Fall 2008

ARTS 646
Multiculturalism in the Art and Architecture of the Medieval Mediterranean


09/08/2008 - 12/12/2008
Monday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Modern history has framed the Middle Ages as the gap between Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. This "time between" has unclear chronological and geographical limits, as well as a contested significance in modern European identities. Art history has construed the "time between" as the product of three religious monoliths: Catholic Europe, Orthodox Byzantium and Muslim Islam. All three civilizations shared the Mediterranean Sea as a locus of political control, economic exploitation and cultural interchange. The Mediterranean, "the place between," thus offers an opportunity to explore an alternative view of medieval artistic production and to develop inter-disciplinary paradigms about the study of material culture in general. We will consider evidence from art, architecture and archaeology in Southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa between the fourth and the fourteenth centuries. We will investigate the diversity of historical narratives that their interpretation has produced and assess the applicability of modern intellectual concepts (multiculturalism, imperialism, Orientalism, ecological determinism) in the study of pre-modern societies. The unity/fragmentation of the Mediterranean will underlie our inquiries, while we investigate whether the geographic region is an ideologically meaningful entity. The course is divided into three unities: I. Transitions, II. Places, III. Crusades.

Sources to be studied include the arts, architecture, and archaeology of southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa during the Middle Ages. We will read a variety of secondary sources.

Students will be graded on midterm and final exams, presentations, and written assignments.

This course is open to auditors.

Kostis Kourelis (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is assistant professor of art history at Clemson University. Click here for more information about Kostis Kourelis.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:

Register for Courses

Contact glsinquire@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. 
Copyright Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459