Medieval Studies

The Minor in Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to introduce students to the rich culture of the European Middle Ages. Representing a major period of transition between Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance, the Middle Ages witnessed key developments in literature, history, art, architecture, music, philosophy, religion, and science—developments whose impact has continued to reverberate to the present day. 

This was the era that saw the composition of great vernacular works such as Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, the Arthurian legends, and Dante’s Divine Comedy; the emergence of the illuminated manuscript as a major art form and medium for the transmission of knowledge; the foundation of the first universities and the development of a formal educational curriculum; the architectural achievements embodied in the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals; the major encounter between the West and Islam that produced the Crusades on the one hand and the revival of Aristotelian learning on the other; the spirituality of the monastic orders; the music and poetry of the troubadours; and the richly varied lives of such influential individuals as the emperor Charlemagne, the philosopher Peter Abelard, the visionary Hildegard of Bingen, and the saint Francis of Assisi. 

Political and ideological developments were no less important: it was during the Middle Ages that most Western countries assumed something close to their present borders and began to develop their national consciousness, while the period also witnessed the beginnings of parliamentary democracy. 

Language courses include Old English (Anglo-Saxon) and Middle English, and students also have access to instruction in medieval Spanish. Our Visiting Scandinavian Scholar program provides access to the world's greatest authorities in Scandinavian and Viking studies, and affiliation with the internationally recognized UNM Institute for Medieval Studies increases that access even further with the Spring Lecture Series, which features nationally and internationally renowned researchers and scholars. Additional events, such as the Science and Medicine seminar series and numerous visiting lecturers, bring a wealth of opportunity and scholarship to Albuquerque. 

There is financial support available to students of Medieval Studies to conduct a research project in the U.S. or abroad; to attend a summer study program in the U.S. or abroad; or to deliver a conference paper in the U.S. or abroad.

Medieval Studies first took form in 1982 as a modest undergraduate minor and has since developed into a vibrant interdisciplinary program with a national and international scholarly reputation of its graduate students and faculty. Our classes provide deep and solid knowledge of medieval languages and literatures situated in their many contexts and nuanced with judicious applications of modern literary theory. In the classroom and in the larger community, the Medieval Studies program blends language, context, and theory to provide world-class training.  

Undergraduate Program

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Programs of Study


  • Medieval Studies

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Mesa Vista Hall (Bldg 56), Suite 2045

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