Loyola University Chicago

Medieval Studies

Fall 2023 Courses

Click below for more information on these courses.

  • Instructor: Dr. Dossey
  • MWF, 10:25-11:15 AM

This course examines the interaction between Romans and the so-called “barbarians” such as the Goths, Huns, and Arabs from the 2ndto the 7thcenturies CE.  We will be addressing issues such as:  the late Roman military  – whether the enemies were getting stronger or the Roman army weaker; the “movement of peoples” -  whether large-scale migrations really occurred; the ethnic identity of peoples like the Goths or Huns –  did they have some basis in reality (as assessed by archaeology and scientific evidence); the incorporation of immigrants  - both how well the Romans integrated them and how modern attitudes toward immigration have influenced the scholarship on the ancient “barbarians.”  During most weeks, the class will take the form of lectures and discussion.  However, on certain weeks, we will engage in historical role-playing in order to make events appear more “real” to you.  Each of you will be given a key role foroneof these weeks (Game Leadership) and research your character, write a short paper (usually in the form of a persuasive speech), and help write the procedures for play (the “Gamebook”).  In addition to these assignments, there will be two in-class exams as well as occasional quizzes on the readings.  

  • Dr. Gross-Diaz
  • TuTh, 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

Stinky peasants, feudalism, all-powerful popes? Not so much! Medieval Europe was a complex and connected world. Our studies will lead to a fuller appreciation of the richness of medieval society and its contributions to the modern world. Surveyed issues will include (among others) religion and race in Iberia, chivalry and violence, social reform and revolt, and reactions to the Black Death. Course will proceed through discussion of primary and secondary sources; research paper optional

  • Instructor: Dr. Stabler Miller
  • TuTh, 10:00 AM -12:45 PM

Sometimes termed the “Age of Faith,” the Middle Ages (c. 500 to 1500 CE) are also regarded as an age of violence, persecution, and religious intolerance. To what extent was this period truly an “Age of Faith” or a “persecuting society”? How did religious authorities and pious laypeople reconcile violence with the message of love in the gospels? What were the limits of belief? What were the limits of religious tolerance? In what ways did the process of defining “correct belief” (orthodoxy) depend on definitions of “wrong belief” (heresy)? Who decided? Who resisted, why, and with what consequences? To grapple with these complex issues, this course will approach the past by reenacting the past. Students will research and enact specific perspectives (inquisitors, notaries, priests, mystics, nobles, peasants, etc.) as a class.

  • Dr. Graham-Skoul
  • MWF, 10:25 - 11:15 AM


  • Dr. Long
  • MWF, 9:20 - 10:10 AM
  • Instructor: Dr. Sawyer
  • Th, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Christianity has shaped our world more than any other religious or secular phenomenon. Today with approximately 2.6 billion adherents, it has the highest population of any world religion. To begin to understand the world we live in, we need to understand Christianity, its beliefs and practices, which have had, and continue to have, such a profound global impact. During this semester you will be introduced to key factors and individuals that have shaped the religion we encounter today; and for your projects you will have the opportunity to research in depth a particular Roman location of your choice where Christianity has had a significant role to play. Planning and discussions of your projects will run throughout the semester.

  • Instructor: Dr. Gross-Diaz
  • Lectures: Occasional Mondays, 4-5pm; individual meetings

MSTU 300 (Fall) and 301 (Spring) together form our capstone experience. Working with faculty from one or more departments, you will devise your own research project and follow it through over the course of an academic year. Ideally, your project will have some connection to the theme of the Medieval Studies Center lecture series, which this year is “Class, Case and Race in the Global Middle Ages”. Students who register for MSTU 300 this fall will attend the MSC lectures, meet with the speakers, and occasionally meet as a group or one-on-one with faculty mentors as they work on their projects. For more information, contact Dr Gross-Diaz,  tgross@luc.edu

Internships/Research Assistantships are available in MSTU (currently under the heading of HIST 398). These hold Engaged Learning credit as well as History/MSTU credit. Some are in connection with Cudahy Library and Archives. Possible topics include documenting and archiving thirty years of Medieval Studies lectures series and events; documenting and creating an online exhibit of the long-gone medieval garden and labyrinth project; digitizing photos of medieval pilgrimage and creating an online exhibit. This internship is available most semesters: contact Dr Gross-Diaz for details.


If you have questions or need more information, please contact Dr. Theresa Gross-Diaz, Program Director, at tgross@luc.edu.