HUMS 101

Europe: Medieval to Modern


Bringing together perspectives from History and Art History, HUMANITIES 101 offers a thematic and chronological survey of major developments in European history and visual culture from the Middle Ages to today. The semester’s topics include the changing nature of political authority and political conflicts, the history of ordinary lives and shifting spiritual and scientific understandings of European people’s place in the world.

Lectures will provide an overview of important themes and will follow a broadly chronological structure. Tutorials will be devoted to the discussion of primary source documents and images, along with work on study skills (e.g., essay writing, reading comprehension for academic material). Students will be able to study the ways in which historians and art historians construct widely different interpretations from the documentary evidence of the past.

The course acts as a foundation for several majors in Humanities subject areas. It is designed to provide a solid basis for subsequent study in courses dealing with European history and culture as well as an introduction to the nature of scholarly research and writing in the Humanities.

Accordingly, the course objectives are to:

  • Provide a broad survey of medieval, early modern and modern European history, including familiarity with key concepts and events
  • Introduce students to concepts of visual analysis and major European artistic movements before the modern era
  • Assess a diverse array of "primary sources" and develop students’ skills in historical and art historical interpretation of them
  • Enhance students’ capabilities in scholarly analysis, interpretation of evidence and presentation of reasoned arguments

In line with the Bachelor of Arts Graduate Profile, expected learning outcomes include the ability for students to:

  • Understand and compare disciplinary knowledge and practices at an introductory level across several subject areas in the Humanities
  • Assess and interpret a variety of evidence in order to construct reasoned arguments in both written and oral formats
  • Demonstrate academic integrity and considered, respectful engagement with other points of view
  • Appreciate the cultural and historical significance of the European past in a manner that informs discussion of current local and global issues


Coursework + exam

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline for HUMS 101.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




HUMS 101: 15 points


ARTHIST 106, 107, HISTORY 106