2020-21 Graduate Courses

CMS Courses During Covid

The Centre for Medieval Studies will be offering a full year of courses in the Fall and Spring terms of 2020-2021. Because of prevailing circumstances, most courses will be offered with a dual delivery mode – an in-person section (INPER) and an online section (SYNC). A course that indicates SYNC only means the course will be offered exclusively online.

You can view the PDF icon2021 Course Timetable (PDF) or check the preliminary CMS Course List below.

Check the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) website for the sessional dates for 2020-21.

To enrol in a course on ROSI, provide the course code in a format without spaces, and with an additional Y (for full-year courses) or H (for half courses), following the examples below:

  • MST1000Y
  • MST1101H

In addition to those courses offered by the Centre for Medieval Studies, students may enrol in courses offered by other departments relating to the Middle Ages. Approved courses from other departments are cross-listed below (but the list is not yet complete); other relevant courses not listed here may be taken in consultation with the Associate Director or the PhD Co-ordinator. NB: Course offerings are subject to change. All details concerning course offerings cross-listed from other departments should be checked with the relevant academic department as changes can occur which may not be reflected in our listing. 

  • Staff indicates that the course is team-taught, or rotates among various faculty members.
  • Y and L indicate full-year courses.
  • F and S indicate half-year courses taught, respectively, in the fall and spring terms.
  • H indicates half-year courses.

Please refer to the calendar of the School of Graduate Studies for information about regulations.

Course Instructor Day/Time Location Term Delivery Mode
MST 1000Y.  Medieval Latin C. O’Hogan M-F 1-2 pm LI301 Fall & Spring SYNC


MST 1001Y.  Medieval Latin II A. Andrée (F)

S. Ghosh (S)

M-F 1-2 pm LI 310 Fall & Spring SYNC


MST 1003Y.  Professional Development for Medieval Studies PhDs S. Ghosh F 11–1 pm LI 310 Fall & Spring SYNC


MST 1020H.  The Medieval Latin Epic C. O’Hogan M 3-5 LI 310 Fall SYNC

MST 1022H.  Transmission and Reception:

The Survival and Use of the Latin Classics

A. Andrée T 10-12 LI 310 Fall SYNC


MST 1101H.  Codicology C. O’Hogan M 10-12 LI310 Spring INPER


MST 1102H.  Practical Palaeography J. Haines R 11-1 LI 301 Spring INPER


MST 1105H.  Latin Palaeography II G. Dinkova Bruun T 10-12 PIMS ‘L’ Spring INPER


MST 1373H.  English Language and Literature in Translation, 1100-1250 S. Pelle W 9-11 Online Spring SYNC
MST 1384H.  Exeter Book of Old English Verse (CANCELLED)          
MST 2010H.  Old Norse R. Getz F 9-11 LI 301 Fall INPER


MST 2037H.  Legendary History of Britain and Ireland B. Miles F2-4 LI 103 Fall SYNC
MST 2040H.  Beginnings of Medieval Rhetoric and Poetics J. Ross T 2-4 LI 301 Fall SYNC
MST 2051H.  Middle Welsh B. Miles W 11-1 LI 301 Spring SYNC
MST 3021H.  Boethius J. Magee M 10-12 LI 301 Fall INPER


MST 3123H.  Intro to Medieval Medicine N. Everett R 10-12 LI301 Fall INPER


MST 3150H.  Medieval French Epic: Kings and Heroes D. Kullmann R 2-4 LI 301 Fall INPER


MST 3164H.  Medieval French Romance: The Grail D. Kullmann T 4-6 LI 103 Spring INPER


MST 3231H.  Clio’s Workshop; Intro to Historical Methods S. Ghosh W 2-4 LI310 Spring INPER


MST 3237H.  Rules and Customaries (CANCELLED)          
MST 3244H.  Italian Saints N. Everett Th 9-11 Online Spring SYNC
MST 3301H.  Themes in Medieval Philosophy P. King M 2-4 LI 301 Spring SYNC
MST 3346H.  Medieval Islamic Philosophy D. Black W 10-12 LI 301 Fall SYNC
MST 3501H.  Intro to Medieval Christian Liturgy J. Haines R 11-1 LI 310 Fall INPER


