Course Description

Race in the Middle Ages

Upper-level undergraduate seminar/Graduate seminar

This course explores concepts of racial and ethnic identity during the period known in Eurocentric terms as the Middle Ages. Rather than solely examining white Europeans’ notions of race, however, we will also engage with cultures from across Afro-Eurasia, in addition to minority cultures within Europe, in order to think critically about the medieval roots of what we call “race” in the present day. Students will analyze medieval texts and images; discuss modern representations of the Middle Ages in different parts of the world; and confront the long history of racism and its influences on our culture today.