Ingram Professor Appointment 2010-2013
Elizabeth Makowski received her bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) and a master's in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Under the direction of the internationally recognized canonist, James A. Brundage, she published her first scholarly article in 1977 ( Journal of Medieval History,). She received a scholarship to pursue graduate work at Harvard University where she earned a second master's degree. After years in academic publishing, she returned to graduate school, this time at New York's Columbia University. Studying with MacArthur recipient Caroline Walker Bynum, as well as distinguished professor of medieval religion and canon law, Robert Somervile, she was awarded the Ph. D. in history in 1993.
Ph.D. - Columbia University (under Carol Walker Bynum and Robert Somervile)
M.A. - Harvard University
M.A. - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (under James Brundage)
B.A. - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (summa cum laude)
Recent Research Topics:
Legal counsel retained by nuns in late medieval England.
English Nuns and the Law in the Middle Ages (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion), Boydell Press, 2012
" A Pernicious Sort of Woman": Quasi-Religious Women and Canon Lawyers in the Late Middle Ages. (CUPA, 2005)
Canon Law and Cloistered Women: Periculoso and Its Commentators, 1298 - 1545 (CUPA, 1997)
Wykked Wyves and the Waoes of Marriage (SUNY, 1989)
Written in collaboration with Professor Katharina Wilson of the University of Georgia
HIST 2310 WESTERN: CIVILIZATION I (ORIGINS TO 1715)
This course surveys Western history from the rise of the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt, to the beginnings of absolutism in Western Europe C roughly from the 3rd century B.C. to the 18th century A.D. Emphasis is placed on the use of primary sources (documents written by people living in the era under consideration ) in reconstructing the past. Students will read excerpts from these sources, either as they appear in the text or in handouts, to enliven and personalize textbook generalizations. Weekly review and discussion sections encourage active student participation throughout the semester.
HIST 2320: WESTERN CIVILIZATION II (1715 TO THE PRESENT)
This course surveys Western history from the Enlightenment to the end of the Cold War in Europe: roughly from the beginning of the 18th to the second half of the 20th century. Emphasis is placed on landmark events, chiefly in Europe, and on the successive schemes for human betterment C or at least for the better understanding of the human condition C originating during this period. In addition to the textbook, and other assigned secondary sources, students will read, discuss, and be questioned about primary sources. Primary sources are documents written by the people in the specific era under consideration.
This course presents an overview of Western European history from the fall of the Roman empire through the Hundred Years' War: about 500 -- 1500 A.D. Emphasis is placed on the birth and development of influential institutions and modes of thought such as the papacy, monasticism, the university, trial by jury, and theories of representative government. Students will read and discuss primary sources C documents written by people in the period under consideration C and take an in-depth look at medieval material culture and daily life in order to test textbook generalizations. Everyone will be required to complete three exams, to participate whenever possible in class discussion and review sessions, and to complete a term paper involving the analysis of a primary source for the European Middle Ages. Guidelines for the paper will be given within the first two weeks of class.
HIST 3347A: TOPICS IN CHRISTIANITY 1300-1700
This course focuses on a few of the most significant individuals and movements in an era of profound upheaval within Western Christianity. Although it is truly a period of intense reforming zeal with broad implications for future generations, many of its elements are rooted in late medieval thought and practice. By reading and discussing primary sources and related secondary scholarship, students will be challenged to place the Protestant demand for renewal within its late medieval context, as well as to assess the implications of Catholic counter arguments for religious men and women both in Europe and in the New World.
HIST 4307: MEDIEVAL EUROPE
This course presents an overview of Western European history from the fall of the Roman Empire through the Hundred Years' War: about 500 - 1500 A.D. Emphasis is placed on the birth and development of influential institutions and modes of thought such as the papacy, monasticism, the university, trial by jury, and theories of representative government. Students will read and discuss primary sources - documents written by people in the period under consideration - and take an in-depth look at medieval material culture and daily life in order to test text generalizations. Everyone will be required to complete three exams, to participate whenever possible in class discussion and review sessions, and to complete a term paper involving the analysis of a primary source for the European Middle Ages. Guidelines for the paper will be given within the first two weeks of class.
