All the lands in their diversity are one, and men are all neighbors and brothers
al-Zabaidi, tutor of Caliph al-Hakam II of Cordoba (961-976)
Catedral de Santa María, Burgos
Alhambra Mosque, Cordova
Synagoga El Transito, Toledo
In this course, we will explore interactions between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in medieval Europe's most religiously diverse region - from the establishment of an Islamic al-Andalus in 711 CE through the final Christian "reconquest" of the peninsula and expulsion of the Jews in 1492 and expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims forcibly converted to Christianity) in 1609. Themes include religion and communal identities, the complexities of cultural engagement in pluralistic environments, and toleration and its limits. You can expect to gain an understanding of current scholarship in the field, to develop familiarity with primary sources and methods for interpreting them, and to engage both of these things in the construction of a substantive research paper (for undergraduates) or bibliographic essay (for graduate students).
Students are expected to attend and participate in every class. If you know that you will miss class because you are sick or are away from school for an emergency, please try to let me know ahead of time, if possible, via phone or e-mail. More than two unexcused absences during the semester may result in a lower overall grade in addition to an unsatisfactory class participation grade. Graded work for the seminar will include class participation (30%); weekly response papers (30%), and a final research paper (40%). Students will also be expected to prepare and lead discussion on one week's reading. The class participation grade will be based on attendance, the level of your preparedness to discuss the material, your presentation to the class/discussion leading during your assigned week, and your general involvement in the seminar. Please note that students must complete all written work in order to receive a passing grade for the class.
Note: University policy is that students have the right to be excused from class for the observance of religious holidays. However, it is your responsibility to notify faculty ahead of time and to arrange to make up any work you might miss. If you plan to miss class for this reason, you must let me know at the beginning of the semester.
Expectations of Integrity: All students should familiarize themselves with the Boston University Academic Conduct Code or College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Academic Conduct Code as appropriate and adhere to it. Please see also my plagiarism policy.
Students with Disabilities: Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Disability Services as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. If you suspect that you may have an undiagnosed disability that is interfering with your success in your coursework, please come see me and I will help direct you to the appropriate resources at BU.
Olivia R. Constable ed., Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources, 2nd Edition (U Penn Press, 2011), ISBN: 978-0812221688
Maria Rosa Menocal, The Ornament of the World, (Back Bay Books, Reprint Edition ISBN: 978-0316168717
Burton Raffel, trans. Song of the Cid, (Penguin Classics, 2009) ISBN: 978-0143105657
Peter Cole, trans. and ed., The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain 950-1492, (Princeton, 2007) ISBN: 9780691121956
Ibn 'Arabi, Sufis of Andalusia, trans. Ralph Austin (Roxburgh GB, 2002) ISBN: 978-0415850896
Lu Ann Homza, ed., The Spanish Inquisition: An Anthology of Sources, (Indianapolis, 2006) ISBN: 9780872207943
Copies of required books will be held on 24 hour reserve in Mugar Library.
Bernard F. Reilly, The Medieval Spains (Cambridge University Press, 1996). This very detailed political history will be a useful resource if you find yourself confused about changes in the political landscape as we move through the semester. It will be held on reserve in Mugar Library.
A number of readings are available on the Blackboard Learn site or directly through Mugar Library. Please bring all readings to class each week. You may either print out web readings or bring your laptop/ipad/tablet to class.
Response Papers: Students will be asked to write weekly 2-page response papers, due by 11:59 on Sunday. Students may opt out of this assignment any three weeks of the semester (i.e., you will write ten responses over the course of the semester). Each response will be worth a possible 10 points for a total of 100 points over the course of the semester.
Final Paper: Students will write a final research paper on a topic of their own choosing. Undergraduate papers should be 12-15 pages long, graduate papers should be 15-20 pages long. Guidelines may be found below.
Discussion Leading: There will be a sign up sheet for discussion leading. Take a look and choose a week that works for you in terms of topic, schedule, or both. By 11:59 PM Sunday night of the week you are scheduled, you should post a brief entry to the Blackboard Learn Blog highlighting some of your thoughts on the document(s), book, or article on which you'll be leading discussion, including several questions for classmates to ponder. In class, you will give a presentation of no more than 10 minutes and will be given the opportunity to manage discussion. Feel free to contribute graphics, timelines, etc. Most weeks we will have two presenters, and you are encouraged to work together to establish a division of labor and content.
