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Special Studies in Medieval European History


About the Course:

While in the past, historians of slavery tended to “gloss over” the middle ages, focusing instead on the shift from slavery to serfdom and the so-called disappearance of slavery from western Europe by the year 1000, more recently, historians have called attention to slavery’s persistence throughout the medieval world, in southern and central Europe, Scandinavia and in the Islamic world. This course explores the social category of the unfree in the medieval world in all of its diversity and complexity – contemplating the lives of captives, slaves, and serfs, as well as eunuchs, concubines and slave-soldiers (mamluks).  This course will also trace the historical evolution of justifications of slavery and consider whether the association of slavery with race was a “modern” invention.


History 115 or 116 or Upper Division Standing


View the course’s Canvas page or the instructor’s page for documents: Debra Blumenthal   

Schedule of Courses

Go to the Schedule of Courses on the Registrar's website to register or view scheduling information on all courses.