Course Title:  01:082:377  Gothic

Academic Credits:  3 credits

Mode of Instruction:  Lecture

Course Prerequisites:  None

Core Curriculum:  None

Course Description:

Gothic artistic production in Northern Europe from the mid-12th through the early 15th century in architecture, sculpture, manuscript illumination, and various crafts, in their religious, social, political, and economic context   Topics include liturgy and ceremony, mysticism and devotion, pictorial narrative, lay literacy, attitudes towards death, courtly love, and the construction of the "other".

From the eighteenth-century gothic novel to today’s Goth look, “gothic” has been associated with the macabre, horror, or a rebellious subculture. This course returns to the historical origins of the style known as “gothic,” focusing on artistic production in Northern Europe from the mid-twelfth through the early fifteenth century. It examines architecture, sculpture, stained glass, manuscript illumination, ivories, textiles, and metalwork within the religious, social, political and economic contexts in which they were made and seen. We begin with an examination of the Gothic cathedral, turn to art and urbanism in the city of Paris, and then to art produced for the courts and members of the laity. We will conclude with a discussion of gothic revivals in architecture, cinema, and fashion. Topics to be explored include: liturgy and ceremony, mysticism and devotion, pictorial narrative, the construction of the “other,” lay literacy, attitudes towards death, courtly love, and new notions of seeing and the self.

Learning Goals:

  • describe the engineering and construction of a Gothic church
  • identify the components of a Gothic manuscript
  • characterize Gothic style. understand some of the significant cultural, political, economic, and religious transformations that contributed to the development of Gothic
  • recognize the inheritance of Gothic today.

Required and Recommended Course Materials:

All readings and powerpoint presentations will be posted on Sakai.




Attendance at all lectures and participation in all discussions, for days designated as discussion days (*) each student will submit one question on Sakai by noon on that day: 15%


  • two group presentations, for which all members of the group will receive the same grade, 20%
  • mid-term examination, 15%
  • one five-minute pod cast, focusing on a work of art of your choice at the Cloisters Museum and one three-page paper on the same work of art, due in class
  • Final examination: date to be announced: 30%


Professor Laura Weigert   Syllabus - TBD

Disclaimer:  These course descriptions/synopses pages have been provided as samples and the information should not be considered accurate or current.  For actual course information, refer to the course site hosted by a Rutgers Learning Management System (Sakai, Canvas, etc.) as of first day of class.