Maria Rosa Menocal, Ornament of the World, 1-100; 174-188; 244-283
Additional Graduate Reading: Menocal, Ornament of the World, entire
Olivia Remie Constable, Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources, 2nd ed., 3-29; Bernard Bachrach, Early Medieval Jewish Policy in Europe, Chapter 1 "Visigothic Jewish Policy" [on Blackboard Learn]; Rachel L. Stocking, "Early Medieval Christian Identity and Anti-Judaism: The Case of the Visigothic Kingdom," Religion Compass 2:4
Constable, Medieval Iberia, 31-66; Richard Fletcher, Moorish Spain, 1-52 [Learn]; Jessica Coope, The Martyrs of Córdoba: Community and Family Conflict in an Age of Mass Conversion (Lincoln, NB, 1995), xv-xvii, 1-34 [Learn]; Chronica Prophetica, trans. Kenneth Baxter Wolf
Additional Graduate Reading: Kenneth Baxter Wolf, Christian Martyrs in Muslim Spain (Cambridge, 1988) [Library of Iberian Sources Online]
Constable, Medieval Iberia, 75-100; Maribel Fierro, ‘Abd al-Rahman III: The First Cordoban Caliph (Oxford, 2005), pp. 105-131 [Learn]; Abraham ibn Daud, "The Succession of the Rabbinate," Book of Tradition, Gershon Cohen, ed., trans., 63-67 [Learn]; Andalus: Moorish Songs of Love and Wine, trans. T. J. Gorton (London, 2007), pp. 28-29, 32, 36, 41-52; [Learn]; Peter Cole, Dream of the Poem, 23-69
Constable, Medieval Iberia, 131-141; 273-292; Jonathan Ray, The Sephardic Frontier: The Reconquista and the Jewish Community in Medieval Iberia (Cornell University Press, 2006) 1-54; 145-179 [Learn]; Brian Catlos, The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050-1300 (Cambridge, 2004), 71-120 [Learn]; Oldradus de Ponte, Consilium 72, "Whether a war against the Saracens of Spain is licit"[Learn]
Burton Raffel, trans., The Song of the Cid
Guest Speaker: Professor Irene Zaderenko, BU Department of Romance Studies
Katrin Kogman-Appel, "Hebrew Manuscript Painting in Late Medieval Spain: Signs of a Culture in Transition," The Art Bulletin 84 (2002); Jonathan Decter, Iberian Jewish Literature: Between al-Andalus and Christian Europe, Introduction and Chapters 1-2 [Learn]; Cole, Dream of the Poem, 143-164; 173-191
Research Paper Proposals Due by 11:59 PM
Ibn 'Arabi, Sufis of Andalusia, Ralph Austin, ed., trans.; Cole, Dream of the Poem, 74-110; 119-120; 154-170; Diana Lobel, A Sufi-Jewish Dialogue: Philosophy and Mysticism in Bahya Ibn Paquda's Duties of the Heart (Philadelphia, 2007), Chapters 1 and 2 [Learn]
Additional Graduate Reading: Lobel, A Sufi-Jewish Dialogue, entire [Mugar Library reserve]
Guest Speaker: Professor Diana Lobel, BU Department of Religion
David Freidenreich, Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law [excerpts on Learn]
Additional Graduate Reading: Freidenreich, Foreigners and Their Food, entire [Mugar Library reserve]
Class Dinner at Taberna de Haro
Constable, Medieval Iberia, 399-414; Paola Tartakoff, Between Christian and Jew: Conversion and Inquisition in the Crown of Aragon (Philadelphia, 2012), 1-10; 63-98 [Learn]; David Nirenberg, "Conversion, Sex, and Segregation: Jews and Christians in Medieval Spain," American Historical Review 107 (Oct. 2002)
Constable, Medieval Iberia, 496-523; 535-546; Lu Ann Homza, ed., trans., The Spanish Inquisition: An Anthology of Sources (Indianapolis, 2006); Renée Levine Melammed, Heretics or Daughters of Israel? The Crypto-Jewish Women of Castile (Oxford, 1999), Chapters 1 and 4 [Learn]; Mary Elizabeth Perry, The Handless Maiden : Moriscos and the Politics of Religion in Early Modern Spain (Princeton, 2005), Chapters 1-3 [Learn]
Additional Graduate Reading: Mary Elizabeth Perry, The Handless Maiden, entire [Mugar Library reserve]
Jonathan Ray,"Beyond Tolerance and Persecution: Reassessing Our Approach to Medieval 'Convivencia'" Jewish Social Studies, New Series, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Winter, 2005), pp. 1-18; Kenneth Baxter Wolf, "Convivencia in Medieval Spain: A Brief History of an Idea," Religion Compass 3 (2009)
Thursday, Dec 12: Final Papers Due. Submit to Learn site by 11:59 PM