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Medieval Studies Lecture | White Dorsality

September 15, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

White Dorsality

Professor Wan-Chauan Kao (English, Washington & Lee University)

Thursday, September 15th, 2022 | 7191 Helen C. White | 4:00pm CT

In this talk, Kao examines the imbrication of race and religion in the medieval romance The King of Tars, arguing that racialization and conversion interpellate the white Christian subject through a double inscription of violence on the material surface. But the forward trajectory towards white embodiment, Kao argues, is impossible without a backward turn to white enfleshment: the dorsality of whiteness is the structure of the flesh behind the contours of the body. The drive to fabricate and possess whiteness is what Kao terms the compulsion of habeas album: the production of the white melancholic body as flesh, thing, and property.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English.


September 15, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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7191 Helen C. White Hall
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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