How did we come to think of the world as split into East and West?
The course explores the birth of the civilizational categories of East and West during the era of the Crusades, one of the most significant and deeply symbolic events in human history. A series of wars in the Middle Ages fought between Latin Christians and the perceived enemies of Christendom, the Crusades saw the first experiments of European colonization, the rise of Western commercial capitalism, and the emergence of new cultural identities and boundaries across Europe and the Mediterranean. Students will learn about the origins of the Crusades, the most important expeditions, and the long-term consequences. This course is about the Crusades both in history and in memory, about communities in war and peace, and about stories and memories that have endured to the present day.