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MED 389 - Everyday Writing in Medieval Egypt, 600-1500

This class explores medieval Islamic history from the bottom up -- through everyday documents from Egypt produced and used by men and women at all levels of society: state decrees, personal and business letters, legal contracts, court records, and accounts. Even the smallest details of these everyday writings tell us big things about the world in which they were written. Each week will focus in depth on a particular document or cluster of documents that open different doors onto politics, religion, class, commerce, material history, and family relationships in Egypt from just before the Islamic conquests until just before the Ottoman era. Reading: 100-150 pages a week (includes both primary and secondary sources). Writing: Two short research assignments (3-5 pages each), and a final research paper (10-15 pages).
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Spring 2022, Spring 2021
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