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.
Pushing the field in new directions
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.
Bridging many traditional disciplinary divides, RaceB4Race not only creates innovative scholarly dialogues, but also fosters social change within premodern studies as a whole.
RaceB4Race is brought to life by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in partnership with The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Division of Humanities and the Hitz Foundation.
An intellectual bridge
The inaugural RaceB4Race conference emerged as a collaboration between the Medievalists of Color (MOC) and the ShakeRace (Shakespeare and Race) community, groups that were both seeking to push their fields in new archival, theoretical, methodological, pedagogical, and practical directions.
The catalyst for the event was the rejection of proposals for sessions on race and antiracism by Medievalists of Color in favor of sessions proposed by their white colleagues by the International Congress of Medieval Studies (ICMS) in Kalamazoo, MI. RaceB4Race offered an “alternate home” for the rejected MOC sessions and a much-needed opportunity for a collaboration between the MOC and ShakeRace communities. In the end, the inaugural RaceB4Race event demonstrated to the world how our understandings of periodization, historicity and even academic disciplines can become more expansive once race is acknowledged as a viable lens of investigation.
Upcoming RaceB4Race events
January 20-23, 2021
The fourth RaceB4Race symposium will focus on “Education” because it sits at the heart of our attempts to rebuild premodern studies within an actively antiracist framework. Our ten speakers will interrogate how we teach our fields, why we teach our fields, and whom we implicitly and explicitly include and exclude in the process.
This symposium will ask questions about whether there are ways to push back against these white supremacist histories and politics and what are the means and avenues to do so? Is it about exposing and dismantling these white supremacist political histories and rhetoric while simultaneously working on alternative narratives from the antiracist and decanonizing undercommons? What are the futures of our political and politicized fields?
Folger Shakespeare Library
King's College London
The Newberry Library
University of Toronto
The University of Chicago
RaceB4Race executive board
- Patricia Akhimie (Rutgers University, Newark)
- David Sterling Brown (Binghamton University)
- Seeta Chaganti (University of California, Davis)
- Urvashi Chakravarty (University of Toronto)
- Kim F. Hall (Barnard College)
- Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University)
- Farah Karim-Cooper (Shakespeare's Globe)
- Dorothy Kim (Brandeis University)
- Noémie Ndiaye (University of Chicago)
- Shokoofeh Rajabzadeh (University of California, Berkeley)
- Scott Manning Stevens (Syracuse University)
- Carla María Thomas (Florida Atlantic University)
- Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University)
- Cord Whitaker (Wellesley College)