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Fall 2023

This course explores English culture and society from Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain through civil wars of the 15th century. Readings include primary source documents, contemporary chronicles, as well as scholarly interpretations of such phenomena as the development of a pre-capitalist economy, the growth of English law, and medieval origins of the modern nation state. We also will consider the development of Christianity from the earliest missions through the English reformation, patterns of migration and population, the impact of the Black Death, and the formation of English traditions in literature and the arts.

Prof. Cotts, 4 credits, TTh 10-11:20 a.m.

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution.

-History major: pre-modern; Cultures & Ideas; Revolution/War/Politics; Before Modernity

Spring 2024

This course explores how Europeans interacted with and thought about the natural world between the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Industrial Age. We will trace this interaction from the early medieval migration period through the changing demographic patterns of the central and later Middle Ages, and conclude with the industrialization of the late eighteenth century. Archaeological evidence, along with primary and secondary sources will allow us to discuss climactic shifts, the active changes humans made to the landscape (such as reclamation and deforestation), and changing cultural attitudes toward nature. We will continually consider how this history can inform contemporary debates about the environment and its degradation. May be taken for credit toward the social sciences foundation of the Environmental Studies major.

Prof. Cotts, 4 credits, TTh 10-11:20 a.m.

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution and Environmental Studies requirements.

-History major: pre-modern; Cultures & Ideas; Social Justice; Before Modernity

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