Teaching a Diverse Medieval Europe: Undergraduate Pedagogy

AHA Session 187
Saturday, January 5, 2019: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Crystal Room (Palmer House Hilton, Third Floor)
Sarah Davis-Secord, University of New Mexico
Joshua Colin Birk, Smith College
Sarah Davis-Secord, University of New Mexico
Deanna Forsman, North Hennepin Community College
Susan Alice McDonough, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Yvonne Seale, State University of New York, College at Geneseo

Session Abstract

Popular attention given towards medieval Europe has grown in recent years, particularly in the context of right-wing political movements that use the history of the Crusades and an image of the West to understand and justify present-day actions. Figures such as Anders Brevik have presented themselves as modern-day Knights Templar and other modern-day extremists hold up a monocultural and white medieval Europe as an example to be emulated. Medieval history has become a subject that is increasingly centered in current political debates and current political discourse. In such a context, there is a pressing need to prepare scholars who are trained to examine the medieval world in all its difference and complexity, and for those scholars to teach that medieval world clearly and effectively. This session will bring together teaching faculty to discuss how the subject of diversity in medieval Europe has created challenges in teaching undergraduates and how they have responded to those challenges.

This session will provide a platform for faculty presenters to discuss issues they have faced in the classroom revolving around the broad issue of diversity, ethnic, religious, and otherwise, in teaching the Middle Ages. The session will discuss a variety of issues in undergraduate curriculum, ranging from designing and teaching a course on specifically on race in medieval Europe to course design focused on making a general survey of medieval Europe more inclusive. As a roundtable, it will also provide a platform for the audience present questions about issues they have faced, opening up discussion about this important topic. This will provide historians with a venue to share effective strategies for teaching medieval history to undergraduates.

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