Date of Award
Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion
Anti-Judaism, Antisemitism, Gavin Langmuir, Judaism, Medieval Mediterranean, Medieval Spain
Author Gavin Langmuir produced two monographs during his career, both published in 1990. Across both texts, one a proper monograph and one a compilation of essays, he offers a bifurcation of anti-Judaism and antisemitism. These texts illuminate his definitions of the terms and his differentiations on the basis of reason and rationality. Using the bones of these theories, I propose a different kind of bifurcation of these terms as it relates to Mediterranean (medieval) material culture using a cultural historical lens. By applying Gavin Langmuir's theoretical model of nonrational anti-Judaism and irrational antisemitism to material culture, I argue that visual nonrational anti-Judaism and visual irrational antisemitism are useful, non-linear categories to evaluate and question medieval Mediterranean representations of Jews, Judaism, and the perceptions around a community of people different from the Christian majority.
In order to demonstrate these categories, I will apply each term or phrase to two material culture artifacts that support both the theoretical base as explored by Langmuir and my notions of the categories supported by my chapters on history, material culture methodology, and a chapter exploring notions of reason and rationality. Four artifacts will be explored and analyzed using either visual nonrational anti-Judaism or visual irrational antisemitism. The dissertation is divided into seven chapters that categorically split up the supporting evidence, including an Introduction that defines terms and parameters and supports my positionality as the author. Following the introduction, the chapters will be as follows: Material Culture Methodology, History of Medieval Spain, Defining Rationality and Reason, Visual Nonrational Anti-Judaism, and Visual Irrational Antisemitism. I will conclude with a final chapter that mirrors my introduction, including the positionality of Gavin Langmuir, an unpacking of terms, and implications for future work.
I argue for the use and creation of the phrasing of visual nonrational anti-Judaism and visual irrational antisemitism for future work, acknowledging that these categories are non-linear and that there is nuance in working specifically with Medieval Mediterranean artifacts and objects. Regardless, these categories offer a different way to investigate, analyze, and evaluate representations of Jews and the impact that these representations had on Spanish Medieval Jewry, taking into consideration worldview, theological influence, and the cultural and historical events that influenced attitudes towards Jews and Jewish communities.
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Madison Elizabeth Tarleton
Received from ProQuest
Tarleton, Madison Elizabeth, "Material Culture in the Mediterranean: An Exploration and Examination of Anti-Judaic and Antisemitic Spanish Medieval Cultural History" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2361.
Medieval history, Judaic studies, Religion
Available for download on Saturday, December 13, 2025