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The Culture of Convivencia: Muslims, Jews, and Christians in Medieval Iberia

ARHA 310
Fall 2011
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: MDST 310, IBST 281, COL 322, HIST 213
Certificates: Jewish and Israel Studies, Middle Eastern Studies
Course Cluster: Christianity Studies

This class will explore the art and culture of the various cultures of medieval Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal) between 711 and 1492. For eight centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived side by side as neighbors enjoying varying degrees of religious freedom, political autonomy, and mutual well-being. This carefully negotiated state of coexistence was known as convivencia, and, while it ultimately failed, for centuries it allowed each community to maintain its integrity, often thriving, and always surviving.

Using visual evidence and primary sources, we will explore the works produced by the pluralistic societies of medieval Iberia from the perspectives of art, architecture, history, archaeology, literature, and music. We will learn to decode elements such as dress and home decor, food and hygiene, gardening and agriculture, to learn how each community influenced the others and formed blended cultural forms. We will carefully and objectively evaluate their shared experience of convivencia and the mutual cultural affinities and appropriations that developed over the long centuries of coexistence. Finally, we will compare the Iberian experience to our own era of religious encounters and uneasy attempts at tolerance and coexistence on a global, local, and national levels.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Speaking
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARST)(COL)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)(MEST-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-25-2024
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