Pilgrims and Exiles: Late-Ancient & Early-Medieval Imaginings of Travel, Territory & Identity (3 cr)
REL-A 450 Topics in the History of Christianity
CASE A&H, CASE GCC
This course uses a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to interrogate late-ancient and early-Medieval pilgrimage journals, conquest narratives, and geographical texts (with a special emphasis on texts related to Roman Palestine). Students will consider how the experience of travel and the literary construction of ³imagined geographies² shaped ethnic, national, religious, or gendered identities, and explore how travel served to construct and maintain ideologies of power. We will also consider the writings of those who did not travel, but who resided at the borders and limits of late-ancient/early Medieval culture and society (e.g. ascetics who abandoned the cities for the desert, Jews in Diaspora communities, Syriac Christians living under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates). Students will also be encouraged to consider relationships between historical that lie behind contemporary spatial and territorial imaginings of the modern Mediterranean and Near East.