Enslaved people as architectural material, found in the cultural examples of the Great Mosque of Cordoba and the Hagia Sophia, provide a lens from which scholars can re-envision the historical narrative. The scholarship surrounding the development and transition of the Great Mosque of Cordoba from a mosque to a church, elicits new research into what medieval people thought about race, race-making, and cultural ownership. The conceptions of race are evident through the medieval paradigms of enslavement. Who could and could not become enslaved establish social, cultural, and phenotypic classifications which in turn become race. The work of scholars such as Geraldine Heng, Elizabeth Lambourn, Jerrilyn Dodds, and S.D. Goitein have provided space from which such race-making scholarship can proceed. The use of genizah documents to track premodern enslavement trade patterns couples with artistic analysis to establish a connection from which cultural transfer is seen.
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Slavery, Architecture, Great Mosque of Cordoba
Behnken, John. "Slavery and Architecture Across the Mediterranean." (2023). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/hist_etds/346