Room: Burch Hall, NBW 102
Section 2750: MW, 2:00-3:15 p.m.
Instructor: Doug Catterall
Office: Burch Hall 202D
Office Hours: M, W 3:30-5:30
p.m., T, 3-6 p.m., W 11a.m.-12p.m.,Th. 2-4 p.m.,
and by appointment
work telephone: 581-2949
home telephone: 536-7950
In the period from 1300 to 1800 European societies transformed dramatically. Europe entered a much more global world. Everyday life for Europeans also changed fundamentally. There are many ways to approach these transformations, so it is important to be clear about what this course is not. The course will not provide an overview of political events or economic trends. In addition, while we will deal with social structure, we will do so only in order to show where different groups fit into European society.
In this course we will chiefly examine Europe's metamorphosis through the lens of culture. This approach will allow us to view change from the perspective of everyday life and to see culture as a force that shaped worldviews. It is easy to assume that as common folk did not leave monumental records of their experiences and did not take the important political decisions their ideas were unimportant. Similarly, it is often assumed that people who were not "common," e.g. nobles, merchants, professionals, had little to do with those beneath them. Both of these perspectives do not hold much water for early modern Europe. As we will see, those among the high and low shared more than one might think and the cultural universe that they shared had a great deal of impact.
There are many ways to define culture and we will discuss some of them in this course. For the sake of having a working definition, we will begin our discussions in the course with this one:
Culture is the sum total of behaviors, habits, practices, and symbols that people use to give meaning to their world.
Beginning with this definition we will make an effort to look at 1)
how average Europeans in different parts of Europe structured their daily
routines using rituals, 2) everyday life in rural and urban communities,
3) gender roles, 4) popular understandings of religion, 5) interactions
between people and religious and state institutions, and 6) travel in early
modern Europe. By focusing very specifically and in detail on each
of these facets of life in early modern Europe, it is my hope that each
of you will develop your own sense of what culture meant to early modern
The Seminar Environment
A seminar is a course in which the basis for instruction is discussion. Discussion is, of course, a collective enterprise, which means that this course works bests if everyone participates. Participation chiefly means contributing ideas to our considerations of the various issues with which this course deals. Thus, while I am the instructor, this is a course that you will very much be responsible for shaping. I invite you to take advantage of the unique opportunities that a seminar environment offers.
As this course depends on a lively discussion environment, it is essential that there be freedom for everyone to contribute. This means that disagreements over issues are in order. Personal attacks, insults, or other disruptions the discussion environment (e.g. arriving late, leaving early, talking with other students during class, sleeping, reading, passing notes), however, are not acceptable.
This is an advanced, 4000-level course and it is expected that you come
into the course with some preparation both in terms of the skills needed
to write a research paper and in terms of the context that we will be engaging
with: early modern Europe. I will not be able to provide a survey-type
overview of the material in the course. If you need that kind of
background extra readings will be on reserve at the CU Library (see below)
and you can consult them as you deem it necessary to do so. I will,
of course, be happy to answer individual questions of a more general nature
outside of class, but class discussion will focus on the assigned readings
for the course.
Specific Objectives of the Course:
This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following
three areas of intellectual
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformational
trends in European popular culture from 1300-1800, and particularly in the areas of rituals, everyday
life in rural and urban areas, the role of gender, popular belief, and travel. You will gain information on these
topics by reading, evaluating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class readings assigned
for the course and by writing the research papers that the course requires.
Since this is a seminar in which our main goal will be to understand how different historians have
tried to understand complex historical phenomena, you will improve your ability to evaluate conflicting
interpretations of past events and issues. You will do this in two ways: 1) by contributing to discussions
in class, which is a major component of the course grade, and 2) by writing the various papers that form
the writing component of the course, and especially by writing the research paper required for the course.
Historical Research Skills:
All of the papers in this course are tied in some way to the research paper that you need to write for the course.
In order to write these papers you will thus learn how to engage closely with primary and secondary source materials.
