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The Afterlives of Medieval Art - HOA00106M

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Katie Harrison
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module will explore the reuse and repurposing of medieval art and architecture from the medieval period to the present day, questioning the agendas behind reuse, appropriation and resignification across cultural, geographical and temporal boundaries.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

From the medieval period itself to the present day, medieval art and architecture has been reused and repurposed by diverse cultures and for diverse reasons.

Adopting a thematic approach, we will critically consider how and why medieval art, architecture and imagery has been materially and symbolically reconfigured, exploring questions of misinterpretation, appropriation and resignification across a range of in a range of cultural, geographical and temporal contexts.

Grounding our exploration in a range of methodological frameworks, including relevant anthropological and postcolonial theories, we will consider case studies of the medieval reuse of artworks in Europe, the Middle East and the wider world; the collection and reuse of medieval art and architecture in the long nineteenth-century; the present-day use of medieval imagery by contemporary artists; and the appropriation of crusader and medieval European art by extremist groups/the alt right.

The module aims to introduce students to the widespread practice of the reuse of medieval art and architecture and to enable them to develop the critical apparatus to consider instances of reuse across a range of media, contexts and cultures.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • Knowledge of the medieval and post-medieval significance of a range of relevant artworks and architecture

  • A thorough understanding of the contextual and methodological issues relevant to analysis of the reuse of medieval art and architecture

  • The ability to select and apply appropriate methodological frameworks

  • The ability to select, critically analyse and synthesise evidence from a wide range of sources

  • A critical awareness of the ways in which medieval art has been, and continues to be, reused and reshaped to suit specific agendas

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Assessed Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on assessed work within the timeframes set out by the University - please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

The purpose of feedback is to help you to improve your future work. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further, you are warmly encouraged to meet your Supervisor during their Office Hours.

Indicative reading

  • Brilliant, Richard, and Dale Kinney. Reuse Value: Spolia and Appropriation in Art and Architecture from Constantine to Sherrie Levine. Farnham: Ashgate, 2011.
  • Frojmovic, Eva, and Catherine E. Karkov, eds. Postcolonising the Medieval Image. London: Routledge, 2017.
  • Nagel, Alexander. Medieval Modern: Art Out of Time. London: Thames & Hudson, 2012.
  • Normore, Christina, ed. Re-Assessing the Global Turn in Medieval Art History. Leeds: Arc Humanities Press, 2018.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.