MST 3602H.  Crime and Punishment in the Middle Ages Y. Iglesias W 2-4 LI 310 Fall SYNC
MST 9310F.  Directed Reading Staff N/A N/A Fall SYNC
MST 9310S.  Directed Reading Staff N/A N/A Spring SYNC
MST 9310Y.  Directed Reading Staff N/A N/A Year SYNC
MST 9315F.  Directed Reading Staff N/A N/A Fall SYNC
MST 9315S.  Directed Reading Staff N/A N/A Spring SYNC

Reminder: PhD students at the centre are free to select any courses from the annual CMS list (above) and cross-listed courses (* below identifies cross-listed courses), provided that they have the necessary prerequisites. In view of the centre’s interdisciplinary nature, some courses on the Middle Ages can be taken in other departments, with the approval of the PhD Co-ordinator. If you are interested in other courses, please remember to contact the CMS PhD Coordinator to have them approved before enrolling.

Art History

Course Information

Course  Instructor Details
FAH 1123HS Art of the Medieval Book A. Cohen W10-1.Winter, Wednesday 10–1

Location TBA

Please check with department for details on availability. This seminar investigates a wide range of questions related to the use and function of imagery in medieval books. What are the origins of medieval book illustration in the transition from roll to codex; what kinds of books were typically illustrated—and how; who conceived of the complex pictorial programs found in medieval manuscripts, and how did these programs function? Issues of patronage, audience and reception are central to this seminar, which focuses on specific case studies of manuscripts from throughout Europe dating from the late antique period until the advent of printing.


Book History and Print Culture (Collaborative Program)



Classical Studies

Course Information


Comparative Literature

Course Information

Course  Instructor Details

COL5032H Feminist Approaches To Medieval Literature

J. Ross Winter, Wednesday 10-12

Location TBA

This course will explore how feminist theory has influenced the way medieval literature is read. The pluralistic and shifting nature of a feminist theoretical orientation which struggles with the politics of subject and gender identity, race, class, sexuality and the body is particularly apt for the exploration of the medieval literary text whose instability and variability render it resistant to critical authority and open to multiple readings. We will attempt to understand how gender structures medieval thought and its literary expression through selective readings from a variety of feminist theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalytic theory, French feminism, and postmodern theory of the body. The main focus of the course, however, will be on opening up medieval literary texts to new meanings. Texts to be studied will be drawn from a wide cross-section of medieval literary discourses such as epic, romance, courtly lyric, fabliaux, Marian literature, hagiography and drama and will include examples from writings by medieval women such as The Book of Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pizan’s The Book of the City of Ladies.


East Asian Studies

Course Information



Course Information

Course Instructor Details
ENG 1001HF Old English I D. Klausner Fall, W10-1pm.

LI 310 Lillian Massey Building

An introduction for reading knowledge to the oldest literary form of English, with discussion of readings drawn from the surviving prose and verse literature. Readings: Mitchell, Bruce, and Fred C. Robinson. A Guide to Old English. 8 edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. Further readings will be posted on QUERCUS. Previous acquaintance with Latin, German, or other highly inflected language is useful but not essential.

ENG 1007S Medieval Drama: Morality Plays M. Sergi Winter, Monday 10-1

Location TBA

Dramatic players can embody (and in embodying, personify) ideas, tendencies, and emotions as readily as they can take on realistic human characters—so readily, perhaps, that morality plays may be taken less as a distinctively medieval genre than as a reflex of dramatic performance toward psychomachic allegory more generally. Our course, in its coverage of English-language morality plays c. 1350–c. 1530, will resist critical tendencies that assume any continuous, coherent tradition underlies the extant works, as much as it makes mutual influence among some of those works plainly visible. It will demonstrate the obvious effects of proto-Protestant reforms (and resistances to them) on morality plays, even as it rejects a critical tendency to reduce these plays to their instrumentality in broader movements. In our approach to those works, we will concentrate on newer secondary readings (i.e. published within the last fifteen years, including Johnson, Brantley, Paulson) that have brought forward the moralities’ mutual influence with literary and religious culture, while at the same time deploying performance studies and practice-based research—yes, participating in live recitation and staging will be a requirement of the class—to hone in on what makes these plays, and their outward embodiment of internality, performative. Course Reading List: TBA, but likely to include: The Pride of Life (anon), The Castle of Perseverance (anon), Wisdom (anon), Mankind (anon), Everyman (anon), Nature (Medwall), Youth (anon), Hickscorner (anon), Magnificence (Skelton), and an array of critical works.


