Race and Diversity

The Medieval Studies Program welcomes all who are interested in studying and teaching the medieval world. Our primary objects of study—people, texts, images, buildings, artifacts—span a fascinating millennium (c. 500-1500) in cultures throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.  Our methodologies are diverse and encompass many different points of view. Just as we warmly welcome the participation in our program of people of all faiths, cultures, genders, and ethnic identities, we also reject the misrepresentation and misuse of medieval culture, history, and symbols to support racist rhetoric, bigotry, and the ahistorical concept of ethnically pure cultures. Through our teaching and public programs, we invite our campus and community to learn about the complexity of medieval attitudes towards racial, ethnic, religious, and gender differences, and about the Middle Ages’ many vibrant forms of cultural exchange and hybridity, all of which offer historical perspective on our own time.

We suggest the following resources for understanding these subjects: