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Heavenly and Earthly Love in the Art and Literature of the Middle Ages from 1100 to 1500


Admission requirements

Not applicable.


In this course we will examine how worldly and heavenly love were represented in the art and literature of the Middle Ages (c.1100-1500) and how they were interrelated. Amongst other things, topics will include courtly love (antique and Arthurian love themes, troubadour literature, Andreas Capellanus, Roman de la Rose etc.), castles of love, parental love and the love for God in bridal mysticism, for example in the writings of Hadewijch and in depictions of saints as brides of Christ.

The students will read primary texts from the period and get familiarized with important iconographic traditions. They will read and discuss relevant publications in the field. An excursion to see manuscripts in the University Library will be part of this course. Students will give a short paper, write a book review and a research paper.

Course objectives

  • To get an insight in the art and literature studied during this course;

  • To get an insight in the historiography of this subject;

  • To learn how to find, read and evaluate critically the relevant literature;

  • To reflect and theorize on the subject;

  • To think up and work out a case study;

  • To present this case study in class with the use of powerpoint;

  • To learn how to evaluate presentations of other students and act as a referee;

  • To write an academic paper.


The timetable is available on the Arts and Culture and the Resma Literary Studies website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture;

  • Seminar;

  • Excursion.

Attendance is compulsory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of two seminars, provided they present a valid reason beforehand. Students who have missed more than two seminars will have to aply to the Examination Board of the Ma Arts and Culture in order to obtain permission to further follow and complete the course.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours;

  • Practical work: 2 hours (excursions);

  • Tutoring: 2 hours;

  • Study of compulsory literature: 70 hours;

  • Assignment(s): 180 hours (book review, course paper and preparations of presentation).

Assessment method

  • First draft paper (10%);

  • Paper (60%) 4000 words for Master students, 6000 words for Research Master students;

  • Oral presentation (10%);

  • Assignments and discussion in class (20%).

ResMa students that take this course will write a paper that reflects the demands of the Research Master. That is, they will have to formulate more complex and original research questions than the MA students, include a critical positioning towards the state of the art of its subject, and produce a longer paper (6000 words including bibliography instead of 4000 words)


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the instructor.


  • Please note that if you do not hand in your essay before the first deadline, your essay will be considered as the resit.

  • For the time tables exams 2017-2018 see; Timetable

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:
On Blackboard students will find the course schedule, an overview of the set literature, the assignments, excursions with times and meeting places and so on. Following the seminars we will also make available the Powerpoints used in class.

Reading list

A reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course and will be posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. Elizabeth den Hartog
Lieke Smits
Administrations Office Huizinga