School of History

HST5121 - Beer, Books and Longbows: The World of Medieval Objects.

Module code: HST5121

Credits: 30
Semester: YEAR

Module Convenor: Dr Eyal Poleg

Did the decline of medieval ale ushered the end of the Middle Ages? What does Charlemagne's mustache tell us about royal power? And what can shield-biting chessmen reveal about the Nordic Commonwealth?

This QMUL Model module follows recent developments in medieval studies to shed new light on life, belief and power in the Middle Ages. Students will handle medieval shoes and arrowheads, consult medieval manuscripts and some of the world's rarest books, to question the cult of power in the Middle Ages, transformations of technology and society, and the transition between the Middle Ages and modernity. The module will include excursions to museums, libraries, churches and monuments in London, paying special attention to the work of museum curators and its impact. Through work with curators at the Museum of the Order of St John, students evaluate approaches to past objects from various disciplines (history, anthropology, archaeology) and demonstrate how historical research can be applied in the environment of museum studies, public engagement, and object analysis. Students have the option to consider and demonstrate the wider impact of their research by producing a piece of new research on a little-explored museum object of their choice, with the highest quality essays edited and published by the Museum of the Order of St John.

Assessment: Presentation 12.5%, Essay 1 (2,000 words) 25%, Draft Essay (1,000 words) 12.5%, Essay 2 (4,000 words) 50%
Level: 5