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Going Medieval: A BOSP 2015 Summer Seminar

Location: Freiburg, Germany (with excursions to Strasbourg, Basel, Constance, Colmar, and Kaysersberg)

Faculty Leader: Kathryn Starkey (starkey@stanford.edu)

Arrival Date in Frankfurt: June 20, 2015

Departure Date from Freiburg: July 10, 2015

Prerequisite: Some background in German recommended.

Travel stipends available to declared German majors. Contact Professor Starkey for information.

General Description: The upper Rhine region that borders on France, Germany, and Switzerland has been the site of conflict and exchange since the early Middle Ages. Today this area is characterized by its blended culture, multi-lingualism, and its medieval heritage that forms an important part of the region’s identity. Since the Middle Ages it has been an economic and political center of Europe. In this seminar we will explore this region, observing the ways in which past and present intersect. Seminar topics will include the roles of Christianity, Judaism, mysticism, and secularism in the rise of the city; the development of institutions such as universities and monasteries; the expansion of trade (e.g., wine-making); and literary culture and artistic production. These topics will be approached through texts, artwork, exhibits, interaction with specialists, and onsite visits. We will also visit the urban centers of Strasbourg, Basel, and Constance. Students will participate in collaborative work with German students at the University of Freiburg. They will complete the seminar with an online project for their ePortfolios.

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