Medieval Studies Perspectives on Contemporary Racism and Cultural Encounter
October 28 @ 10:45 am - 12:00 pm
Medieval images and symbols have increasingly been harnessed by alt-right groups to promote fantasies of pure white races in the past and present. In response, Medieval Studies scholars have emphasized how much more culturally diverse medieval culture was, but an emphasis on medieval globalism and cultural interchange often masks underlying racist narratives and structures that reveal fundamental continuities. The proposed workshop discussion will draw on lessons from a current seminar (Visualizing Race from Antiquity to Early Modernity) to explore how teaching classes on the pre-modern past can be used to shed light on current structures of racism, and how narratives of the past still underlie much of the scholarship of the history of premodernity in the present. Discussion will focus on short readings that connect medieval and contemporary racism. We will promote inclusive discussion following strategies recommended by the Mellon-sponsored Discussion Project.
Register for Diversity Forum 2020 here: https://diversity.wisc.edu/event/diversity-forum-2020/