Critical Social Inquiry 0106 - The Global Middle Ages: Ethiopia and the Mediterranean

The Global Middle Ages

Jutta Sperling

07:40PM-09:00PM TU;07:40PM-09:00PM TH

Hampshire College
R.W. Kern Center 202;R.W. Kern Center 202
Little is known about the medieval Empire of Ethiopia despite its fantastic achievements in the fields of architecture, book culture, and religion. Ethiopians converted to Christianity in the 4th century and developed a distinct tradition of religious literature, unique art forms, and imperial power politics. Centering Ethiopia, we will analyze parallel developments, synergies, and interchanges with European/Mediterranean societies. Case studies will include illuminated manuscripts, the practice of magic, monasticism, church architecture, the cult of the Virgin Mary, ancient Renaissances, encounters with Judaism and Islam, strategies of othering and racialization, visits and encounters, diplomatic gift exchanges. Moving into the early modern age, we will study military partnerships with the Portuguese, the expulsion of the Jesuits, and female royal patronage of the arts. The focus will be on primary sources whenever feasible. We will also study a magic scroll preserved at Amherst College and learn the G???z alphabet. KEYWORDS:Middle Ages, Africa, Religion, Art, Global History

In/Justice The content of this course deals with issues of Race and Power Students are expected to spend a minimum of 6-8 hours of work outside of class time per week

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.