Ellen Arnold, PhD

Assistant Professor of History
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Dr. Ellen Arnold

I am a medieval historian interested in the connections between people and nature, and my silk roads connection courses reflect those interests. In the Black Death course, students explore the ways that increased connections across Asia facilitated the spread of the plague both in the 14th century and in the earlier Justinianic Plague. In History 111, “Introduction to Early Europe” students learn about not just the Black Death, but the many other ways that the silk roads shaped the development of both medieval Europe and the medieval Islamic world. My interest in being a part of this class was also shaped by an opportunity that I had to travel to China last year for a conference on natural disasters–this helped me truly appreciate both the amazing culture of China and how truly, excitingly, and terrifyingly different medieval China would have seemed to European travelers.