We will also discuss how historians have tried to relate their work to that of other historians (historiography); how
they have used sources to explore the past (methodology); and how historians deal with the complex task of
defining change, continuity, and the causes behind each. Thus, you will be thinking about how to conduct,
organize, and present research by examining and discussing how others have done these things and you will gain
a knowledge of the terms and categories that historians use when they practice their craft. In addition, you will
have the opportunity to experience the research process as you write your research paper and the papers that lead
up to this paper.
Course Readings, Assignments, and Requirements
Secondary Sources:Assignments and Requirements:
Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1984)
Edward Muir, Ritual in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)
Robert Rapley, A Case of Witchcraft: The Trial of Urbain Grandier (McGill-Queens University Press, 1999)
Lyndal Roper, Oedipus and the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe (London: Routledge, 1994)
Selected Journal Articles; see under Additional Readings for further details.
Glueckel of Hameln, The Memoirs of Glueckel of Hameln, translated by Marvin Lowenthall (New York: Schocken Books, 1987).
Selections from: Celia Fiennes, Through England on a Side Saddle, in the Time of William and Mary, being the Diary of Celia Fiennes (London: Field & Tuer, 1888)
I will provide seven additional article-length readings in the CU Library Reserve. These readings are required and are specified in the schedule of readings, topics, and due dates below. I will also make available at the Cameron University Library Reserve supporting reading materials for those who would like additional background on the themes of the course. These readings are not required.
I run my upper division courses in a seminar format. Student contributions to discussion are therefore heavily weighted. I grade on the basis of your willingness to participate and your preparedness (as evidenced by contributions in class). This is part of the participation mark in the class, meaning that effort will be counted more heavily in assessing this mark. I will gauge your discussion mark in each class meeting on a three-point scale, with 3 being the highest mark possible and 1 being the lowest.
These assignments, of which there are 4, will be focused on particular aspects of course readings that I feel require more emphasis than is possible in class discussion. These shorter writings (2-3 typed, double-spaced pages in length) allow you to examine some of the more complex ideas in the course. As they are meant to be more experimental in nature, they are also counted as part of the participation mark. Each of these pieces will be worth 21 points and will be due on the next class day following the day on which you receive the assignment.
For those who are not able to take advantage of all of the opportunities for participation noted above I will be showing two films this term. Those who wish to may attend either of these films (which will be shown in the evening outside of normal class ours) and write an analysis of the film(s) of 1-2 typed, double-spaced pages consisting of a brief summary of the film and an analysis of the film's historical accuracy and its interpretations of history. Film critiques are due at the beginning of the next regular class meeting. No exceptions. Each of these writings is worth up to 5 points.
There are a total of 168 regular participation points possible in this course, half of which can be earned through discussion and half of which can be earned through writing the working pieces. To obtain an A in participation, you need to earn at least 135 points. A mark of B requires a minimum of 120 points, a C 105 points, a D 90 points.
Each student will be responsible for presenting on and leading class discussion of one scholarly article with a fellow student. The discussion must highlight the major themes of the article and must involve all members of the class. This presentation is part of the academic grade, meaning merit only will be measured in determining the mark. I will be looking chiefly at your preparedness, your understanding of the article, and your ability to promote discussion. Plan to have control of the class for 25-30 minutes.
Primary Source Critique--20%
This assignment requires you to create a source-analytical essay in which you give 1) a brief overview of the source's contents, 2) a brief description of the context with which the source deals, 3) a discussion of the source's biases, 4) a discussion of what questions the source might be used to answer, and 5) a discussion of at least three major themes in the current work of historians to which these questions might be related. This paper should be 6, double-spaced pages in length and is due in week 6. It must also be properly footnoted and documented. This paper will receive an academic grade.
2 Book Reviews--20%
Students must write a 500-word, typed, critical book review for two of the four secondary sources assigned in the course. Each review should contain a brief statement of the book's main arguments and the sources it uses and should also give a critical appraisal of the book's strengths and weaknesses. These papers are also part of the academic grade and must be turned in one week after we finish reading a given book for full credit.
