Skip to main content

What is Intersectional Medieval Art?

Felix talks about ARTH 203 Intersectional Medieval Art and the art history department

Felix talks about ARTH 203 Intersectional Medieval Art and the art history department

When I tell friends and family about my courses this term, the one I get the most questions about by far is Intersectional Medieval Art (ARTH 203). So, I figured I’d make a blog about it!

The Art History Department

At Carleton, the Art and Art History topics are combined into one department (which you can visit here) but you can major in either one of the two (visit the Art History major here). If you take a class in either of these subjects, chances are your class will involve a little bit of each!

Though I’ve taken art courses before and learned a bit about how certain artistic processes came to be, I had never taken an actual art history class until this term. I signed up for Intersectional Medieval Art because it fulfilled some of the credits I needed, and I thought it looked pretty cool — turns out I was right!

A view of the snowy landscape crossing a bridge over Lyman Lakes
Walking to class from Goodhue!

Class So Far

As you might guess, Intersectional Medieval Art focuses on intersection identities in the medieval times, and how they were represented in art and media. So far, we’ve discussed the idea of race in the Middle Ages, queer people and their life experiences at the time, and ideas of class and poverty in medieval times. Coming up, we’re going to be talking about how physical and mental disabilities were represented. It’s all been super cool to learn about, and to see the actual pieces we get this information from!

In addition to art analysis, we also do some fun activities in class. One day, we learned about embroidered tapestries, and at the end of class that day, we all tried to figure out how to embroider using materials from the Makerspace! I decided to write “HELLO” on mine, but I haven’t quite finished it yet.

Embroidery of green thread
Progress on my embroidery

Will I take more Art History classes?

The short answer is: probably! We’ve only just finished week 4, but so far Intersectional Medieval Art has been a super fun and cool course. I think in future terms, I definitely want to explore other departments I haven’t taken classes in before, but if there’s an opportunity to take another class like this, it would be hard to pass up!

Felix (he/him) from Washington, DC is a freshman at Carleton this year interested in geologyenvironmental studies, and art history, and is excited to explore campus and all it has to offer throughout his first year. Felix is an officer of Carleton Birders as well as an editor with the blog this year, and participates in the Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts (CANOE), the Carleton Disability Alliance (CDA), Carls with Artistic Taste (CAT), the Equestrian Club, and the Gender & Sexuality Center (GSC). In his free time, Felix enjoys exploring the outdoors, drawing and painting, and listening to music (currently enjoying Hozier, Car Seat Headrest, The Velvet Underground, TV Girl, and Elliot Smith).