HIST 4320: ORIGINS OF CHRISTIANITY: THE BEGINNINGS TO THE REFORMATION
This course will survey the development of the institutional church from the founding of the first primitive communities of believers to the rending of Christian unity in the 16th. century. It will focus on popular belief and practice, the ebb and flow of papal power, dealings between church and state, and the growth and diversification of those special centers of spiritual and temporal power, the monasteries. Major challenges to, or departures from, orthodox teaching, will be discussed in some detail. The Christian legacy to the arts and to architecture, will be described with the help of images and film.
HIST 4350: SENIOR SEMINAR - MAKING SAINTS: CHRISTIAN PERCEPTIONS OF SANCTITY FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE PRESENT
Christians have revered saints since earliest times, but what makes a saint? A blameless life? An heroic death? Remarkable asceticism, or miraculous feats? Does the saintly ideal remain essentially the same through the ages or are there aspects of piety more revered in one era than the next? And who decides whether an individual qualifies as the object of the devotion of the Christian community at large? These and many other questions arise out of a study of saints in historical context and history majors enrolled in this research-based seminar will attempt to come to terms with some of the most compelling of them.
HIST 4399: SENIOR SEMINAR
Christians have revered saints since earliest times, but what makes a saint? A blameless life? An heroic death? Remarkable self-denial or miraculous feats? Does the saintly ideal remain the same through the ages or are some kinds of holiness more revered in one era than the next? Who decides whether an individual qualifies as an object of public devotion? Are there secular saints, and if so how do they achieve their status? How are saints perceived by non-Christian cultures? These and many other questions arise out of a study of saints in historical context and history majors enrolled in this research-based seminar are invites to investigate some of the most compelling of them.
Students will develop skills and techniques essential to historical study. They will learn to read closely and to analyze primary sources so that they can successfully complete a research paper that features one or more of them. Examples of such sources from antiquity through the Early Modern Era include saints’ lives, pilgrimage accounts, and bulls of canonization. For the modern period, the body of primary source material expands to include magazine, newspaper and documentary video accounts related to the cult of specific individuals.
HIST 5307: GRADUATE SEMINAR IN EUROPEAN HISTORY - CONTEMPORARY TRENDS IN MEDIEVAL HISTORIOGRAPHY
This course introduces graduate students to the craft of the medieval historian, with emphasis on major contemporary shifts in American historiography of the European Middle Ages. Given the contemporary slant, content of the second half of the course changes periodically. This year we will address the issue of interpretation in medieval scholarship by studying the case of the ever-controversial, Joan of Arc.
HONORS 3394E: THE DARK AGES: EVOLUTION OF AN HISTORICAL CONSTRUCT
Course Description :
This course examines the durable popular image of the European Middle Ages (approximately 500-1400 C.E.), as the Dark Ages. Students will investigate the concept which originated in the Renaissance, and which has manifested itself in subtly restyled versions into the twenty-first century. Weekly seminar discussions will be based on written student evaluations of primary sources, secondary literature (popular as well as scholarly), art, and film. There are no prerequisites for this class.
This course could be used by any student who is a Medieval and Renaissance minor. It could also substitute for an advanced history elective, such as history #4307, Europe in the Middle Ages.
Course Goals and Objectives:
This course will hone oral and written communication skills since students will need to effectively share the results of their weekly readings in seminar discussion; they will also turn in written responses to those readings. The course will challenge students to read across disciplinary boundaries since assignments include selections from history, literature, theology, and political philosophy. For the modern era, selected films as well as artistic treatments of medieval subjects will be objects for analysis. The final essay will be an in-depth assessment of one of the weekly topics. This essay will require the creative integration of independent research with that already undertaken. Conference papers, scholarly articles, and books published under the auspices of the International Association for the Study of Medievalism will be invaluable aids to students as they investigate the post-medieval construction of the Middle Ages.