French Language and Literature

Course Information

Course Instructor Details


Advanced Oral and Written French for Academic purposes

  NOT OFFERED IN 2020-2021


Initiation à l’ancien français /Medieval French Language

  Fall, Tuesday 4-6

Ce cours se propose de présenter les bases de la langue française du Moyen Âge, à travers une sélection d’extraits de textes originaux. On étudiera la morphologie et la syntaxe de l’ancien français, avec un aperçu de la phonétique historique et de la création lexicale. Les étudiants feront également connaissance avec les outils de travail existants (dictionnaires, grammaires). Les textes choisis permettront de se familiariser avec différents dialectes et de faire un tour d’horizon des principaux genres littéraires des 11e, 12e et 13e siècles; on s'en tiendra cependant à la lecture et n'approfondira pas le côté interprétatif. La description de la langue insistera davantage sur la dimension synchronique que sur la diachronie. Ce cours est également offert au niveau sous-gradué. Quelques séances supplémentaires seront obligatoires pour les étudiants gradués, mais facultatifs pour les étudiants sous-gradués.


Reading French Course for Graduate Students

TBA Winter, Tues 4-6pm
Online Synchronous
Old French Reading Group D. Kullmann Time and location TBA. Please contact the instructor if interested.
Byzantine Greek Reading Group D. Kullmann Time and location TBA. Please contact the instructor if interested.


Germanic Languages and Literature

Course Information

Course Instructor Details
GER1200HS Introduction to Medieval German Studies M. Stock Winter, Monday 2-4

Location TBA

This course offers an introduction to the German language, literature, and culture of the Middle Ages. We will read and translate Middle High German texts, study facsimiles of medieval manuscripts, and inquire into epochal cultural concepts like courtly love and chivalry as well as courtly and clerical designs of identity. Authors discussed will include Hartmann von Aue and Walther von der Vogelweide among others. Reading knowledge in German or any medieval Germanic language is an asset, but no prerequisite.

GER 6000F Reading German for Graduate Students   Fall, Friday 2-4

Location TBA

In this course German reading knowledge is taught following the grammar-translation method designed for graduate students from the Humanities. It is an intensive course that covers German grammar with focus on acquiring essential structures of the German language to develop translation skills. The course is conducted in English, and consequently participants do not learn how to speak or write in German, but rather the course focuses exclusively on reading and translating German. Prior knowledge of German not mandatory. By the end of the course, students should be able to handle a broad variety of texts in single modern Standard German. This course is not intended for MA or PhD students in German.

GER 6000S Reading German for Graduate Students   Winter, Friday 2-4

Location TBA

Description as above.



Course Information

Course Instructor Details
HIS 1203H Jus commune G. Silano

Winter, Thursday 3-5


Jus commune: the rise and development of learned jurisprudence in the High Middle Ages.

Jurisprudence is one of the foundational disciplines in the rise of the Universities and the one in which the newly defined figure of the academic most directly became engaged in the rule and development of all sorts of high medieval institutions and practices.  This course will examine the texts and practices relating to medieval jurisprudence.

HIS 1213F Institutes of Perfection I. Cochelin Fall, Tuesday 2-4

Location TBA

HIS 1221S Topics in Early Modern European Social History N. Terpstra Winter, Tuesday 12-2

Location TBA

This year theme will be Space, Sense, and Motion. We’ll be looking at these as representing three recent ‘turns’ in social history, and assess some examples with an eye to evaluating meanings, approaches, contributions, and impacts.

HIS1215H Social Change in Medieval England 1154-1279 M. Gervers Fall, Wednesday 11-1

Online Synchronous

This course provides a framework for the study of social and economic change in England from the accession of Henry II to the passage of the Act of Mortmain under Edward I. The application of statistical methodology to the analysis of source materials is encouraged.


