Medieval and Early Modern Studies (MEMS) is an interdisciplinary forum for the study of medieval and early modern European culture and its influences on the modern world. The interdisciplinary approach of MEMS is designed to address the distinctive forms of cultural organization in the middle ages and early modern period, the study of which crosses departmental boundaries. The IDS major in MEMS enables students to obtain knowledge about the values, interests, world views, and technologies of medieval and early modern communities (e.g., monastic, chivalric, peasant, early urban), and to familiarize themselves with some of the world’s greatest epic and lyric poetry, drama, and romances. Students are encouraged to draw on their knowledge for historical perspectives that can contribute to current discussions on such issues as ethnicity and nationality, colonialism, technologies and their effects, constructions of gender and sexuality, the characteristics of historical and fictional narratives, etc.
MEMS recommends itself to students who are seeking a major that involves textual analysis, critical thinking, and creativity, and who are motivated to take an active role in the shaping of their curriculum. Since it provides a well-rounded liberal arts education rather than specialized training, the IDS major in MEMS is excellent pre-professional preparation for a variety of careers, including law, medicine, library science, journalism, government service, and teaching.
The faculty of MEMS consists of award-winning teachers and internationally recognized scholars. MEMS at UF also benefits from its associations with Exemplaria: A Journal of Theory in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and takes advantage of and encourages work with numerous medieval and early modern resources on the internet (Labyrinth, The Camelot Project, The Online Medieval and Classical Library at Berkeley, etc.).
Students must apply for admission to the major in MEMS by the end of the sophomore year at the latest, in consultation with two faculty sponsors (one of whom must be in CLAS). A 3.0 GPA is required for admission to the major, which consists of:
- 6 hours of introductory course work at the 2000-level, and two years of a foreign language at UF (or the equivalent)
- 20 hours of upper-division course work, of which ideally no more than 9 hours should be taken in any single department. At least three hours of this requirement involves work with a medieval vernacular language or Latin.
- 7 hour is IDS 4906 during work on the senior thesis under the supervision of the two faculty sponsors.
Dr. Willard Hasty