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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Muslim Spain and Portugal: History and Memory (3 cr)  
Sarah Ifft Decker
JSTU-J 360 (34442)
TR 9:30-10:45 (GA 0003) 

After the Islamic Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711, al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) became one of the few places in Europe with large populations of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The term convivencia, coined to describe life in al-Andalus, has conjured up images of tolerance and harmony between the three faiths. We will consider the experience of convivencia in its more literal sense, of “living together,” by exploring the wide range of interactions between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in this unique cultural environment. Topics will include art and architecture; intellectual culture including poetry, philosophy, and science; the legal status of minority communities; trade and economic life; conflict, polemic, and war; and the memory of al-Andalus in Christian Spain and beyond. Course readings include both primary source texts in English translation and scholarly articles and book chapters. Over the course of the semester, students will complete three papers, accompanied by in-class presentations, one of which they will revise in consultation with the instructor. ​