People of Color in European Art History

  1. afrofuturistaffair:

    Blerd Bookstore Struggle + 10 Black Speculative Fiction Anthologies

    Whenever I step inside of a bookstore, my first stop is always the science fiction section. Routinely, I’ll do a scan for my favorite Black science fiction authors, and nine times out of 10, Octavia Butler, Tananarive Due, Samuel Delany and other popular Black science fiction authors have been placed on the African-American literature shelves. This seems to send a very clear message to readers: Black authors who write science fiction are somehow “other.” These stories are not considered traditional science fiction or aren’t really science fiction at all; it belongs, instead in the special interest, ethnic, or diversity categories of the bookstore. The categories that usually take up the least amount of space in the room, as if we have fewer stories to tell.

    (via poc-creators)

  2. peashooter85:

    The Jews of Ancient China —- The Kaifeng Jews

    The destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD would create a wave of Jewish diaspora as Jewish rebels were sold into slavery or exiled to locations all over the Roman Empire.  However the spread of Jewish peoples would expand beyond the borders of the Roman world, as Jewish genes can be found all over Europe, Africa, and Asia.  One far flung Jewish community can be found in China, one of the most extreme examples of Jewish immigration in the ancient world.

    After the Jewish revolt against Rome many thousands of Jews headed east to enjoy the wealth and riches of the Silk Road to Asia.  Jewish merchant communities sprang up all over Persia, Afghanistan, and Northern India.  One Jewish group traveled as far as Henan Province (Eastern China) and settled in the cosmopolitan city of Kaifeng between 600 – 900 AD.  By the year 1100 the Jews of Kaifeng had established a large and healthy community with a synagogue, communal kitchen, kosher slaughterhouse, ritual bath, and Sukkah (special building used to celebrate the festival of Sukkot).  During the Ming Dynasty the Kaifeng Jews took Chinese surnames which corresponded with the meanings of their original Jewish names.  One Kaifeng Jew, Zhao Yingcheng (Moshe Ben Abram) made his mark in Chinese history by being named the Director of the Ministry of Justice by the Emperor in the mid 1600’s. The religious traditions of the Kaifeng Jews remained the same through most of their history, corresponding exactly to the religious practices of Jews in the west.  However, in the 1860’s the community would be uprooted due to the chaos caused by the Taiping Rebellion.  The synagogue was destroyed and much of the ancient practices of the Kaifeng Jews were lost or forgotten.  The war caused a mini-diaspora of Chinese Jews as they sought refuge all over China.  After the war many Jews returned to Kaifeng to rebuild their community.  Today the Kaifeng Jews still maintain a small community with a rebuilt synagogue.  Today 1,000 Jews still maintain a prosperous community in Kaifeng.

    Further Reading:

    The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion By Xin Xu

    The Haggadah of the Kaifeng Jews of China By Fook-Kong Wong, Dalia Yasharpour

    Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng By Xin Xu

    The Kaifeng Stone Inscriptions: The Legacy of the Jewish Community in China By Tiberiu Weisz

    The Jews of China: Historical and Comparative Perspectives edited by Jonathan Goldstein

  3. armellekumakins wrote...

    This blog is brilliant and much needed! I've been struggling to incorporate diversity into Euro-centric curriculum beyond semi-irrelevant footnotes. I believe equality doesn't simply mean all races are taught the same information; it means all races are given the same value within the information taught. Thus, demonstrating the influences of PoC on Europe is important. I see this blog focuses on art so can you suggest similar blogs/sites about PoC influences on European literature or philosophy?


    If you’re looking for something like Medievalpoc but for literature:

    The two best-known Black European authors from before the 20th century (that you probably already know) would probably be Alexander Pushkin and Alexandre Dumas. This is a very good article to read in regard to learning and teaching Black European history and addressing its complexities.

    For philosophy, you’ll have to dig a little deeper for resources. Here’s what I have tagged “philosophy”. Not a lot of books on History of Philosophy in regard to Europeans of color, despite plenty of learned people like Anton William Amo and the rich history of Classical texts being preserved in the Middle East during the Medieval period in Europe.

    If anyone has more resources, feel free to add them in the notes.

  4. Are our ways of teaching students to ask some questions always correlative with our ways of teaching them not to ask - indeed, to be unconscious of - others? Does the educational system exist in order to promulgate knowledge, or is its main function rather to universalize a society’s tacit agreement about what it has decided it does not and cannot know?

