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 IDS program required me to consider the purpose of my undergraduate studies. I centered my classes, thesis and research around a single inquiry: How did medieval spatial thought inform the literature of the High Middle Ages? Being able to work across disciplines introduced me to new professors and interests, which led me to two conference presentations and a fellowship. Through these experiences, I learned how to manage products and develop my own ideas. My IDS mentor, Dr. Mary Watt, was key to my professional development and an invaluable reference. The IDS application and program prepared me for a successful application cycle for graduate programs in both literature and education. For students interested in graduate study, the IDS program is a logical choice because of its research requirement and mentorship opportunities.
After receiving offers to a few different programs, I decided on a career in secondary education. Having been an IDS major, I understand both the differences and connections between different subject areas. On a more practical level, my interdisciplinary background will allow me to obtain certification in English and Social Studies. I look forward to learning how to use the knowledge I built as an IDS major to benefit communities outside of the university.”
Catelyn Cantrell ’14 Medieval Literature, Culture and Modeling
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