Since the nineteenth century, the University of Pennsylvania has been a major center for the study of the Middle Ages, including all areas of the Latin West but also East Asian, Islamic, andJewish histories, cultures, and literatures. This long tradition has built rich resources for pursuing specialized study and research, notably in the Van Pelt, Museum, and Fisher Fine Arts Libraries, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies located within the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. In addition to the regular departmental curricula, a deep commitment to interdisciplinarity fosters broad interaction across academic communities: active programs of lectures, colloquia, working groups, and exhibitions bring together faculty, staff, and students frequently throughout the academic year.
Medieval Studies at Penn continue to thrive following the establishment of a new Graduate Certificate in Global Medieval & Renaissance Studies and a new undergraduate minor in Global Medieval Studies in 2017/18. Eleven Penn departments contribute to the undergraduate interdisciplinary program, which allows students to explore the premodern world as an interconnected whole, and as the basis and necessary precondition of the modern. The program is broad both geographically and temporally; it includes Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, and in the latter part of the period even the New World, from Late Antiquity to 1700 CE.