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Unit information: Artistic Exchange in the Mediterranean in 2020/21

Unit name Artistic Exchange in the Mediterranean
Unit code HART30029
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Donkin
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit explores artistic exchange within the medieval and/or Early Modern Mediterranean, examining how artists travelled and how motifs, practices and works of art spread throughout the region through trade and diplomacy, conquest and colonisation. It asks how far the Mediterranean was characterised by a shared visual culture and how far by the distinctive contributions of different courts, cities, and religious communities, and may pay particular attention to the results of interaction between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In any one year, the unit may focus on a particular area, such as Spain or the Latin East, or concentrate on a specific city, for example Venice, Palermo or Istanbul. The course may thus provide the opportunities to reflect critically on concepts such as crusade and colonialism, portability, hybridity and convivencia.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an in-depth and detailed understanding of artistic exchange within the medieval and/or Early Modern Mediterranean;
  2. work with primary sources;
  3. integrate both primary and secondary source material into a wider analysis;
  4. select pertinent evidence/data in order to illustrate / demonstrate more
  5. the ability to identify a particular academic interpretation, evaluate it critically and form an individual viewpoint;
  6. demonstrate writing, research, and presentation skills appropriate to level H/6.

Teaching details

Classes will involve a combination of discussion, investigative activities, and practical activities. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis. This will be further supported with drop-in sessions and self-directed exercises with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Details

One digital presentation (25%) One timed assessment (75%) [ILOs 1-8]

Reading and References

Jerrilynn D. Dodds, et al, eds, The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture (New Haven, 2008)

Eva R. Hoffman, ed., Late Antique and Medieval Art of the Mediterranean World (Oxford, 2007)

Colum Hourihane, ed., Interactions: Artistic Interchange between the Eastern and Western Worlds in the Medieval Period (University Park, PA, 2007)

Henry Maguire and Robert Nelson, eds, San Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice (Washington, DC, 2010)

William Tronzo, The Cultures of His Kingdom: Roger II and the Cappella Palatina in Palermo (Princeton, 1997).