220 Randall Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400180
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4180
Overview Every period in history is better illuminated and understood by using evidence from research in different fields rather than by studying it solely from the point of view of a single discipline. People of the past, after all, did not live their lives according to the departmental divisions of a modern university. Medieval studies, particularly in the last half century, have benefited enormously from this interdisciplinary approach. Work in, for example, family history, genealogy, archaeology, folklore, iconography, textual criticism, linguistic analysis, and statistical research has advanced and deepened our knowledge of the highways and byways of the period.
Faculty At the University of Virginia, there has been a strong and active program for many years in teaching and research based on significant holdings of printed works in the primary and secondary sources in the university libraries. There are now more than thirty faculty members who offer upwards of sixty courses on medieval topics in the departments of History, Classics, Religious Studies, Philosophy, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern Studies, Art History, Architecture, Music and Government.
Students For the interested and able student, the major provides a way of pursuing medieval studies free of existing departmental requirements, a program of language study within the field, a sound training for graduate work, and a chance to share knowledge and opinions with other scholars on the incunabular period of western civilization. By its comprehensive structure, it promotes cordiality, collegiality, and an exchange of views across departmental lines.The major in medieval studies, because it helps to develop and refine powers of criticism and imagination, and because it encourages, through practice, the ability to think and to write with clarity and precision, furnishes the skills useful in a wide variety of vocational fields.