Header: Global Medieval Studies

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If you would like to join the Global Medieval Studies Program, learn more and apply to be a minor here.

Want to learn about more ways to get involved? Read more about our research opportunities and travel grants for students.

Welcome to the Georgetown Global Medieval Studies Program

What is Global Medieval Studies?

The term “Middle Ages” prompts the question “the middle of what?” European Enlightenment thinkers gave that name to the thousand year range of ca. 500-1500 because they saw it as bridging the Classical and their own “modern” (to us, Early Modern) periods, starting with alleged “rebirth” (Renaissance) of Greco-Roman civilization. Current medieval studies have burst the bounds of Euro-centrism to involve all of Asia and much of Africa and to highlight interconnections from Ireland to Byzantium, Rome to Kyoto, Paris to Baghdad, Beijing to Cairo, and Delhi to Timbuktu.

The Global Medieval Studies Program at Georgetown University offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate major and minor in the College as well as minors in the School of Foreign Service and Business Schools. Senior majors write a thesis. With the program director in the fall, they research chosen topics in a small seminar format that encourages a focus on methods, critical approaches, writing skills, and rhetorical options; in spring, they continue with close mentoring of the thesis writing and submission. For more information, please click on the following Program page link or on the Program tab at the top of the page.

The Global Medieval Studies Program empowers students as culturally literate global citizens through interdisciplinary study of cultures removed in time and space. They develop strong skills in research, analysis, critical inquiry, rhetoric, and writing, elements shared by many other fields that make up our interdisciplinary range. Our program graduates have gone on to a variety of successful post-graduate experiences including law, medical, and graduate schools, as well as jobs in the corporate and data management worlds.

The program’s faculty and courses draw from more than fifteen different disciplines within the University. Our faculty offer courses in history, law, art history, archaeology, manuscript study, theology, and philosophy, as well as classical and vernacular languages and literatures. Students can expect to acquire expertise in how varied methodologies interact and intersect, creating a genuine interdisciplinary experience. Our flexibility and range are strong incentives, as is the centrality of medieval institutions to our modern world and its core issues in religion, warfare, class, gender, education, labor, trade, and finance. This impressive interdisciplinary range and ready access to faculty make Global Medieval Studies a rich and rewarding experience for our community of students. Summer, semester, or year abroad study can greatly enrich one’s program.

Off-campus, Washington’s Dumbarton Oaks, Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries, offer a wealth of teaching, research, and internship opportunities. Further afield, students may wish to advantage of Baltimore’s Walters Art Gallery and library, and in New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Cloisters, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In addition to our academic program, our ally the Medieval Club is a student-run society which seeks to combine the historical elements of the Middle Ages with the recreational in order to raise student interest, awareness, and knowledge about this important period.

Hear from Global Georgetown on how the Global Medieval Studies Program is “reorienting the world.”


Featured Event! Dick Davis on “The Mirror of My Heart: A Thousand Years of Persian Poetry by Women”

Flyer for "The Mirror of My Heart" event. Text reads: Georgetown University. October 24, 5:00-6:00pm, Riggs Library, Georgetown University. The Mirror of My Heart: A Thousand Years of Persian Poetry by Women with Dick Davis. "Widely acknowledged as the leading translator of Persian literature in our time." - The Washington Post. Brought to you by the Global Medieval Studies Program, with support from the Dept. of Arabic and Islamic Studies, the Dept. of English, the Comparative Literature Program, the Office of the College Dean, and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative. The Riggs Library is located in the south tower of Healy Hall, at Georgetown's main campus at 3700 O St NW.

Thursday, October 24, 5:00-6:00pm at the Riggs Library

Join Global Medieval Studies and acclaimed Persian literature translator Dick Davis on Oct. 24 for a talk on his new book, The Mirror of My Heart.

Dr. Davis is the “widely acknowledged as the leading translator of Persian literature in our time,” writes the Washington Post. His newest collection showcases the voices of women poets writing in Persian across a millennium. Many of these poems have never before been translated into English; all together, they form an important, captivating collection. We’re honored to help bring these voices here to campus, together with the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, the Department of English, the Comparative Literature Program, the Office of the College Dean, and the Georgetown Humanities Initiative.

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