81958 - CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS IN THE MEDIEVAL WORLD (1) (LM)

Scheda insegnamento

SDGs

L'insegnamento contribuisce al perseguimento degli Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile dell'Agenda 2030 dell'ONU.

Ridurre le disuguaglianze

Anno Accademico 2020/2021

Conoscenze e abilità da conseguire

At the end of the course, students will be familiar with the main theoretical and practical challenges of global and cross cultural perspectives to the study of the medieval world. With a special focus on the medieval Mediterranean and on the routes to Asia from 1000 to 1500, students will be aware of patterns of religious, commercial, and intellectual communication among the Latins, the East Christians, the Arabs, and the Mongols. By the discussion of selected sources and secondary literature about phenomena, such as crusades, missions, travel, and trade, will acquire knowledge of the actors and spaces involved and on the meaning of traversing cultural and geographical boundaries in the medieval world and will develop skills of source criticism and acquire appropriate methods and terminology required by the discipline.

Contenuti

The course starts on 25 March 2020

The course provides an introduction to cross-cultural approaches to the study of medieval history. With a special focus on the medieval Mediterranean and on the routes to Asia from 1000 to 1500, it will explore patterns of religious, commercial, and intellectual communication among the Latins, the East Christians, the Muslims, and the Mongols. The discussion of phenomena, such as crusades, missions, travel, and visual representations of space, will shed light on the actors and contexts involved and on the meaning of traversing cultural and geographical boundaries in the medieval world.

The first part of the course will be devoted to providing the main theoretical tools for a history of cross-cultural encounters in pre-modern times, looking in particular at the Mediterranean Sea as a connecting space. Afterwards, we will focus on a series of case studies, based on which we will empirically observe patterns of interaction, representation of otherness, and circulation of goods, peoples, and ideas across linguistic, religious, and cultural boundaries and on different scales. A specific attention will be devoted to the plurality of representations of the “Orient” produced or circulating in late medieval Europe (13th-15th centuries), regarding them as crucial objects of cultural and religious history. We will discuss how non-Latin and non-Christian peoples fit into Western categories of representations, and what knowledge about Near- and Far-Eastern regions was actually available in the West. By examining specific cases, pertaining to different textual genres, such as historiography, travel writing, and missionary accounts, we will explore the different ways in which Latin authors took otherness into account, whether internal or external to Christianity, and will examine how these accounts fit into precise intellectual schemes and political and ecclesiological agenda.

Testi/Bibliografia

Programme for attending students:

Attending students will prepare the readings and deliver presentations following the schedule which will be distributed at the beginning of the course. Most teaching materials will be made available to students in the dedicated IOL platform. Class attendance is compulsory. Please note that those who will miss more than 4 classes and those who will not prepare the readings will have to take the exam as non-attending students or will be required to do additional work in agreement with the teacher.

The following reading list is divided into five parts, roughly corresponding to the five weeks of classes. Students are strongly encouraged to prepare the readings carefully, in order to be able to participate to class discussions. Please note that:

(1) the readings marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory for CLASS DISCUSSION;

(2) the FINAL EXAM will be based on the entire reading list from Week 1 to Week 4; a weekly preparation of all these readings is encouraged in order to facilitate class attendance and the preparation of the final exam.

(3) each student will make a PRESENTATION on one of the primary sources of Week 5 and will act as a DISCUSSANT for another students’ presentation.

Week 1: Critical approaches to cross-cultural interactions

J. H. Bentley, Old World encounters. Cross-cultural contacts and exchanges in pre-modern times (New York: Oxford Universiyt Press, 1993), ch. 1, 4.

(*) J.R.S. Phillipps, The Medieval Expansion of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), ch. 4 and 5.

Week 2: Mediterranean encounters

D. Abulafia, The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean (London: Allen Lane, 2011), Part Three.

(*) E. R. Dursteler, “On Bazaars and Battlefields: Recent Scholarship on Mediterranean Cultural Contacts”, Journal of Early Modern History, 15 (2011): 413-43.

Week 3: Circulating knowledge and visual representations of the medieval world

The History of Cartography, ed. by J. Brian Harley and David Woodward (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), Volume 1, ch. 17, 18.

(*) S. Phillips, “The Outer World of the European Middle Ages,” in Implicit Understandings. Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 23-46.

(*) A. Gow, “Gog and Magog on Mappaemundi and early printed maps: Orientalizing ethnography in the apocalyptic tradition”, Journal of Early Modern history, 2 (1998), 1-28.

J. Le Goff, “The Medieval West and the Indian Ocean: An Oneiric Horizon”, in Medieval Ethnographies: European Perceptions of the World Beyond, ed. J.P. Rubiés (Farnham: Asghate, 2009), 155-173.

Week 4: Travel writings and empirical ethnographies

(*) K. Phillips, Before Orientalism: Asian Peoples and Cultures in European Travel Writing (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), Introduction, ch. 2, ch. 3.

Medieval Ethnographies: European Perceptions of the World Beyond, ed. J.P. Rubiés (Farnham: Asghate, 2009), Introduction and ch. 2.

Weeks 5: First-hand witnesses: medieval accounts about the East (students’ presentations)

Each student will make a presentation based on one of the following primary sources (to be agreed in class) and will act as a discussant for another student’s presentation. The provisional list includes:

R. George-Tvrtković, A Christian Pilgrim in Medieval Iraq: Riccoldo da Montecroce's Encounter with Islam (Turnhout, 2012).

