This question never fails to be slightly amusing to me, because it would be better asked as : Are you aware that your url is “medieval”poc, and that schools teach us that 1500-1700 a different period than what is called the “medieval” era? There might actually be entire blogs dedicated to making fun of the idea that I am somehow ignorant of periodization rather than consciously setting it aside to present a linear and blended interdisciplinary narrative that periodization inhibits.
The thought process isn’t too complicated. When I started this blog I assumed there would already be a lot of blogs like it, and it turns out, not so much. I expanded my time period coverage because no one was doing this theme for any of those styles or eras, so I cut off my regular postings at 1799, but do themed 1800s weeks as well as Ancient Art themed weeks as well.
Second thing: Art History periodization is beyond a joke. It actually inhibits what I’m trying to demonstrate here, because a lot of people seem to think each “period” or “style” exists in a vacuum completely separate from…uh, basically everything. It also reinforces the notion of European cultural isolation during that era, which just isn’t the case. I’m giving a narrative of what led up to medieval art, and how it influenced what came after, as well.
In education and academia, the arbitrary chunkification that is periodization is something imposed later to make learning about it easier. One of the problems with it is that this method tends to obscure how each year between the original events we learn about and us right now has added to, taken away from, or otherwise affected HOW this information came to us, and the way it’s presented to us.
I mean, the bottom line is, there are tons of people who think that if anything I say is different than what they learned in Art History class or what their professor told them, I’m just ridiculous and wrong and horrible. If I cared about that, I’d be wasting a lot of my time.
Besides, there’s a certain vested interest in defending something you paid a lot of money for, right? Education in the U.S. is ruinously expensive, and if I’m here telling you the periodization and dates you stayed up til 4 am memorizing are “a joke”, you’re probably not going to like me very much. which is another reason I don’t really care. It’s easier to get angry at one person than an entire institution.
This blog is for looking at history and art in different ways than we are used to. If comparing works from before and after a time period is too much to get your brain around, that’s fine. Medievalpoc is a totally optional reading experience. Think of it as the Great Glass Wonkavator of history, if you will.
So…Europe wasn’t the only nation that went through a medieval period. Japan’s, for example, was from 1000-1600 (from the beginning of the Heian era to after the battle of Sekigahara and the very beginnings of the Tokugawa shogunate). I understand that Europe was the blog’s initial focus, but since this is medievalPOC, wouldn’t taking into consideration other nation’s medieval periods be something for readers to consider? Especially since art from other nations have been featured.