Region and Enmity: A RaceB4Race Symposium
October 19-22, 2021
Co-sponsored by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.
Enmity is a sustaining force for systemic racism, a fervent antipathy toward a category of people. Enmity exists at the nexus of individual and group identity and produces difference by desiring opposition and supremacy, imagining separation by force, and willing conflict. Enmity unfolds in different ways in different places, according to local logics of territory, population, language, or culture, even as these geographical divisions are subject to constant change.
This interdisciplinary symposium, hosted by Rutgers University, focuses on how premodern racial discourses are tied to cartographical markers and ambitions. The notions of enmity and region provide a dual dynamic lens for tracing the racial repertoires that developed in response to increasingly hostile contention between premodern cultural and political forces. The symposium will invite scholars to take up this intersection between region and enmity, and to examine how belief in difference, or the emergence of polarizing structures and violent practices, configured race thinking and racial practices in ways that are both unique to different territories and that transcend them.
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.
We would like to thank some of the specific partners at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Without their support, this symposium would not be possible:
- The Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University, New Brunswick
- The Department of English, Rutgers University - Newark
- The Department of World Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University - Camden
- The Department of History, Rutgers University - Newark
- The Department of English, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
Download the program
Download the program for Region and Enmity: A RaceB4Race Symposium.
- Yonatan Binyam (University of California, Los Angeles)
- Allison Blakely (Boston University)
- Ireri E. Chávez-Bárcenas (Bowdoin College)
- Diego Luis (Davidson College)
- Ruen-chuan Ma (Utah Valley University)
- Bindu Malieckal (Saint Anselm College)
- