Diversity is Coming. Medieval Societies beyond Game of Thrones

In pop culture, especially TV shows and movies, the Middle Ages are often whitewashed and portrayed as the ‘Dark Ages’. Guy Ritchie’s movie King Arthur, Legend of the Sword (2017) and Otto Bathurst’s “Robin Hood (2019) underscore this image in popular culture.

David Lowery’s The Green Knight (2021), however, shows us an alternative version and the possibilities of fantasy within one of the most popular medieval general: Arthurian Romance. A closer look reveals that medieval society faced a broad variety of diversity issue, from sexuality to race (a word currently hotly debated in medieval scholarship). We can learn from the Middle Ages that diversity was and is an essential feature of society and that it is up to the people of each epoch to embrace or reject societal plurality.

This seminar provides students with direct knowledge about the Middle Ages and enables them to critically review our modern understanding of diversity and our modern realities. Through critically engaging with ideas about the Middle Ages, students will rethink the power and challenges that diversity can pose, and embrace their own contributions to the campus community. 

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5 credits of Arts and Humanities coursework towards the Areas of Inquiry requirement.