HISTORY 496 - History Colloquium
Winter 2021, Section 001 - Monks & Mystics: Spiritual Striving in Medieval Europe and Byzantium Monks & Mystics: Spiritual Striving in Medieval Europe and Byzantium
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:


Were they mad or did they lead boringly routine lives—eating lentils, tending gardens, reading, and praying? Why would anyone choose to live on top of a pillar whipped by wind and rain? What is achieved by speaking to others in your house only for a few hours one day a week and for the rest keeping silent? And did Teresa of Avila in ecstasy really levitate above ground, when she was also the woman who rode mules and ate partridges with gusto, founding convents and proving herself a wily business woman? The monastic venture would seem an impossible one: the aspiration to achieve oneness with the divine while grappling with human limitations and frailities. Yet the monks and mystics we will encounter between the 4th and 16th centuries A.D. altered landscapes, created and maintained interregional travel networks, and established communities that have endured into our century. Many also brewed (still brew) the best beer. This seminar will consider what appears foreign and pre-modern about the monastic vocation, and where the counter-culture of monks and mystics may remind us that another reality is always possible. This course fulfills the Upper Level Writing Requirement.

Course Requirements:

As a writing intensive seminar, the three main requirements are careful reading, active participation in discussion, and writing. In the first half of term, there will be weekly short essays, 2-3 pages, based on assigned readings. In the second half of term, along with assigned readings, the focus will be on writing a longer research paper, 10-12 pages.

Intended Audience:

Junior and Senior History Majors. Others are welcome, depending on availability of openings. Please contact the instructor with any questions.

Class Format:

Class meetings will be on-line and synchronous. Classes will not be recorded.


HISTORY 496 - History Colloquium
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all sections of 496 are remote and synchronous. Initial seats are open to History Junior and Senior Majors. Non-History junior and senior majors should email Sheila (sheilaw) after December 3 for availability.
002 (SEM)
M 2:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (SEM)
Tu 3:00PM - 6:00PM
004 (SEM)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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