Graduate Studies in Medieval History
Located in the cultural heart of Los Angeles, USC offers graduate students an unusually large and diverse faculty in medieval history, a wide range of associated institutes and libraries, and a flexible curriculum.
- Faculty in Medieval History. Judith Bennett (medieval England, gender, women); Lisa Bitel (early medieval Europe, gender, religion); Jason Glenn (early medieval Europe), and Ramzi Rouighi (the medieval Mediterranean and Middle East). In addition, Dan Klerman in USC’s Law School (and cross-appointed in History) is an expert in medieval English law.
- Faculty in British and Irish History. All told, we have seven faculty at USC who work regularly in the archives of the four kingdoms of the British Isles: Judith Bennett and Lisa Bitel for medieval; Deborah Harkness and Cynthia Herrup for early modern; Dan Klerman for law; and Carole Shammas and Peter Mancall for the British Atlantic in the long eighteenth century. There are few universities in the U.S. these days that can boast such strong support for scholarship on Britain and Ireland.
- Faculty in Related Disciplines. Our students may also work with medieval faculty in other disciplines, including: David Albertson (medieval mysticism and theology); Carolyn Malone (medieval French art and architecture); Lori Meeks (medieval Buddhism and gender); Claudia Moatti (late antiquity and Latin literature); Megan Reid (medieval and modern Islam); David Rollo (English and Anglo-French literature); Kevin Van Bladel (literatures of the late antique and early medieval Middle East); and Ann Marie Yasin (late antique architecture, especially Christian).
- Faculty in other Premodern Histories. USC also boasts a large cadre of faculty who work in histories before 1700, many of them engaged in the history of women, gender, and sexuality. These faculty include not only Deborah Harkness and Cynthia Herrup for England but also Joan Piggott (medieval Japan), Maria Elena Martinez (colonial Mexico), Carole Shammas and Peter Mancall (early modern Atlantic World).
CENTERS AND INSTITUTES
- Monastic Matrix. This digital repertory for the study of Christian women in premodern Europe is housed at USC and directed by Lisa Bitel. Several graduate research assistants usually work on the project part-time, gaining thereby financial support, experience in collaborative research, and opportunities for digital publishing.
- Institute for British and Irish Studies. This USC institute draws together more than two dozen faculty. IBIS currently sponsors talks, a listserve, a postdoctoral fellowship, and a website (IBIS Links) that is the web’s premier clearinghouse for resources in British and Irish Studies.
- Center for Religion and Civic Culture. CRCC and its Interdiscipinary Research Group sponsors seminars, lectures, and graduate fellowships for projects related to religion.
- Center for Feminist Research. An independent research center, CFR sponsors seminars, lectures, and graduate funding for work on gender. History students may also opt to complete a Gender Studies Graduate Certificate as part of their course work in History.
- Early Modern Studies Institute. A joint venture of USC and the Huntington Library, EMSI supports research and scholarship on the premodern world. The Institute’s range is global, and although its dates run from 1450 to 1850, its programs regularly reach back to accommodate comfortably the last centuries of the Middle Ages.
- Los Angeles Area Resources. USC students take advantage of such local resources as the Huntington Library, with its premier collection of late medieval and early modern sources; the Clark Library, and the Getty Research Institute. Our sister institution UCLA offers our students not only additional courses (in, say, the Irish language or Byzantine history) but also participation in its Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The Huntington Medieval Seminar meets three times a year, gathering faculty and graduate students from all California campuses for presentations of works in progress.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Most graduate students are supported by a 5-year package of funding, and we work hard to ensure that our students get funding beyond that, especially the external funding that is so critical in getting to archives (and also in building a professional profile).
CURRICULUM. Each fall, the faculty offer either History 505 (Studies in Early Medieval History) or 506 (Studies in Later Medieval History). These core courses ground graduate students in the field, and they can be repeated (thus, for example, a student can take History 505 with Professor Glenn and then repeat later with Professor Bitel). Each spring, one member of the graduate faculty usually offers a specific, topical version of History 605 (Seminar in Medieval European History). These seminars may also be repeated. This sequence of 505/506 and 605 forms the core curriculum for medieval graduate students; each student builds an individual program from this core. These individual programs must, of course, conform to the general Graduate Curriculum.