Italian Studies

Course Information

Course Instructor Details
ITA 1200HS Dante E. Brilli Winter, Friday 2-4

An examination of Dante’s works and criticism on them. This year course will focus on Dante’s life and offer a crossed-examination of the extant documentation on Dante’s life and the “autobiographical” declarations contained in his works.

ITA 1535HS Topics in Italian Literature: Medieval Italian Religious Culture G. Ferzoco, Goggio Visitor in Italian Studies

Winter, 6-week condensed course (March 1st - April 7), online synchronous, Mon & Wed 4-6pm

In the 700th anniversary of the death of poeta theologus Dante Alighieri, we will look at selected texts from Dante and Petrarch, along with hagiographical literature and an unusual painted work, regarding various ways in which an understanding of the religious bedrock of medieval culture can increase our appreciation of the written and visual creations of the period.


Near and Middle Eastern Civilization

Course Information

Course Instructor Details
NMC2131 Premodern Arabic Poetry Jeannie Miller

Tuesdays, 2-5 pm, online only.  First class period is Sept. 15th.

Introduction to Arabic metrics and the poetic heritage. Readings in Arabic, discussion in English.

This year we will focus especially on early Abbasid poetry of ẓarf (elite wit) and its social context.

NML380H1F / MST3015HF


Intro to Ge’ez

R.B. Holmstedt Fall, Thursday 10-12

This course is an introduction to the classical language of Ethiopia, known as Ge’ez. Ge’ez, as the language of the Axumite kingdom (followed by the Ethiopian Empire), provides a linguistic and cultural link not only between antiquity and the medieval period but also between east Africa and the Near East, one hand, and the northern Mediterranean and Europe, on the other hand. Moreover, among the various historical texts in Ge’ez, there are a number of critical texts relating to the Bible, such as the earliest complete texts of 1 Enoch and Jubilees. This language, and the texts and history to which it gives access, is thus central to the study of Semitic languages, the Bible, early Christianity and monasticism, and the history of antique and medieval east Africa. The course is designed for students with no previous knowledge of Ge’ez or any other Ethiopic language and covers the essentials of grammar in order to begin reading Ge’ez manuscript texts of elementary to intermediate difficulty. Evaluation is based primarily on weekly attendance, quizzes, and term exams. The graduate course includes a research paper on a manuscript to be determined in consultation with the instructor.


Religious Studies (Department for the Study of Religion)

Course Information

Course Instructor Details
RLG3216H Christianity in Ancient Near East K.Smith Mondays 2-4pm, Online

The historical study of Christianity traditionally begins in the eastern Mediterranean and then turns westwards, focusing on the historical and theological development of Christianity in its Greek and Latin contexts. But such an approach paints an extremely partial picture of the development and spread of Christianity in late antiquity and the early medieval period more broadly—one that, for example, completely omits the rich heritage of Christianity in the Syriac tradition. A dialect of Palestinian Aramaic, Syriac was, for several centuries, the preeminent Christian literary language from the Syrian countryside through Mesopotamia to the Iranian plateau. In addition to surveying (in English translation) the unique biblical, theological, liturgical, hagiographical, and historiographical contributions of Syriac-speaking Christians and their literatures from the first centuries of the Common Era up to the early Islamic period, this course will focus on the importance of Syriac and Syriac Christianity as a bridge linking Rome with Persia and Byzantium with Baghdad. As such, some time, too, will be spent examining the history of Christianity in upper Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Arabian Peninsula. This course should thus be of interest to graduate students in a variety of fields, including biblical studies and Christian origins, Christianity in late antiquity, Sasanian/Zoroastrian studies, and early Islam.


