The Medieval Frontier
To be confirmed
Directed Reading in History
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.
Medieval Europe: an introduction
The module is a basic introduction to the history of Europe c600-c1450, a period usually described as 'Medieval'. It outlines the political and economic structures of the period, and examines the medieval 'world view' by discussing attitudes to life, death and the afterlife. Its first theme, expansion, charts the growth of Europe as a major world power and includes topics such as the crusades against the Muslims and pagans, political and economic growth, and intellectual development in the foundation of the universities. Its second theme, crisis, focuses on the devastating impact of plague, famine and warfare, and the increasing persecution of heretics, lepers, homosexuals, and Jews.
History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television.
This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.
The Practice of History
The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization.
At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.
The Reign of King John 1199-1216: Misrule and Magna Carta (I)
The reign of King John (1199-1216) was a critical period in medieval western European history, notably on account of the collapse of the Angevin ‘empire’ in France (1202-5); the Papal Interdict (1207-13); a radical shift in English relations with Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; and the Magna Carta crisis (1214-17). This module is the first part of a two-part Special Subject concerning John’s reign (with HIH3230), and introduces students to the main historical debates and primary sources for the reign.
The Reign of King John 1199-1216: Misrule and Magna Carta (II)
The reign of King John (1199-1216) was a critical period in medieval western European history, notably on account of the collapse of the Angevin ‘empire’ in France (1202-5); the Papal Interdict (1207-13); a radical shift in English relations with Wales, Ireland, and Scotland; and the Magna Carta crisis (1214-17). This module is the second part of a two-part Special Subject concerning John’s reign (with HIH3229). It comprises a detailed examination of the primary sources for this period, and places the developments of John’s reign in their broader context, exploring such themes as political society, government, justice and law, and concepts of identity.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
Medieval Studies Dissertation
A dissertation of 15,000 - 20,000 words written on a topic decided by the student in consultation with the dissertation supervisor. This represents Part Two of the MA programme in Medieval Studies.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches
This module introduces students to recent and current trends in medieval studies, to the research skills required for MA-level research, and to the medieval heritage of South Wales and the surrounding region. Seminars will consider the nature of medieval sources and texts, and a selection of themes that have made a significant impact upon medieval studies in recent years.
A course designed to help students to identify their dissertation subject, to prepare for it bibliographically, and to plan its research and writing.
This module will introduce students to the study of medieval manuscripts through weekly two-hour seminars. All candidates will first study palaeography in a range of languages, from late Roman to late medieval English scripts, dealing with a variety of hands and genres of text. Candidates will then choose between studying medieval diplomatic (documents, e.g. genre, purpose, and production) or learning the basics of editing medieval texts. The module will give students a sophisticated understanding of medieval manuscripts.
Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 2: Themes and Sources
This module aims to apply the skills and approaches learned in the module HIMM01: Introduction to Advanced Medieval Studies 1: Skills and Approaches to a range of important themes in Medieval Studies, including gender, identity, laws and customs, spirituality, heritage. The module is interdisciplinary and draws on historical, literary and visual sources. The content of the module will be arranged in 2-weekly blocks, with the first week in each block dedicated to introducing students to the specific theme and the second week being used as a practical application of this knowledge to a source or text.