HIST 800, ENGL 503, MDVL 565
The world in the year 1000, when the different regions of the world participated in complex networks. Archaeological excavations reveal that the Vikings reached L’Anse aux Meadows, Canada, at roughly the same time that the Kitan people defeated China’s Song dynasty and established a powerful empire stretching across the grasslands of Eurasia. Europeans tried to figure out whether the Vikings were a sign of Doomsday, and if so, whether a series of cultural experiments might stave off the end-time, even as the Icelanders tried to decide whether they wanted to be European. In this seminar, students read interpretative texts based on archaeology and primary sources, prepare projects in teams, work with material culture, and develop skills of cross-cultural analysis. Mandatory field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on the second Saturday of the fall term.