HUMS 415, Interpretations - Chartres Cathedral

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:00-2:15pm

Course Description:

An exploration of Chartres Cathedral as a meeting point of various artistic, technological, ritual, literary, intellectual, and social trends in the High Middle Ages. We study what went into building this “chief sanctuary of the Virgin in Western Europe,” how the cathedral fit into and changed the world around it, Gothic design and construction, and the literature connected to Chartres as well as to the urban centers of northern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Topics include: the pre-history of the present cathedral; royal, noble, and local patronage; sculptural programs of the west façade and northern and southern portals; stained glass programs of the west wall, nave, transept (great rose windows), and choir; relics; liturgical and affective experiences of Chartres; the cathedral as a physical, sacred and social space; the cult of the Virgin; new learning and the cathedral school; literary works attached to the Charlemagne window (The Song of Roland, The Pilgrimage of Charlemagne, The Pseudo-Turpin), to the cathedral more generally (The Miracles of Our Lady of Chartres), to the towns of medieval France (Fabliaux); renovation and restoration of post-medieval Chartres. 


Led by:

Professor Jacqueline Jung is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the History of Art.

She specializes in the art and architecture of the medieval West, with an emphasis on the figural arts of Gothic France and Germany. 

Her teaching has thus far encompassed the history of medieval sculpture; images of death and apocalypse; Gothic cathedrals; the body as medium and matter in the Middle Ages; monumental narrative arts; late medieval altarpieces; visions and visionary experiences in art; the representation and stimulation of emotions in medieval art; and the importance of materiality, movement, and space in medieval visual culture.

Professor Howard Bloch is Sterling Professor of French at Yale University. He has written on a variety of topics in and around medieval literature and social history, legal, economic, familial, and political institutions, humor and the fabliaux, gender and the rise of Western romantic love and the history of the discipline of Medieval Studies.

Bloch holds a medal from the Collège de France, is an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Philosophical Society.  He is currently completing a book on Stéphane Mallarmé’s “Un coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard.”