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MED 228 - Art and Power in the Middle Ages

The course explores how art worked in politics and religion from ca. 300-1200 CE in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Students encounter the arts of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam, great courts and migratory societies; dynamics of word and image, multilingualism, intercultural connection, and local identity. We examine how art can represent and shape notions of sacred and secular power. We consider how the work of 'art' in this period is itself powerful and, sometimes, dangerous. Course format combines lecture on various cultural contexts with workshop discussion focused on specific media and materials, or individual examples. For department majors, satisfies Group 2 distribution requirement. Satisfies introductory course requirement for Medieval Studies certificate. Weekly responses to preparatory questions for class discussion, based on primary source reading or image analysis. Paper in lieu of midterm; final paper.
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Spring 2022, Spring 2021, Spring 2019
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