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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2003

T C HIS • HIS 309K: Western Civilization in Modern Times

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36215 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
GAR 109

Course Description

This course covers the history and culture of western Europe from the origins of the Christian church (1st century A.D.) to the end of the Hundred Years' War (mid-15th century). Major topics include: the early Christian centuries; the Roman collapse and the barbarian migrations; the emergence of tribal kingdoms; the Viking Age; from mini-Ice Age to Golden Age (the impact of climate and technology); daily life and popular culture; religious corruption and reform; the emergence of medieval states; the Black Death and the end of the medieval world. Lectures are designed to clarify important issues of the period and to provide additional concepts and information not provided by the assigned readings.

About the professor: Professor Meisel teaches a wide variety of courses on medieval Europe, but her own work concentrates on northern France in the 10th through 12th centuries and on England from c. 800 to 1400. She has been doing a lot of work on the Black Death and medieval towns, and also working on a translation of the Paston Letters, an extensive collection of English family documents from the 14th and 15th centuries. She is the author of Barons of the Welsh Frontier, and also served as the historical consultant for two PBS series, "Newscasts from the Past" and "Timeline." Between the time she received her A.B. from Oberlin College in 1966 and completed her doctorate at the University of California, Berkeley in 1974, Meisel designed computers, was employed as a business consultant, worked for the Post Office, and lived on a commune. Since coming to UT in 1974, she has won several fellowships and four teaching awards. She is a mystery junkie, has taken up scuba diving, and is devoted to her four cats.

Grading Policy

Written work for the course consists of a map quiz, two 75-minute tests and a final exam.


Class handouts Xerox readings packet Clifford R. Backman, The Worlds of Medieval Europe


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