Anne F. Harris, associate professor of art history and director of the Women's Studies Program, received a student-faculty summer stipend to write curriculum for a new interdisciplinary course she will offer next year - The Ecology of Medieval Art.
Her motivation behind designing the course is to show students that Western culture, indeed human culture, is not self-contained. "The course is an attempt to make Medieval art less white and less European," Harris says. "As I looked at the courses I was teaching, I realized that they were consistently about a very self-enclosed Medieval Europe.
"Modern Western culture is influential but also deeply influenced by other cultures," she explains. "Looking at the Crusades, opened up the Middle Ages because it made me realize that not only did Christians go to Jerusalem, but there were Christians ruling in the Middle East from 1099 - 1291. There was a 200-year colonial period right in the middle of Medieval history."
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