The cornerstone of this course is a research paper, which must be rooted in original, primary-source based research. I encourage you to select one particularly rich source as the focal point of your paper (preferably the source you analyze in your Primary Source Critique), but the paper must in any case be based on at least 50 standard, printed pages of primary-source material. Projects that are not written are allowable if cleared in advance; this does not mean that a project of this nature will automatically be approved. This paper is part of the academic grade.Standards and Requirements:Additional Guidelines for Papers:
1) Written projects must be 9-12 typed, double-spaced pages in length, must have a bibliography, and must be properly footnoted. I expect that each of you understands how to put together a bibliography and that you all know how to footnote properly. If you need guidelines purchase a copy of Kate Turabian's helpful manual A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations.
2) You must submit a 1-page, double-spaced paper topic, which I will have to approve, in week 3; I will not read paper topics submitted more than five days late, and you cannot proceed in the course without an approved paper topic.
3) You must submit two complete drafts (i.e. drafts of 9-12 pages in length) on the due dates specified, with a half-grade reduction from your final mark on the paper for each draft that is 1) not submitted, 2) submitted late, or 3) submitted incomplete (i.e. not long enough). No late drafts will be accepted for credit. There simply is not sufficient time in the term to individually tailor deadlines.
4) You must provide two peer critiques to a member of the class to whom you will be assigned by me. Failure to provide these critiques, which must be handed in to me and to the peer review partner by the due dates set below, will result in a one-grade reduction from the final mark on your paper for each critique not returned or returned late. Peer critiques need to be returned to your partner in a timely enough fashion for your advice to do some good; late critiques will receive no credit.
5) Please note the rules governing the submission and critique of drafts are to ensure that everyone proceeds at a measured pace in his/her work and that no one has an advantage over anyone else. Therefore, in the interests of fair play, be assured I will enforce the rules zealously.
More specific guidelines and standards for the papers will be made available to you in a timely fashion, both on the web syllabus (and in paper form when advisable). You will be responsible for keeping to these standards and guidelines in addition to the requirements indicated above.
How I Calculate Your Final Mark:
Each of the components above will earn a letter grade. These letter grades all correspond to a set numerical value out of 100. To arrive at your final mark, I multiply the numerical value assigned to the letter grade you earned for a given course component by its percentage weighting in the final mark, (e.g. 2 Book Reviews 20%). After converting each of the course components in this manner, I add them together and this sum yields a figure out of 100. An A requires a 90 or above, a B an 80 or above, a C a 70 or above, a D a 60 or above. Anything below 60 is a failing mark. Should you have further questions about how your marks are computed or if you want to know where you stand, feel free to come and see me at any time.
Late Working Papers:
No late working papers (i.e. informal writings) will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your performance on informal writings. Thus, as long as you achieve the number of participation points corresponding to the mark you desire, you'll be fine.
Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In these essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will provide a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due. If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, do not assume you will be exempt from following its guidelines as it will be available on the online syllabus. In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the 2002-2003 "Student Handbook," as described in the CU Code of Student Conduct on pp. 124-141. Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.
Those who require special accommodations or have special needs should notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Schedule of Readings, Topics, & Due Date
Ritual and Everyday Routine in Early Modern Europe
Week 1: Defining Ritual
[1.15] Read: Muir, 1-13.
Week 2: Ritual's Place in Everyday Life
[1.20] Read: Muir, 13-55 and selection from Bruce Lincoln, Discourse
and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual,
and Classification (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).
[1.22] Read: Muir, 55-81.
Week 3: Manners and Mayhem
[1.27] Read: Muir, 81-116.
[1.29] Read: Muir, 117-146; Turn In: Research Paper Topic
Week 4: Ritual in Religion and the State
[2.3] Read: Muir, 147-212 and Gerritdina (Ineke) Justitz, "Reforming Space,
Reordering Reality: Naumberg's Herren Gasse in the 1540s," Sixteenth Century
Journal XXXIII, no. 3 (Fall 2002): 625-648. [Presentation Pair 1]
[2.5] Read: Muir, 212-275.
