Medieval Studies in the Department of Romance Studies encompass the interdisciplinary investigation of a diverse set of cultures of Western Europe spanning from the 7th or 8th centuries through the 15th in dialogue with Mediterranean cultures, such as those of Byzantium, Sicily, and Al-Andalus. The juxtaposition of diverse traditions-–Islamic, Christian, Judaic—with the diverse linguistic environments that sought to engage with each other in this very long period –learned languages such as Arabic, Hebrew and Latin, and vernacular ones such as Catalan, French, Castilian, Occitan, Italian, Portuguese—is complemented by a variety of methodologies and theories. Gender, poetics, visual and aesthetic, economic, ethical, political, and historiographical approaches to these languages, literatures, and cultures are at the core of the research and teaching of the faculty working in Medieval Studies.
Medieval Studies makes extensive use of the many faculty resources across departments, and sustains close links with the departments of Near Eastern Studies, History of Art, English, Comparative Literature, and the Medieval and the Religious Studies Programs. A constant and radical questioning of disciplinary boundaries, methodologies, in step with a field that has become increasingly dynamic and innovative theoretically, Medieval Studies is comparative, interdisciplinary, and transmedial, always open to new ways of thinking the past in the present, and the present in the past.