Europe in the High Middle Ages

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 2204
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 2204 explores the history of Western Europe from 1100 to 1500. Major themes include: the lived experience of men and women in feudal society; the Crusades and interaction among Christian, Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe and the Middle East; monasticism; the conflict between Church and State; popular and high culture and the shaping of new intellectual and artistic ideas; the transformation of the economy and the growth of cities; mysticism, new religious movements, and popular religion; the crisis of the fourteenth century; popular revolts and the Hundred Years’ War; the recovery and renewal of Late Medieval society; the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy and Northern Europe; the visual arts, architecture, and material culture of the period.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1.  Introduction
  2. The Structures of Medieval Society
  3. Expansion of Europe: The Crusades
  4. The Church, East and West
  5. The Twelfth Century Renaissance
  6. The Contested Authority of Church and State
  7. Governments and States in the Making in Europe, Byzantium and the Muslim world
  8. Popular and High Culture
  9. The Commercial Revolution and Urban Life
  10. New Currents in Religion
  11. Crisis: Famine, Plague and Social Fragmentation
  12. Conflict and Consolidation: The Hundred Year’s War
  13. Transitions: Medieval to Renaissance
  14. A New Age
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student evaluation policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

Attendance, Participation, In-Class Work 15%
Seminar Presentation 15%
Primary document analyses 25%
Short analytic paper 10%
Research essay and presentation 20%
Final summative assignment 15%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

  1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).
  2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).
  3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).
  4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history)
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers may be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned. Additional reading lists and links to specific resources also may be provided online or in the instructor’s course outline.

Backman, Clifford R. A Medieval Omnibus: Sources in Medieval European History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Backman, Clifford R. The Worlds of Medieval Europe. 3rd. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Rosenwein, Barbara H. A Short History of the Middle Ages. 5th ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Rosenwein, Barbara H., ed. Reading the Middle Ages: Sources from Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018



One 1000-level History course or permission of the instructor





Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 2204
Athabasca University (AU) AU HIST 372 (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 101 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU HIST 2XXX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG HIST 1123 (3) or LANG HIST 2237 (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC HIST 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 220 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) DOUG HIST 2203 (3) & DOUG HIST 2204 (3) = UBCV HIST 101 (6)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HIST 231 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 236B (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU HIST 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023