    Barbara Johnson, “Teaching Ignorance: L’Ecole des femmes,” Yale French Studies 63 (1982), p. 173

    twistedrecesses submitted to medievalpoc:

    Saw this quote and thought of your blog and mission.

  5. "Unforgiven": The Rock Highlander Fic


    aboyoficeandfire reblogged your photo:

    I demand fanfic immediately*



    * Highlander fic will also be acceptable


  6. nonmodernist:


    Here’s a picture from our first book, A Hero at the End of the World, written by Erin Claiborne (eleveninches) and illustrated by Jade Liebes (hydrae). The two guys in this photo are Ewan Mao and his former best friend Oliver Abrams.

    As a teenager, Ewan was prophesied to save Britain from an evil tyrant — but chickened out at the last moment. Instead, his best friend Oliver ended up defeating the villain. Five years later, Oliver is a national hero while Ewan works at a coffee shop and still lives with his parents. But the two friends are unwillingly reunited when a magical cult targets Ewan in a plot to end the world.

    A Hero at the End of the World is a hilarious and gripping combination of YA fantasy adventure, queer romance, and political satire. It will be published by Big Bang Press on November 11, and you can find out more on our website!

    fantasy adventure, queer romance, and political satire - this book is everything i’ve ever wanted in my YA fantasy loving heart

    Reblogging for the books tag!

    (via fantasyofcolor)

  7. gentlemanhobo wrote...

    Why did a french guy make a (dramatically inaccurate and heavily westernized) print of a Japanese temple in the 1700s? Frenchmen couldn't even legally visit japan at that time, so I doubt heavily it was directly inspired?

    Read this (via UCLA): The Early Enlightenment, Religious Toleration, and the Origins of Comparative Religion: Bernard and Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World

    ^ It explains why/how the book this engraving is from was made, the effect it had, and a brief reading list (books about this book).

  8. sitcomofmylife wrote...

    Hi! I was looking thru your books and resources tags, and couldn't find what I'm looking for, so I thought I'd send an ask. Do you have any recommendations for "lies my teachers told me"-style books for high schoolers? I'd like to get something for my two cousins who are starting 9th grade. I wish I'd had a heads up that the curriculum is so whitewashed and plain wrong.



    Hmmm. You know, I work in college education, so I don’t always have resources at hand for slightly younger folks, although I try. If anyone has suggestions, please add them in the notes!

    Lies My Teacher Told Me and Lies Across America would probably interest high schoolers but to really spark an interest ninth graders may like poking around the author James Loewen’s website. There’s articles and videos and a bunch of other stuff in the special features section that can lead them to the information in whatever way appeals most.

    Most of the readers in the notes seem to be of the opinion that the book is fine for high school age students; another book several recommended was Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. I personally am not a fan for various reasons, but your mileage may vary. (If people really NEED to know why, I think the overall tone of the text attempts the whole ‘equally puncturing the pomposity of history’ but it actually comes off pretty disrespectful to the histories of a lot of marginalized Americans. Coming out of the gate with “Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder…” is a pretty good way to make me stop reading your book.)

  9. clavisa submitted to medievalpoc:

    I don’t know if you do writing as well as art, but I’m reading the book Hild by Nicola Griffith and recently started following your blog, so when I came across this passage explicitly mentioning people of colour in northern England in the 700s (there are more later, but this was the first one that I noticed), I thought you might like to see it! 

    Thanks for the submission. I could wish it was more than a description of a crowd scene and actual characters, but at least there’s some kind of acknowledgement…

  10. shadesofmauve:







    I just watched a kid break down in the bookstore because his books for the semester totaled $600 and that’s the american university system in a nutshell

    I was on the verge of tears when I got to the cashier so yeah, that’s messed up

    Go here and just, don’t waste any more money okay?

    While I entirely support following that link, I also suggest going to Abe Books or Book Depository or even eBay to see if there are inexpensive print versions of books you need. I haven’t paid full-price for any of my texts while I’m in school… because that would DOUBLE the cost of school.

    I use the ISBN of the require books and search the cheap sites for them.

    Good luck out there, guys!

    Paging FenrisLorsrai! Come work your resource magic on this post!

    I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED. (but I’ll post on my actual bookstore account)

    Quick anddirty meta search for books: Addall. it’ll crawl 40+ book sites at once including ABE, ALibris, Amazon, Half in both domestic AND foreign versions.

    Meta search #2! which focuses specifically on textbooks. It omits some foreign sites that AddAll includes, BUT it also includes a whole bunch of rentals as well.  Renting is probably the most cost effective method overall.


