The problem with teaching a medieval class on race and representation has been the unrelenting negativity of nearly all of the texts we’re doing: the Prioress’s Tale, the Siege of Jerusalem, the King of Tars, even Gerald of Wales Topography III. Mandeville, despite its antisemitism, would be the most positive work on the syllabus were it not for my including the Medieval People of Color tumblr. Alexander the Great’s encounter with Dindimus also should work beautifully. Still, as these students might never take another medieval course again, I fear I might have just poisoned my entire field for them. In the interests of medieval studies, if I do this class again, what can I put on the syllabus next time?
Or is this just the wrong question?