Video: Seminar Series – Race, Race-Thinking, and Identity in the Middle Ages and Medieval Studies

March 10, 2021
A slide from the presentation on “Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity: Premodern Identities and the Trans-Atlantic Politics of Scholarship ” by Walter Pohl and Cord Whitaker

Beginning in Fall 2020, the Medievalists of Color, the Program in Medieval Studies at Princeton University, the Division for Identity Studies at the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, launched a new series of online seminars entitled “Race, Race-Thinking, and Identity in the Middle Ages and Medieval Studies.” The Humanities Council at Princeton University provided funding for the series.

On February 11th, Cord Whitaker (Wellesley College) and Walter Pohl (University of Vienna) presented “Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity: Premodern Identities and the Trans-Atlantic Politics of Scholarship” (Watch the video here).

The series of seminars convenes researchers based in North America and Europe in order to inspire and further establish reflections about race, race-thinking, and racialization among scholars of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. A series of talks by Medievalists of Color will anchor what we hope will become a longer and wider conversation that spans various cultures and historiographies within Medieval Studies. The aim is to begin a discussion that will: 1) enrich scholarly debate about processes of racialization by bringing together approaches developed in the United States with those developed in other parts of the world; 2) move beyond simplistic either-or binaries (race/not race, race/religion, race/ethnicity, and even US/Europe) and promote the development of more nuanced paradigms for racialization and its interaction, overlap, and interdependence with other forms of social categorization; 3) reflect on the diversity of approaches to and salience of race, race-thinking and racialization in different parts of the world, and different fields of study; and 4) investigate how Critical Race Theory and other (critical) forms of Identity Studies can inspire and inform historical study.   


Watch the video here.
“Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity: Premodern Identities and the Trans-Atlantic Politics of Scholarship”
Cord Whitaker, Wellesley College
Walter Pohl, University of Vienna
Thursday, February 11

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