Europe / Mediteranean to 1000 CE

The history of early Middle Ages Europe has suffered from simplified and essentialized accounts that imposed national history and nationalism onto its narrative.  This led to assumptions about the rise of Europe as a special model for civilization.  This approach followed the logic in 19th century history writing seen in the philosophy of Hegel and the German and British academic historians of that period.  A broader and more integrative approach is needed.  Some useful approaches are listed below.

For the period 400-1000 AD, recent works include:
1)  Chris Wickham, The Inheritance of Rome:  Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000. (Viking, 2009)
2)  Chris Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages (Oxford, 2005)
3)  W. Blockmans & P. Hoppenbrouwers, Introduction to Medieval Europe, 300-1500 (Routledge, 2007)
4.  Students may also download free from the Internet Archive, the entire set of The New Cambridge Medieval History. We'll use or refer to select chapters and maps from that 7 volume series.
From Volume 1:  Paul Foracre,  Introduction: The History of Europe 500-700 pp 1-12
From Volume 2:  Niels Lund, Scandinavia 700-1066 pp. 202-227
From Volume 2:  Hugh Kennedy, The Muslims in Europe, pp. 249-270
From Volume 2: Michael McCormick, Byzantium and the West. 700-900 pp. 349-382

Women's History
For an excellent collection of  contemporary letters and documents on women's history in medieval Europe, go to this website at Columbia University.  In the area of women's history in early modern Europe, Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2008);  Laura Gowing, Domestic Dangers:  Women, Words and Sex in Early Modern London, (Oxford, 1996);  On gender and its construction, see Louis Crompton's Homosexuality and Civilization (Cambridge, MA:  Belknap Press, 2003);  Randolph Trumbach, Sex and the Gender Revolution (Chicago, 1998);  Valerie Traub, The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England (Cambridge, 2002).

Economic and Social History
A major study of the early medieval European economy is M. McCormick, Origins of the European Economy (Cambridge, 2001).  This supersedes and augments earlier classical works, including Georges Duby, The Early Growth of the European Economy (1978), and Marc Bloch, Feudal Society (1961 - published posthumously).  For a survey of the later European economy, see Steven Epstein, An Economic and Social History of Later Medieval Europe, 1000-1500. (Cambridge, 2009).
On the family and individualism, see, Alan Macfarlane, The Origins of English Individualism:  The Family, Property and Social Transition (Cambridge, 1979).  On food and drink, see, Barbara Ketchum Wheaton, Savoring the Past:  The French Kitchen and Table from 1300 to 1789 (New York:  Touchstone, 1989);  Lisa Roslaind Jones and Peter Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory (Cambridge, 2000);  André Burgière et al., eds., A History of the Family, 2 vols. (Harvard U. Press, 1996)

Key Texts:  on the Rise of the Carolingians and Encounter with early Islamic raiding parties in lower France. 
Fordham Internet Medieval Sourcebook