Understanding western society as it developed from the fall of the Roman Empire to the discovery of the New World is crucial to interpreting the world around us.
Our world is an echo of a medieval one. The medieval world historically was characterized by inter-connectedness, with ties existing between Islam and Christianity, between Europe and the Near East. In the medieval period, laws and rights began to hold fast, nation-states and nationalism developed, and empires rose and fell. Successful agricultural technologies were found to deal with food insecurity, as were medical advancements to confront diseases. Our political, religious, and educational systems all possess medieval structures, as do our sexual values, gender norms, and a great many of our cultural priorities and biases.
If you want to understand where we are - and where we are heading, you need to know how we got here. Medieval Studies offers students the opportunity to work across disciplines and between cultures, A variety of sources are studied in this field, ranging from manuscripts to monasteries, and from printing presses to plague reports. Students will learn to recognize and assess the cultural developments of the past, and to read them as important to those of the present.
If you need any advice on courses, we'd recommend you contact the co-directors of the department, Dr. Steven Bednarski and Dr. David Porreca. It is also important to be aware of our listing of program requirements, as well as the uWaterloo undergraduate calendar.