If you're interested in the unfamiliar past, medieval studies may be for you. You will encounter an age of wealth alongside extreme poverty, of deep piety alongside brutal religious conflict, of intense creativity alongside the ravages of plague and warfare. You will engage with texts, architecture, and art that may seem foreign to most people today but which continue to inform—for good and ill—the way we engage with important issues ranging from religion to gender and power.

Why Medieval Studies at Sewanee?

The Medieval Studies program at Sewanee is designed to offer both a cross-disciplinary overview (history, literature, art, philosophy, language) and an opportunity to focus on the disciplinary approach that most appeals to you. The major culminates in a substantial independent research project—both a challenge and an opportunity to experience research as professional scholars do.

We encourage our majors and minors to take advantage of a range of study abroad opportunities, including Sewanee's European Studies program and a re-creation of the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Several of our students have also benefited from a partnership with the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Oxford.

Sewanee offers an opportunity unique among small liberal arts colleges in that it hosts an annual conference, the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium. The colloquium is held in the spring and brings scholars from throughout the country and beyond to campus; student attendance at all of the events is welcomed and participation by majors and minors is encouraged. Details of the 2019 Colloquium.

MDST400: Let's Get Phisikal: Wellness, Health, and the Body in the Middle Ages

A Sampling of Courses

Medieval Studies

Programs of Study

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Medieval Studies

Meet some professors


Susan J. Ridyard
Professor of History, Chair of Medieval Studies


Walsh-Ellett 303, Ext. 1531