; interpretive arguments (as opposed to general knowledge information) made to sound as your own when they are not; and sentences, paragraphs, or whole papers copied or downloaded into your paper. Any paper submitted to me that violates this standard will receive an automatic F (0 points) with no resubmission. We can discuss the case, but if we fail to agree on whether plagiarism occurred, the case will have to go to the Dean of Students, where the penalty if guilt is found is worse than an F on a paper.

Course Outline

I. Getting Medieval

Reading: Marcus Bull; Rosenwein, overview and chs. 5-7; IMS Studying History
Oral: small and large reading group discussion skills
Written: reading response and changing perceptions

II. Medieval Landscape, Society, and Economy

Reading: Barber, chs. 1-3, IMS Economic Life
Oral: group leadership, summarizing views of your group to the whole class
Written: describing and summarizing key features with examples
Paper 2: 3-4 page summary of the social structure of Europe in relation to the landscape and environment, with insights on your assigned region in relation to the general picture. Due 02/24.

III Religious Life

Reading: Barber, chapters 4-7; IMS Medieval Church
Oral: different points of view (instructor model for IV, with in-class writing)
Written: historical empathy and analysis
Paper 3: 5-6 page analysis connecting religion to different aspects of medieval society and the changes in material culture, highlighting representative or unique features of your assigned region. Due 3/17.

IV Political Change

Reading: Barber, chapters 8-15; IMS
Oral: collaborative research reports, leading the class; must include students writing a response which the group will grade. Students will work collaboratively to research their region, supply the class with primary source examples, and make an oral presentation to the class on the appropriate day. Written: historical narrative and comparative analysis
Paper 4: 7-9 page analysis of medieval political life in your particular region, in comparison to other regions. Due 4/21

V Cultural Life

Reading: Barber, chapters 16-19
Oral: individual visual presentations, 10 minutes each.
Written: reflections on medieval culture, in response to presentations
Paper 5: 5-6 page paper reflecting on the cultural aspects of medieval society from the presentations correlated with what we have learned throughout the semester about medieval Europe. Due 05/10 by noon.

General Presentation Guidelines:

Communication skills involve both listening and speaking. Words, images, and body language all play a role in effective communication.

The three informal presentations focus on group dynamics on a level field of discourse (everyone sitting down), by learning to collaborate in small group discussions, to effectively summarize and report on a groupís ideas, and to analyze different points of view. The instructor will design exercises to facilitate the development of discussion and assess studentsí ability to hear and contribute to the exchange of ideas.
Evaluation criteria for informal presentations:

  1. Content knowledge and understanding of issues
  2. Clarity of expression so that others understand
  3. Engagement with other studentsí ideas

The two formal presentations, one group and the other individual, are more hierarchical, with an implied teacher-student relationship in which the presenters will stand up front and lead the class in a learning experience, by lecturing, designing discussion, and assigning writing exercises. The instructor will model the format for each of these presentations, to set the standard. Students will evaluate each otherís presentations in writing. Evaluation criteria for formal presentations (specific guideliness will be handed out ahead of time):
  1. Content coherence, balancing main ideas with supporting information
  2. Clarity of organization shaping the material and creating an effective learning environment
  3. Aural and visual appeal in communicating effectively

Written Work

In class writing, quizzes, or other assignments cannot be made up without a documented excuse and permission from the instructor.

All paper assignments should be submitted electronically in Word (.doc or .docx) and sent to by noon of the due date. The format should be double-spaced 12-point font with footnotes single-spaced at the bottom of the page. Any citations should be in footnotes following the Chicago Manual of Style for humanities notes (N), NOT science style of in-text author-date. See Diana Hacker online style guide, or buy the book. Papers are graded on

  1. clear thesis and argumentation, indicated in the introduction and in the organization of the paper;
  2. adept analysis of sources and other information as evidence or examples; and
  3. vigorous, readable prose style free of grammar and syntax errors.

updated 04/11/2011