In the current political and cultural moment, the Medieval Academy of America is working to redress the historical limitations of Medieval Studies and expand its focus to the “Global Middle Ages” in order to examine this period beyond traditional boundaries of western Europe and giving due study to all of Europe as well as the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The premodern globe includes regions such as China, Mali, Ethiopia, Armenia, and Egypt, all of which demonstrated great achievements, in conditions of relative parity, before the oceanic dominance of a few western powers. The misappropriation and misunderstanding of medieval culture has led to the advancement of dangerous, racist narratives, and only education at every level can counter such misuse of history. Teaching the reality rather than the fictionalized fantasy of the Middle Ages has never been more important than it is today.
This initiative aimed at K-12 educators is an expansion of the Medieval Academy of America’s commitment to improve the cooperation between primary and secondary educators and higher education faculty. This course will be focused on “Medieval Africa and Africans.” Each week of the course will emphasize a specific aspect of history and culture of this period and will be developed by experts in the relevant field. The course will contextualize Medieval Africa in terms of its contemporary relationships with the medieval globe as well as its modern impact.