Education: A RaceB4Race Symposium

January 20-21, 2021
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona
Online event

The fourth RaceB4Race symposium focused on “Education” because it sits at the heart of our attempts to rebuild premodern studies within an actively antiracist framework. Our ten speakers interrogated how we teach our fields, why we teach our fields, and whom we implicitly and explicitly include and exclude in the process. For if we remember that Stuart Hall was dissuaded from becoming a medievalist and Toni Morrison an early modernist, then we must face the force of education’s push and pull with BIPOC students.

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 at Arizona State University. RaceB4Race is underwritten by the Hitz Foundation.


Download the program


Invited speakers

  • Andrea Myers Achi (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
  • Barbara Bordalejo (University of Saskatchewan)
  • Tarrell R. Campbell (Saint Louis University)
  • Ambereen Dadabhoy (Harvey Mudd College)
  • Eric L. De Barros (Old Dominion University)
  • Brenna Duperron (Dalhousie University)
  • Mariam A. Galarrita (University of California, Riverside)
  • Nedda Mehdizadeh (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Adrienne Merritt (St. Olaf College)
  • Ian Smith (Lafayette College)

Watch the recorded talks


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Coffee talk: Publishing with Ayanna Thompson

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm MST

Introductory remarks - Ayanna Thompson

Ian Smith - “Racial Literacy: A Reckoning”

Adrienne Merritt - "Feirefiz, White Legacies, and Interraciality: Teaching German Studies While Black in America"

Q&A moderated by Kim F. Hall

Thursday, January 21, 2021

10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Coffee talk: Scholar Activists with Seeta Chaganti

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm MST

Tarrell R. Campbell - “Lines of Flight Denied: Delimited Points of Entry within the Academy”

Mariam A. Galarrita - "Getting Out of the Footnote: Racial Trauma and Education"

Q&A moderated by Jonathan Hsy

Friday, January 22, 2021

10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Coffee talk: Public-facing Scholarship with Geoffrey Way

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm MST

Eric L. De Barros - "Who Shot Romeo? And How Can We Stop the Bleeding?: Shakespeare for Social Justice in Urban America."

Brenna Duperron - “From Both Our Eyes: Red Reading Medieval Texts.”

Ambereen Dadabhoy - “All Our Othellos: Reading Race through Teaching Editions of the Play"

Q&A moderated by Scott Manning Stevens

Saturday, January 23, 2021

10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Coffee talk: Keeping Focused During Challenging Times with Farah Karim-Cooper

1:00 pm – 3:15 pm MST

Andrea Myers Achi – “The Global Turn in Medieval Exhibitions: Diversifying Medieval Studies through Curatorial Practice and Critical Race Art History”

Nedda Mehdizadeh - "Teaching the Travail of Writing: Authority, Empire, and Racial Formation in the (Pre)modern"

Barbara Bordalejo – “Non-Zero-Sum: Diverse Knowledge Perspectives in Academia”


Closing remarks - Jeffrey Jerome Cohen