Hollywood and science fiction writers all love the Middle Ages. Both reach back into this world, from chivalric knights in the "Game of Thrones" to determined pilgrims in the "Lord of the Rings.” Even Harry Potter lived in a feudal castle menaced by a dragon. Why have the Middle Ages so fascinated us, stimulated our imagination and yet repelled us with inherent "otherness"?
This class is an exploration into the medieval world; its history, culture, visual arts and daily life. Along the way we will examine monastic life and illuminated manuscripts; women's roles and troubadour poetry; wandering Arabs and the influence of the Islamic world on the West and finally urban life which begins to usher in the emerging Early Modern World.