Fall 2013

The Medieval Self

Listed in: History, as HIST-322


Jesse W. Torgerson (Section 01)


[EUP] Did medieval persons think of themselves as individuals? Medieval historians continue to engage in the long and controversial debate over whether we can oppose the medieval person (who found selfhood only in collective entities) to the modern person (who finds selfhood in the autonomous will). In this course we will work our way through a number of medieval persons who either wrote about their own self (autobiography), another self (biography), or a holy self (hagiography), and apply these texts to the great debate. As we investigate the validity of the distinction between the individual and the collective self, we will use this idea to pry open the history and the historiography of the middle ages itself. This course is writing attentive; students will be trained to write in a number of historical modes, including the production of a final research paper. Two class meetings per week.

Fall semester.  Visiting Professor Torgerson.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2013