This lesson plan pairs a video of medieval Anti-Jewish Blood Libel in a conversational format with resources on modern Anti-Asian racism to examine two groups viewed as "perpetual foreigners" in their homelands, and the often tragic results of such perspectives.
Racism Then and Now
Following the tragic incidents of March 16, 2021 when six women of Asian descent were killed in Atlanta, Georgia, this lesson compares the medieval phenomenon of Blood Libel through the story of Simon of Trent, and the phenomenon of anti-Asian racism in modern America. The idea of the "perpetual foreigner" plays a powerful role, no matter how integrated these residents were or are in their homelands.
The video on Simon of Trent features Magda Teter, Professor of History and the Shvidler Chair of Judaic Studies at Fordham University, in conversation with a Middle Ages for Educators editor.
The attached digital resources page, Anti-Asian Racism, created by Michelle C. Wang, Associate Professor of Art and Art History at Georgetown University, features common misperceptions foundational to anti-Asian racism, digital resources that confront these questions, and links to resources to combat these difficult issues. Students can work their way through the prompts and resources to explore the questions presented and look for comparisons and contrasts in these two historical cases.
For the names and life stories of the victims of the Atlanta killings, see here.
For reports and resources on anti-Asian sentiment, see the AAPI COVID-19 Project.
For images, maps, and graphs on the Blood Libel, see Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth, by Magda Teter.
Magda Teter and Michelle C. Wang. Medieval Blood Libel and Anti-Asian Racism. Middle Ages for Educators, March 31, 2021. Accessed[date]. https://middleagesforeducators.princeton.edu