HHIB06603U HIS 60. Urban Society in Northern Europe (14th-15th c.)

Volume 2016/2017

Module 5
Bachelorproject (HHIB00601E) [BA Programme, 2013-Curriculum]


Urban Society in Northern Europe (14th-15th c.)
In the 14th and 15th c., northern European society changed dramatically. In the previous centuries, population had grown and towns had developed at a historically unparalleled rate. However, most drastic socio-economic changes occurred only in the 14th c. as a consequence of a severe population crisis. Since the second half of the 14th c., commerce expanded continuously to meet the demands of a commercializing society. European real wages increased and remained relatively high until the late 15th c. Urban and partly also rural crafts and industries expanded and specialized, increasingly supplying their output to trade.

The 14th and 15th c. provide an exciting example of a society undergoing profound and long-lasting changes. Participants will explore aspects of the urban society and economy emerging in post-plague northern Europe. Themes of this course and potentially of individual bachelor projects are:
- the development of an urban community with its distinct legal, administrative and political features
- the role of guilds in organizing society and craft production
- social groups and social relationships
- women studies
- urban networks, inter-city cooperation and mobility
- urban credit and money markets

The course will mostly be concerned with urban societies in the Low Countries, northern Germany, and England, including Scandinavian sources and literature as much as possible. Reading skills of German or Dutch are not mandatory, but helpful as they open up more possibilities for the individual bachelor projects.

Course objectives (clarification of some of the academic targets stipulated in the curriculum):
After the course students will be able to:
● work on a written assignment under supervision, conducting a well-defined case study on an aspect of the medieval urban society, with a clear problem statement
● embed the bachelor project and research question within the wider historiographical and academic context of urban history
● identify and critically evaluate the relevant historical literature
● select and analyze the relevant source material for a particular aspect of urban society
● communicate and discuss the chosen topic in writing in a clear and precise manner, according to the prevailing academic standards
● bring together research question, state of research, discussion of historical data, analysis, and conclusion in the written assignment

As the course is still under preparation, students are asked to check for updates on the reading list on Absalon. As an introduction into the topic and a common starting point for the seminar, it is recommended to read at least the chapters on pre-modern Europe from the following book:

- Peter Clerk: The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History. Part II: Pre-Modern Cities. 2013 [KB online resource].

Group instruction / Seminar / individual counseling
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Exam Preparation
  • 129,5
  • Preparation
  • 217
  • Total
  • 388,5