“Monks and Heretics: Using Eco’s The Name of the Rose as a Textbook in an Upper-level, Undergraduate History Seminar,” was the lead essay in Postscript to the Middle Ages: Teaching Medieval Studies through Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, edited by Alison Ganze (2010).
A great book for anyone who teaches the Middle Ages. Here's the opening of my essay:
"As a graduate student in 1996, I attended the International Congress of Medieval Studies Congress at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. One of the distinct memories I hold from that conference is overhearing a conversation about a professor using Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose as a text in a medieval history class.
"This seemed like a stroke of genius to me, and it impressed me enough to want to give it a try someday. I have since developed my own version of such a course and taught it twice. I have also had some time to mull over how it worked, what it meant, and how the teaching of the course might be useful to others."