Premodern Worlds Podcast Series


These podcasts were the collective final project for “Premodern Worlds: A History Through Objects,” taught by Professor Sarah McNamer at Georgetown University in the fall of 2019 and 2020.

In this seminar, students took a virtual tour around the globe in order to explore the rich and diverse cultures of the global Middle Ages (ca. 500-1500 C.E.). Taking inspiration from the British Museum’s History of the World in 100 Objects, written and produced by Neil MacGregor, students took weekly excursions to the various museums in Washington DC – including the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of African Art, the Freer/Sackler Museum, and Dumbarton Oaks – to study a wide range of artifacts: textiles, manuscripts, drinking vessels, shields, sandals, icons, ink pots, devotional objects, lanterns, children’s toys, and amulets.

As students examined these relics from the past, they sought to contextualize and understand them with the aid of selections from world literature, chronicles, travel narratives, and sacred texts.

We wish to thank all of the guest lecturers and curators who generously shared their time and expertise with us: at Dumbarton Oaks, Kelsey Eldridge, Juan Antonio Murro, Jonathan Shea, and Elizabeth Dospěl Williams; at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Brian Abrams and Massumeh Farhad; at the National Museum of African Art, Gus Casely-Hayford and Christine Mullen Kreamer; at the Textile Museum, Sumru Krody; and at Georgetown University, Brahmachari Sharan, Francisca Cho, Brandon Dotson, Kathryn de Luna, Joe Johnson, Jim Millward, Howard Spendelow, Michelle Wang, and Stefan Zimmers.

Please enjoy these podcasts, and contact us at if you have any comments or questions.