Life in an Early Modern Village
Week 5: Ties within and beyond the Village
[2.10] Read: Davis, 1-41.
[2.12] Read: Davis, 42-93; Turn In: Book Review of Muir.
Watch: The Return of Martin Guerre, Nance Boyer 3006, 6-8:30 p.m.
Week 6: From Village to Town
[2.17] Read: Davis, 94-126 and Dan Beaver, Parish Communities and
Religious Conflict in the Vale of Gloucester, 1590-1690 (Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 25-44. [Presentation Pair 2]
Life in an Early Modern Town
[2.19] Read: Glueckel of Hameln, 22-89; Turn In: Primary Source Critique
Week 7: Perceptions of Identity in Early Modern European Towns
[2.24] Read: Glueckel of Hameln, 90-221; Turn In: Book Review of Davis.
[2.26] Read: Glueckel of Hameln, 222-267 and Gayle K. Brunelle "Kinship,
Identity, and Religion in Sixteenth-Century Toulouse: The Case of Simon Lecomte,"
Sixteenth Century Journal XXXII, no. 3 (fall 2001): 669-695. [Presentation Pair 3]
Examine (in English or German!): Judengasse
Frankfurt am Main/Jewish Quarter, Frankfurt am Main
Gender Roles in Early Modern Europe
Week 8: Men
[3.3] Read: Roper, 37-52, 107-124.
[3.5] Read: Roper, 125-167.
Week 9: Women
[3.10] Read: Roper, 53-78.
[3.12] Read: Roper, 79-103 and Sarah F. Matthews Grieco, "The Body,
Appearance, and Sexuality," in A History of Women: Volume III,
Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes, ed. Natalie Zemon Davis and
Arlette Farge (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,
1993), 46-84. [Presentation Pairs 4 & 5]; Turn In: Rough Draft to me and to peer review partner.
Religion and Magic in Early Modern Europe
Week 11: Magic in Marginal Beliefs and Established Beliefs
[3.24] Read: Roper, 171-198; Return: Corrected Draft to peer review partner.
Turn In: Revised Reviews for Muir or Davis.
[3.26] Read: Robert W. Scribner on Popular Belief in The Handbook of European
History 1400-1600. Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation. Volume One,
Structures & Assertions, ed. Thomas A. Brady, Jr.; Heiko A. Oberman, and James D.
Tracy Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Erdmans, 1994). [Presentation Pair 6]
Week 12: Conceptions of Witchcraft and its Importance
[3.31] Read: Roper, 199-248.
[4.2] Read: Edmund Kern, "Confessional Identity and Magic in the Late Sixteenth Century:
Jakob Bithner and Witchcraft in Styria," Sixteenth Century Journal XXV, no. 2 (1994): 323-340.
[Presentation Pair 7]
The State, the Church, and Religion in Early Modern Europe
Week 13: Clerical Power and Possession as a Cultural Medium
[4.7] Read: Rapley, 3-40; Turn In: Book Review of Roper.
[4.9] Read: Rapley, 41-87; Turn In: Second Draft to and to peer review partner.
Week 14: State Control and Ritual in Seventeenth-Century France
[4.14] Read: Rapley, 88-144; Return: Corrected Draft to Peer Review Partner.
[4.16] Read: Rapley, 145-208.
Watch: The Advocate, 6-8:30 p.m.
Travel in Early Modern Europe
Week 15: The Purposes of Travel
[4.21] Read: excerpt 1 from: Through England; Turn In: Book Review of Rapley.
[4.23] Read: excerpt 2 from: Through England.
Week 16: The Impact of Travel on Culture
[4.28] Read: excerpt 3 from: Through England.
[4.30] Wrap-Up & Evaluation.
[5.5] Turn In: Research Paper at 5:00 p.m. sharp.
Please Note: The Syllabus is Subject to Change Should the Instructor
Deem That Necessary and
the Web Syllabus is to be Considered the Syllabus of Record
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