Stefan T. Kamola
Examines the impact of European Christians on the Middle East, from the establishment of the County of Edessa (1097) to the fall of Accon (1291). Explores how Muslims understood, reacted, and adapted to the crusades and how the close encounter with the "Franks" transformed medieval Middle Eastern societies.
This course examines the "Crusades" within a larger context of cultural and religious contact and exchange across the Mediterranean during the first seven centuries of Islamic history. The interaction of religious groups (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) in Spain, Sicily, and the Middle East serve as a backdrop to the European invasions of Syria and Palestine, which we will examine primarily through the writings of Arabic chroniclers from the region.
Student learning goals
General understanding of Crusades history and its place in European and Islamic history;
Exposure to the practices of historical thinking, using primary sources to discuss events and their memorialization;
Practice writing short reflections to synthesize primary and secondary source materials and students' personal responses to them;
Discussion of the relevance of historical study for our contemporary understanding of the world.
General method of instruction
Class periods will be divided between lectures soliciting active feedback and involvement and small- and large-group discussion about primary and secondary source materials.
No prerequisites necessary.
Class assignments and grading
Reading worksheets to accompany secondary source readings and assist with in-class discussion; one-page analytical papers on primary sources; short take-home written final reflection. No in-class exams.
Participation in lectures and discussions; demonstrated engagement with readings; completion of analytical and reflective writings.