Race and Periodization: A #RaceB4Race Symposium

Repeats every day until Sat Sep 07 2019.

This event last occurred Sept. 7, 2019

Race and Periodization

This event is sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Following upon the inaugural RaceB4Race event, a collaboration of medievalists and early modernists held at Arizona State University in January 2019, this conference will foreground the relationship between race and historical periodization.

Medievalists and early modernists have long grappled with the meaning and use of their own historical period designations as well as the strictures of periodization itself. This event seeks to explore how critical race theory can enable new insights about, approaches to, and critiques of periodization. Critical race theory situated in both historical and contemporary disciplines necessarily challenges assumptions about historical knowledge, theoretical borders, and scholarly dissemination and impact. This theoretical complex thus holds exciting potential to revolutionize the very terms of academic periodization in medieval and early modern studies.

Setting this conference at the Folger Institute and building upon its recent focus on early modern race studies, the conference invites scholars of history, literature, and other disciplines to consider the intersection of critical race studies and historical periodization in terms of the theoretical, methodological, archival, activist, pedagogical, professional, temporal, and spatial implications.

OrganizerAyanna Thompson is Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University. Her recent books include, Shakespeare in the Theatre: Peter Sellars (2018), Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose (2016), and Passing Strange: Shakespeare, Race, and Contemporary America (2011). She is editing a collection for Cambridge University Press on Shakespeare and race and is collaborating with Curtis Perry on the Arden4 edition of Titus Andronicus.

Invited Speakers

Geraldine Heng (University of Texas) and Margo Hendricks (University of California, Santa Cruz) will open the conference on Thursday evening at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

On Friday and Saturday at the American University Washington College of Law, eight speakers will deliver presentations and lead sessions on the topics outlined above:

  • Dennis Britton (University of New Hampshire)
  • Ruben Espinosa, (University of Texas at El Paso)
  • Michael Gomez (New York University)
  • Wan-Chuan Kao (Washington & Lee University)
  • Carol Mejia LaPerle (Wright State University)
  • Su Fang Ng (Virginia Tech)
  • Mary Rambaran-Olm (Independent Scholar)
  • Michelle M. Sauer (University of North Dakota)

Marisa Fuentes (Rutgers University), Haruko Momma (New York University), and Elisa Oh (Howard University) will serve as the conference’s respondents.


The schedule is available to view on the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies website

Race and Periodization

American University, Washington College of Law, Grossman Hall

For more information contact:

Leah Newsom
Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies