This course will explore the visual culture of the many peoples who occupy the lands bordering the Mediterranean. We will consider the ancient world of Greece and Rome, which laid the foundation for the Mediteranean world but focus on the middle ages (800-1400) with discussions of sites accessible during our voyage such as Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the Great Mosque at Cordoba and Old St. Peter’s in Rome The Crusades are just one aspect of the many interactions between Muslim, Latin & Byzantine Christian and Jewish culture during the Middle Ages. Trade, intellectual exchange and diplomatic missions also provide rich opportunities for cultural exchange and interaction among these groups. Readings, field trips and class discussions will explore the nature of these interactions through an analysis of visual culture from the region. Readings will focus on primary sources such as the twelfth century travel diary of Muslim traveler Ibn Jubayr and the parallel account by Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela.
Field WorkCountry: Turkey
Our field lab will be on July 21, 2012 in Istanbul. We will spend the day exploring the many layers of the city's history by visiting Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman sites where students will have the opportunity to present material from assigned readings. Our itinerary, access permitting, will include the hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Kari Kamiye and Suleymaniye mosque.