FPFVA010 On medieval communication - an multilateral approach

Faculty of Philosophy and Science in Opava
Winter 2019
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Mgr. Hana Komárková, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
Dr. phil. Klára Hübnerová
Faculty of Philosophy and Science in Opava
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
In the later years, only very few subjects have been treated with the same attention as the different manifestations of medieval Communication. In 1999 Marco Mostert listed more than 1580 publications on this subject: books, articles in journals and more than 800 contributions in collective works, dedicated to the whole period of the Middle Ages. Although communication is a modern concept, its premodern varieties had made it a subject of different national - mostly German and Anglo-Saxon - research traditions. The main objective of the course will be to understand the actual approaches to the subject, to reveal the various influences from related research fields (p.e. psychology, anthropology, literature and linguistics, technics or gender studies) and to uncover the medieval nature(s) of its perception. The students will discuss the complexity of the subject based on chosen articles and book sections describing its theoretical development from the 1960ties till nowadays. On the other hand, they will analyse contemporary sources and try to compare them to the theory.
  • 1. Seminar: The difference between the modern and medieval perception of communication - a general approach.
    2. Seminar: The oral and the written - definitions like non-written communication, the oral or its non-verbal forms.
    3. Seminar: The ritual and symbol as means of communication: Gert Althoff's perception of "Kommunikation" in his studies of "political" and "symbolic" communication.
    4. Seminar: The forming of an theoretical concept I.: Influences from linguistics, psychology an anthropology.
    5. Seminar: The forming of an theoretical concept II.: Mathematical and technical perceptions of communication (source/sender - medium/messenger - destination/receiver).
    6. Seminar: Beyond a rigid scheme - the medieval approach to communication: Who is represented by the sender? Which is the sender's sex? Which is the sender's age? Which forms of communication can be distinguished? What is the subject of the message? Who is represented by the "receiver"? Which is the receiver's sex? Which is the receiver's age?
    7. Seminar: The main carrier groups of medieval communication: laymen and clerics.
    8. Seminar: The functions of communication in written examples - from literary sources up to "pragmatische Schriftlichkeit" (functional literacy: books, documents, iconografical and verbal "texts"),
    9. Seminar: The communicative value of non-verbal communication - Objects, pictures, sounds, smells or gestures. Visiting the world of semantics.
    10. Seminar: The messenger is the message - transmission techniques and transmitters.
    11. Seminar: Medieval communication - quo vadis? New approaches to a commonly known subject.
    12. Seminar: Final Discussion.
    recommended literature
  • Cherry, Colin. On communication. A review. A survey and criticism. info
  • Keller, Hagen. The privilege in the public interaction of the excercise of power. info
  • Dartmann, Christoph. Writing and political communication in Italian City Communities. info
  • Mostert, Marco. Reading Images. Some preliminary obervations instead of an introduction. 2006. info
  • Mostert, Marco. New Approaches to Medieval Communication. Turnhout, 1999. info
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course can also be completed outside the examination period.
Teacher's information
" Participate in 80 % of lessons at least.
" The subject is completed with a written test, and possibly also a supplementary oral exam.
" To understand and unveil the usage of certain terminological perceptions (especially the difference between the use of "communications" an "Kommunikation" in Anglo-Saxon an German research) and the width of its evidence in the contemporary sources.
" Active oral participation in classes, a dedicated, individual acquaintance to the subject in written assignments.
" Preparation of an oral presentation (ca. 30-50 min.) during the seminar or an critical essay on an freely chosen subject.
The course is also listed under the following terms Summer 2014, Summer 2015, Summer 2016, Summer 2017, Summer 2018, Summer 2019, Summer 2020, Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Winter 2022.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Winter 2019, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.slu.cz/course/fpf/winter2019/FPFVA010