Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Suggestions on Crusades Documentaries?

I'm getting ready to teach a summer course that will focus on "intercultural encounter in the Middle Ages," which will be a revision of a class I did last summer, so I'm looking to re-tool the syllabus a bit. One of the things I did last year was to show the class portions of Terry Jones's Crusades documentary series for background info. It's very useful (and very funny, as you'd imagine), but it's also pretty heavily skewed against the Crusaders. Now, believe me, I'm NOT a fan of the Crusades, but Jones's characterization of Europeans as essentially "barbarians" seems just as inaccurate, in its own way, as more traditional histories have tended to be.

I still want to use Jones's documentary this year, but I'd also really like to find a foil for it: a documentary that presents the material from a different angle, and not necessarily a very balanced one, either. In fact, I'd almost like to find a documentary in which there are at least some talking heads who seem to be making a bid to be "Crusader apologists:" I think that could open up some very lively, useful, and informative debate for the class.

Any suggestions?

And, of course, I'd be very pleased to have any other suggestions for readings/viewings that spring to mind more generally.