Conceived in the spirit of developing a practical skillset, the “Race Before Modernity” book club grows out of the racially-charged protests of summer 2020. We view the club as the beginning to a long conversation within Medieval Studies at Princeton, one that aims to foster open dialogue about the history of racial biases. How, as scholars in a wide array of fields, can we contribute to positive change within our disciplines? How can we talk sensitively, and intelligently, about the history of structures of oppression that have long outlived the time periods in which they were born? We invite graduate students interested in exploring these themes to join us this year as we read an array of books that deal with racism and identity before modernity. Thanks to a generous grant from the Princeton Humanities Council, we are pleased to be able to invite the authors we read to discuss their own scholarly practices with us.
List of Titles:
- Thursday, October 29th, 12 pm EDT (Zoom) – Catherine E. Karkov, Anna Kłosowska, and Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei, eds., Disturbing Times: Medieval Pasts, Reimagined Futures, 2020. We will be using the e-book version of Disturbing Times: Medieval Pasts, Reimagined Futures (which can be downloaded for free).
- Wednesday, December 16, 2 pm EST (Zoom link) – Terence Keel, Divine Variations: How Christian Thought Became Racial Science, 2018. If you would like to participate, please RSVP by November 4th, including your shipping address, to Justin Willson (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will have Labyrinth Books mail you a copy of the book.
- Sara Lipton, Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitism, 2014
- Jean-Frédéric Schaub, Race is about Politics: Lessons from History, 2019
- Cord J. Whitaker, Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race-Thinking, 2019
If you would like to participate, please RSVP to Justin Willson (email@example.com), and we will forward the Zoom link and make a donation to the book publisher.