Student NameMorgan Peltier
Faculty Mentor NameFlorin Curta
CollegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Science
Research InterestsRace and Racism, Middle Ages, Christian-Jewish-Muslim Interfaith, Religious Identities
Academic AwardsAnderson Scholar Award, CLAS Dean's List
OrganizationsPhi Alpha Theta
Hobbies and InterestsArchival Research, Reading, Language Study, Art, and Music

Research Project

Race in Medieval Spain: Tracing Early Racial Ideologies to Seventeenth Century Scholars

This research aims to identify how the origins of racial thinking in Medieval Spain influenced racial and racist thinking in two seventeenth century scholars: Francisco De Torrejoncillo and Ahmed Mohammed al-Maqqari. These men wrote notable literature expressing either racist thoughts or characteristics denoting a specific race. This research will trace how these men’s ideologies can be traced back to early perceptions of race in al-Andalus, the region of Spain occupied by Muslims in the Middle Ages. Racism is commonly associated with the early modern period. However, racial thinking existed occurred centuries prior and ultimately influenced later scholars. Not only will this research link medieval perceptions to the early modern period, it will show how phenotypic racism emerged from religious differences. This racial thinking evolved into modern day perceptions of race and the history of how it was created is important in understanding the role race plays today.