Hayton of Korykos, The Flower of Histories of the East , trans. P. Bedrossian, available on line: http://rbedrosian.com/hetumtoc.html (Books 1, 3, 4).

Ibn Battuta, Travels in Asia and Africa : 1325-1354 trans. H. A. R. Gibb (London, 1929).

John of Montecorvino, Letters, in Cathay and the Way Thither, ed and trans. H. Yule (Nendeln, 1967).

John of Plano Carpini, Historia Mongalorum (Turnhout, 2011), on-line on AlmaRE. English editions: History of the Mongols, in: Mission to Asia, Narratives and etters of the Franciscan Missionaries in Mongolia and China, ed. Ch. Dawson (New York, 1966).

Jordan Catala of Severac, Mirabilia descripta – The Wonders of the East, ed. Trans. H. Yule (London, 1863): https://archive.org/details/mirabiliadescrip00jord/page/n1

Odoric of Pordenone, The travels of friar Odoric of Pordenone, in Cathay and the Way Thither, ed and trans. H. Yule (Nendeln 1967).

Rabban Sauma: The Monks of Kublai Khan, ed. Budge, E. A. Wallis (London, 1928), available online: http://www.aina.org/books/mokk/mokk.htm

The Journey of William of Rubruck to the Eastern Parts of the World, 1253-55, as Narrated by Himself: with two accounts of the earlier journey of John of Pian De Carpine, ed. and trans. W. Woodville Rockhill (Milwood, N.Y., 1967).

The Travels of Marco Polo, ed. and trans. Ronald Latham (Harmondsworth, 1965).

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, trans. C.W.R.D. Moseley (Harmondsworth, 1983).

Please note that you can refer to ANY OTHER EDITION OR TRANSLATION of the above mentioned texts. Suggestions about DIFFERENT SOURCES are welcome.

Programme for non-attending students

Students who cannot attend classwork must read four chapters/articles and two books from this list (to be agreed with the teacher in advance):

CHAPTERS/ARTICLES:

J. H. Bentley, Old World encounters. Cross-cultural contacts and exchanges in pre-modern times (New York: Oxford Universiyt Press, 1993), ch. 1, 4.

J.R.S. Phillipps, The Medieval Expansion of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), ch. 4 and 5.

E. R. Dursteler, “On Bazaars and Battlefields: Recent Scholarship on Mediterranean Cultural Contacts”, Journal of Early Modern History, 15 (2011): 413-43.

The History of Cartography, ed. by J. Brian Harley and David Woodward (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), Volume 1, ch. 17, 18.

S. Phillips, “The Outer World of the European Middle Ages,” in Implicit Understandings. Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era, ed. Stuart B. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 23-46.

A. Gow, “Gog and Magog on Mappaemundi and early printed maps: Orientalizing ethnography in the apocalyptic tradition”, Journal of Early Modern history, 2 (1998), 1-28.

J. Le Goff, “The Medieval West and the Indian Ocean: An Oneiric Horizon”, in Medieval Ethnographies: European Perceptions of the World Beyond, ed. J.P. Rubiés (Farnham: Asghate, 2009), 155-173.

K. Phillips, Before Orientalism: Asian Peoples and Cultures in European Travel Writing (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), Introduction, ch. 2, ch. 3.

BOOKS:

  1. K. Phillips, Before Orientalism: Asian Peoples and Cultures in European Travel Writing (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014),

  2. P. Jackson, The Mongols and the West (Harlow: Penguin, 2005).

  3. Medieval Ethnographies: European Perceptions of the World Beyond, ed. J.P. Rubiés (Farnham: Asghate, 2009).

  4. D. Abulafia, The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean (London: Allen Lane, 2011), Introduction and Part Three.

  5. J.R.S. Phillipps, The Medieval Expansion of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988).

  6. Medieval Frontiers: Concepts and Practices, ed. D. Abulafia and B. Berend (Farnham: Ashgate, 2002).

Metodi didattici

Frontal lectures, students' presentations and class discussion.

Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

It is required that students attend the course regularly, prepare the readings carefully, and participate actively in class discussions and presentations, engaging critically with the material suggested by the professor (50% of grade). Class attendance is compulsory. Please note that those who will miss more than 4 classes and those who will not prepare the readings will have to take the exam as non-attending students or will be required to do additional work in agreement with the teacher. The preparation of the reading materials will be evaluated on the basis of an oral exam (50% of the grade).

The grade assigned on class participation will be based on:
- Regularity of participation
- Regular preparation of the reading materials and engagement in class discussion
- Oral presentation: critical skills, clarity, and command of the specific language
- Active participation during other students' presentations

The grade assigned on the oral exam will be based on:

- knowledge of the reading materials

- critical skills
- command of the specific language

Students non attending the course will be evaluated on the basis of an oral exam. They will be asked questions aimed to assess their knowledge of the reading materials. The questions will also aim to evaluate the students' command of the specific language, their critical skills, and capacity of re-organizing the acquired information.

Evaluation criteria:

In-depth knowledge of the reading materials, with good analytical and critical skills and command of the specific language will qualify for a good/excellent mark.

Acceptable and more mechanical knowledge of the reading materials, and/or not always appropriate use of the language will lead to a sufficient/fair mark.

Fragmentary knowledge of the reading materials, weak critical skills, and/or insufficient command of the specific language and will lead to a failure or to a pass mark.

Strumenti a supporto della didattica

Frontal lectures and seminarial discussions will be supported by Power Point presentations aimed to show visual and textual materials.

Link ad altre eventuali informazioni

https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/irene.bueno

Orario di ricevimento

Consulta il sito web di Irene Bueno