Slavic Languages and Literatures

Course Information

Course Instructor Details
SLA1104H Introduction to Old Church Slavonic T.A. Smith Winter, Tuesday 10-1

Please check with the department for details


Toronto School of Theology

Course Information

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (Program)

Course Information

Course Instructor Details


Proseminar for the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

J. Allen Year, Monday 4-6

Breadth Requirement: N/A

Location: LI 301 (Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park)

Limited to CPAMP students

Mandatory for CPAMP students in Y1 and 2; program students who have fulfilled this requirement are expected to attend regularly. Other interested doctoral students are welcome to attend as well and should contact the program director to indicate their interest. The proseminar has three components: a series of seminars; an ancient Greek philosophy reading group; and a Latin medieval philosophy reading group. All students in the proseminar must attend the seminars and at least one of the reading groups; students are warmly encouraged to attend both reading groups.

Latin Reading Group   For details on the reading groups, see the CPAMP website.
Greek Reading Group   For details on the reading groups, see the CPAMP website.


Book History and Print Culture (Program)

Course Information

Due to the current circumstances, applications will be evaluated in early September. You are welcome to contact the Director of the program, Prof. Alan Galey, over the summer for information.

Course Instructor Details
BKS 1001F


Introduction to Book History

M. Teramura Fall, Monday 2-5

Location TBA

This foundational course, required for all BHPC students in their first term, will introduce students to basic topics such as the semiotics of the book; orality and writing systems; book production from manuscript to computer technology; the development of printing; the concept of authorship; copyright; censorship; the economics of book production and distribution; libraries and the organization of information; principles of bibliographical description; print in other formats (newspapers, magazines, advertisements, etc.); reading and readership; editorial theory and practice. We will also study many artifacts and tools of the trade in situ through visits to the Massey College Bibliography Room and Coach House Books.

BKS 1002S


Book History in Practice


TBA Winter, Monday 2-5

Location TBA

BKS 2000H


Advanced Seminar in Book History and Print Culture

H. MacNeil Winter, Tuesdays 2-4

Location TBA

The Archive as Text. The field of textual studies is concerned with the production, transmission, preservation, and ongoing history of texts. Recent developments in this field have encouraged an expansion of the term “text” to include all attempts at representation whatever form they may take. Drawing on readings from a range of fields, including textual criticism, archival studies, history, anthropology, and lifewriting, this seminar will explore how archives might be conceptualized as texts and the implications and limitations of that conceptualization.

BKS 2001H


Practicum in Book History and Print Culture

  See here for information on the Book History and Print Culture Practicum.


Jewish Studies (Program)

Course Information


Sexual Diversity Studies (Specialization)

@ the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies

General Information

Course Instructor Details

Special Topics/ Queering Design:
Sexual Politics of Space, Place and Digital Culture.

J. Rault Fall, Thursday 1-4
SDS1000H1 Theories and Methods in Sexual Diversity Studies. R. Diaz. Winter, Friday 1-3


Woman and Gender Studies (Specialization)

Course Information


(the application deadline next year will be May 1, 2021)

Course Instructor  Details



TBA Winter, Tuesday 10-12



Location Key

View the University of Toronto interactive map.

Alumni Hall, 121 St Joseph Street
Birge–Carnegie Library, 75a Queen’s Park
Bancroft Building, 4 Bancroft Avenue
Comparative Literature Seminar Room, Isabel Bader Theatre 93 Charles Street West, 3rd floor
Carr Hall, 100 St Joseph Street
Music Library, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park
Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue
Jackman Humanities Building, 170 St George Street
PIMS Library, J.M. Kelly Library, 113 St Joseph Street, 4th floor
Gerald Larkin Building, 15 Devonshire Place
Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park, 3rd floor (SE corner of Bloor Street & Queen’s Park)
Colin Friesen Room, Massey College, 4 Devonshire Place
Northrop Frye Hall, 73 Queen’s Park Crescent East
Odette Hall, 50 St Joseph Street
Pontifical Institute of Mediæval Studies (PIMS), 59 Queen’s Park Crescent East
E.J. Pratt Library, 71 Queen’s Park Crescent East
Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St George Street
Robarts Library, Dictionary of Old English, Room 14284, 14th floor, 130 St George Street
Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St George Street
Trinity College, 6 Hoskin Avenue
Teefy Hall, 57 Queen’s Park Crescent East
University College, 12 King’s College Circle
Victoria College, 73 Queen’s Park Crescent East
Wilson Hall, New College, 40 Willcocks Street