    First determine a few things:

    • Make sure you have the ISBN
    • IF IT IS A BUNDLE: Determine if you need a software key/CD/workbook/lab book or not.  Many times you do not.  Math classes increasingly NEED the software key, but more on that later
    • ASK THE PROFESSOR: If this is not the first edition of the book, can you use a previous edition?  One edition back is generally half the cost of current, two is generally about 1/8th the cost.  Generally you can get away with this if its material that doesn’t change rapidly. Your course on the Civil War, you can probably use two editions back. Your computer programming class on latest greatest language… you probably need newest edition.
    • FOR LITERATURE CLASSES: determine if you book is from before 1929. If it is, its in public domain, you can almost certain get a free copy online.  If they want a SPECIFIC copy for an essay bundled with book, see below.

    Now, run your search by ISBN using the two metasearch sites.  Open them in separate tabs.  

    gettextbooks shows you WITH the shipping, Addall does NOT show you the shipping.  keep this in mind when you’re comparing.  You’ll see a lot of duplication.  GetTextbooks will also show you SOME variants.

    Now that you have those open, open two more tabs.  Run a second search on same two sites using the author and exact title you picked up from search #1.  This will show you all the international editions and weird bundles that don’t exactly match the ISBN of the bookstore

    WHAT THE HELL IS AN INTERNATIONAL EDITION: its a paperback version of the US version with an angry notice on the cover saying “NOT FOR SALE OUTSIDE INDONESIA”. Its the same book, but way cheaper.  ignore the angry warning, the US Supreme Court has your back. NO, REALLY. Right of first sale, baby!  ignore the angry warning and you basically have same book, it just isn’t printed with ink made from student tears and unobtanium.

    Now filter results based on whether you need any Extra materials or not. 

    IF YOU DO NEED THE EXTRA MATERIALS: this is where it gets tricky. an intact bundle is generally the most expensive option or near top end of price curve.  If you NEED the other materials, you may be able to get them cheaper in pieces.  and you can buy mismatched pieces!

    Say for example you need a math textbook, but need the software key for the math problem program.  The professor said you can use older book.  Buy a math book that one or more editions back and then buy the software key separately from the SOFTWARE manufacturer.  You’ll find the software keys on booksites all by themselves, but they’re generally way more expensive than buying the key direct from software manufacturer. and no shipping then!

    NOW A WORD ON LITERATURE: sometimes profs want you to get a specific edition of something to read a specific essay in the book. You have about 50/50 odds that the essay is in the front of the book. IF IT IS, you may be able to read the essay on Amazon by going to that books page and clicking on the “look inside”.  They generally preview between 10-30 pages of books and that often means its the essay you needed, not the actually BODY of the book.  So you can look up the specific copy of Frankenstein on Amazon, read the essay, then download a free different version from Project Gutenberg.

    FOR RECENT NONFICTION, make sure you have an up to date library card for your HOME library and the LOCAL city library where your college is.  Many have digital loans available, where you can check out the ebook for free and popular nonfiction is frequently available that way.

    IF YOU CAN GET YOUR BOOKLIST BEFORE GOING TO SCHOOL: shop for the mundane things locally first.  There will be 50 people in CollegeTown looking for that book, you may be the only one in your home town.  supply and demand, if you found it in collegetown, it may be 10X price of your local bookstore.

    and check you local library as well!  You may be able to check out some of those books from your local library and take them to school with you and renew them online one or more times, depending on how in demand they are.  There will be NO copies in CollegeTown library because there’s 50 people asking for it.  But your HOME town, you may be able to renew it twice since its low demand. Write on your calender when they’re due or need to be renewed.  Renew them OR tuck the whole pile into a Priority Mail flat rate box and send them home to your folks.  The cost of the priority box to send several library books home is probably way less than what you’d pay for them. (or if its stuff you know you need AFTER a break where you’ll be home, request a hold from school, pick up at home)


    You determined you HAVE to buy a book and you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices of source.  Run a search for “coupon + Sitename” what looked like the lowest priced may not if you find a coupon for the 2nd or 3rd lowest priced option. Gettextbook will generate some automatically, but you may be able to find even better ones.

    So make yourself some food, get a beverage, put on some tunes and compare prices!

    and if you’re reached point of wanting to curl up in a ball and die, you can send us an ask with the ISBN for your book and answers to questions aobe (extra materials, previous edition, etc) and we’ll send you back an note with a link to the cheapest one we can find.  I do this for a living, send an ask and I’ll get it done usually within about 12 hours.


    (via cypheroftyr)