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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5012M The Margins of Medieval Art

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Eva Frojmovic

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Good BA hons degree

This module is not approved as an Elective


By the end of this module, students should have studied in-depth significant ways in which medieval Christian art constructed images of its external (Muslim, African) as well as internal (Jewish) Others, of social outcasts and imagined monsters.

Students should:
- be able to analyse how social, religious and ethnic difference is constructed through art, and be able to link such constructions with medieval theology, social and economic thought;
- have gained an understanding of how images of Others as were deployed to cope with social change;
- have gained an understanding of how some marginalised groups could resist and adapt the dominant discourse of Christian art in their own art making.

Skills outcomes
- Skills necessary to undertake higher research degree and/or for employment in a higher capacity in an area of professional practice
- Evaluating own achievement and that of others
- Self-direction and effective decision-making
- Independent learning
- Use of methodologies and theoretical resources


On this module we will explore how difference (social, ethnic, religious / Jews, Muslims and Africans, heretics, peasants, social outcasts) was conceptualised and visualised in medieval art and thought.

While much traditional medieval art history conveniently glosses over such sites of conflict, this module will emphasise the ways in which the arts of the Western, Christian Middle Ages marginalised certain groups while endorsing a hierarchical society led (at least in theory) by the Church, thereby fixing medieval Western identities.

The module will cover marginal 'grotesques' in manuscripts and their subversive potential; the christianisation of ancient traditions about monsters and marvels at the edges of the world; art in the service of the crusade ideal (with its sharpening of anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim representations).

Last but not least, the marginalised Jewish other will be given a voice through the study of Jewish art making in medieval Christendom and Islam.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours270.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

- 165 hours class preparation including researching textual and visual materials/ reading/ preparation
- 40 hours presentation preparation
- 65 hours essay preparation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- student presentations
- attendance at seminars
- participation in class discussions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay7,000 word essay (inc footnotes and bibliography)100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:33:45


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