The past several years have seen wide ranging and energetic conversation about the relationship between the medieval past and the modern present. On this page, we point to some of the most important forums where these conversations have taken place and highlight some of their many key contributions. Readers are encouraged to explore these sites for further valuable discussion.
Medievalists of Color is a professional organization of a diverse group of scholars working across the disciplines, across ranks, and across the globe in the field of Medieval Studies. Their website offers information on sponsored events, public statements, and valuable resources that advocate for a more inclusive, productive, and world-improving medieval studies.
Hosted by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies with a variety of partners, RaceB4Race is an ongoing conference series and professional network community by and for scholars of color working on issues of race in premodern literature, history, and culture. RaceB4Race centers the expertise, perspectives, and sociopolitical interests of BIPOC scholars, whose work seeks to expand critical race theory. Archives of past symposia provide programs, links to websites and recordings, and more.
The Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH) is a professional organization that promotes art historical scholarship from a critical race perspective. The site of the organization offers bibliographies, calls for papers, and other resources.
The series of seminars seeks 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 anchor a longer and wider conversation that spans various cultures and historiographies within Medieval Studies, with aims to: 1) enrich scholarly debate about processes of racialization by bringing together approaches developed in the United States and 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 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 fields of study; and 4) investigate how Critical Race Theory and other (critical) forms of Identity Studies can inspire and inform historical study.
How can narratives and experiences from hundreds of years ago help us make sense of today’s issues? The Sundial is a digital publication by ACMRS Press showcasing some of the most forward-thinking public humanities work in the fields of premodern studies. Essays highlight ways we can use premodern pasts to engage with and interrogate our understanding of the world today. The publication welcomes difficult conversations and uncomfortable moments, helping readers and contributors think about what inclusivity means, and where we start envisioning what it means to build inclusive futures within premodern studies and beyond.
Since 2006, the blog In the Middle has provided “a feminist, anti-racist, queer affirmative and refuge making space that repudiates white supremacist dreams of the Middle Ages and contemporary nations, and that fosters visions of the past and future that privilege diversity, community and welcome over intolerance, dreams of segregation, and pervasive violence.” Its archive is vast; a few posts of particular relevance to WMA? are highlighted below.
- Abby Ang, A Graduate Student in the (Farmers’) Marketplace of Ideas
- Candace Barrington, Beyond the Anglophone Inner Circle of Chaucer Studies
- J. J. Cohen, Medieval Race
- J. J. Cohen, The Monstrous and the Queer
- Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, On hidden scars and the passive voice
- Jonathan Hsy, Antiracist Medievalisms: Lessons from Chinese Exclusion
- Geraldine Heng, Why the Hate? The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, and Race, Racism, and Premodern Critical Race Studies Today
- Jonathan Hsy, Intersections: On Annoyances, Mistakes … and Possibilities
- Wan-Chuan Kao, #palefacesmatter?
- Dorothy Kim, Antifeminism, Whiteness, and Medieval Studies
- Dorothy Kim, The Unbearable Whiteness of Medieval Studies
- Sierra Lomuto, Public Medievalism and the Rigor of Anti-Racist Critique
- Sierra Lomuto, White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies
- Adam Miyashiro, Decolonizing Anglo-Saxon Studies: A Response to ISAS in Honolulu
- Karl Steel, Race and the Medieval Language of Class
- Karl Steel, “Not back then they weren’t”: still more on medieval “whiteness”
- Cord Whitaker, Pale Like Me: Resistance, Assimilation, and ‘Pale Faces’ Sixteen Years On
- Helen Young and Kevin Caliendo, The Monster They Have Created: Tone-Policing, Victim Blaming, and the Toxicity of White Medieval Studies
- Helen Young, Re-making The Real Middle Ages™
The Material Collective is dedicated to fostering respectful intellectual exchange and innovative scholarship in the study of the visual arts, in the academy, and in the broader, public sphere. It believes that excellent scholarship can grow out of collaboration, experimentation, and play, and we work to create spaces where scholars from many different backgrounds, both traditional and non-traditional, can come together for mutual enrichment.
- Jennifer Borland and Louise Siddons, Collaboration and Cowboys: Community-Based Engaged Art History in the Classroom
- Emily Clark, Ten Proposals for a More Ethical Art History
- Jennifer Kingsley, Collections Based Art History and Social Justice
- Alexa Sand, Teaching Beyond the Borders of Medieval Art
- Zaina Siraj, HIStory not MYstory
- Alicia Walker, Bootstrapping the Soft History of Female Subjecthood in the Middle Ages
- Maggie Williams, Don’t Mourn, Organize!