Medieval and early modern studies major

Medieval and Early Modern Studies is an interdisciplinary program that spans a diverse array of subject areas ranging from history to literature to the arts. Cornell's One Course At A Time curriculum enables you to delve deeper into your studies through a number of opportunities. These include research seminars led by Cornell faculty at Chicago's Newberry Library, research fellowships through the Cornell Fellows program, and off-campus semesters in Florence or London. 

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies program is truly interdisciplinary. Ten faculty from eight different disciplines offer courses pertinent to the major. Majors are guided to choose the course of study best suited to their interests. The capstone course is an opportunity for students to do an independent research project under the guidance of faculty mentors.

The Medieval and Early Modern Studies courses are designed to help you gain an awareness of the interconnectedness of historical, cultural, and artistic developments in Europe from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries. 

Courses offered range from the study of revolutions in religious belief to the impact of the printing press on literature and culture, from artistic representations of she-devils to the writings of political and moral philosophers, from Charlemagne to Falstaff. 

Medieval and Renaissance Club 

A small renaissance festival, sponsored by the Medieval and Renaissance Club, is held to provide a forum for learning about life in 600-1700 CE Europe, with a live steel reenactment group, fighting, and artistry demonstrations. 

Benefits of One Course At A Time

One Course At A Time allows immersive study of this part of the distant past, letting you really dig into the exciting and unfamiliar culture of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. In a course on the Crusades, you will work with other students to develop a map-based website exploring the history of the Crusades; you'll experience Renaissance politics through immersive simulations in which you play a role of a Florentine politician or a member of the Parliament; or you may adapt a medieval French romance into a digital game. Some courses include simulations to help you dive into the world of the Middle Ages and understand it.

Off-campus studies

The One Course schedule has allowed for off-campus study opportunities in places such as Italy, England, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

We encourage our students to study off-campus, especially as a participant in the following semester-long courses sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest:

The college also offers block-long research seminars, taught by members of the faculty, at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Majors may also participate in the semester-long program at the Newberry, sponsored by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.