ARH 384 Art in the Global Middle Ages

This course will approach the visual culture of the medieval period from a global perspective. We will study the art of the Islamic world; South Asia; Africa; China and Japan; South America; continental Europe, as well as Britain and Ireland, from ca. 700-1000 CE. We will focus on topics such as the role of the visual arts in cultural exchange and gift-giving; the effects of pilgrimage, conquest, and global trade on the visual arts; and the investigation of a common visual language in religious art. We will also examine the tension between a “local” medieval art and a “global” medieval art, as we endeavor to understand the historiography of the concept of the middle ages itself.