Professor Michelli E-mail
Ext 3098
Flaten Auditorium
Tuesday and Thursday
2.05-3.00 p.m.
Office Hours by appointment

Required set books:
J Snyder, Medieval Art, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and Harry Abrams Inc, New York, 1989

J Beckwith, Early Medieval Art, Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque, Thames & Hudson, 1974

A Martindale, Gothic Art, Thames & Hudson, 1967

Home Syllabus What you should be doing now Grading Policy

Hello Late Medievalists!

Since many of you are visiting this page just now, I assume that you are checking out the course. So please note that I designed the course before I knew how many students I would have this semester. So, return visitors PLEASE NOTE, the requirements have now been revised. See you soon!


The course is concerned with all the arts from around the year 1000 till about 1350. But to stop there is to miss some of the most glorious architecture ever created, so we will pursue a few later buildings as well. This is, in fact, two periods: the Romanesque, and the Gothic. These periods are defined differently by just about everyone who ever studies them, so for the purposes of this course, we are taking the Romanesque as c1000 to c1140, and the Gothic as c1140 to c1350 (except in England, where it continues into the 1500s).

The syllabus (attached) is divided into twelve units for each period, and we will study one unit in each class. Punctual attendance at each class is required. There are also reading assignments for each unit (listed separately, also attached): read them IN PREPARATION for each class. In class we will be discussing the works listed in the syllabus, considering why they look the way they do, what artistic traditions they are based on, what innovations are being made, what the patrons are trying to say and to whom. We will, in fact, be forcing the material to speak for itself. So get the background reading done on time, and scan Snyder's early chapters so that you can see the earlier artistic traditions for yourself, and start making the connections for yourself before class. This really will kick-start your thinking, and equip you to join the class discussions. It is expected that you will put in an average of 7 hours preparation time per week (added to your class time, this comes to 10 hours per week: one quarter of a normal working week).

There will be informal identification and vocab quizzes each week to help you keep up with the material and to ensure that you are easily able to refer to it in class discussions. If you cannot cope with the informal quizzes, formal, written ones will be set up. You are expected to know the monuments listed in the syllabus for each class unit.

There will also be two written assignments (due on 16th October and 25th November respectively. Watch your e-mail for the topics, which will appear no more than one week in advance. These assignments are designed to develop particular scholarly skills, so follow the instructions carefully. The TOPICS focus on the overall ideas of the time. This will develop your ability to catch implications rather than directly stated facts. The emphasis on PLANS is important because these help you to develop your skills of logic and completion. Finally, the WORD-COUNT is important because it will force you to develop skills of focus and selection (if you currently tend to write too much), or to develop skills of development and reason (if you currently tend to write too little). Together, these are the skills which put you in control of your subject, which is what a college degree is all about.

There will also be a continuing e-mail assignment, which will provide the raw material for your final exam. You are required to post THREE questions or observations for the Romanesque section of the course, and THREE for the Gothic section. You are also required to respond to three postings in each section, thus helping to create various "threads" of discussion and response. That is a total of TWELVE postings during the semester (more is acceptable but not necessary). For the final exam, collect any thread, and examine, expand, critique, or challenge it in a 1000 word paper. Submit the thread and the paper for the final exam. The instructions for this continuing assignment are deliberately loose, to allow you to define your own interests and approaches and to leave the course with something uniquely your own. So use your imagination, and TAKE THIS ASSIGNMENT SERIOUSLY.

Other requirements include participation in class discussion. This will be tracked by name tags. Aim to participate twice per class. Note also that your syllabus functions as a review list. Learn the identifications as you go, try to have them ready for each class. They will be tested approximately every third week. Look out for the optional quizzes on the web page, to help you keep up-to-date.

Course Grading

One Romanesque plan with 1500-2000 word paper
One Gothic plan with 1500-2000 word paper
One thread with 1000 word paper (final)
3 identifications and terms tests (50 pts each)
100 pts
100 pts
100 pts
150 pts
} 86%
Twelve e-mail posts (1.5 pts each)
50 class participations (0.5 pt each)
Class attendance (0.5 pt each)
30 pts
25 pts
15 pts
} 14%

Home Syllabus What you should be doing now Grading Policy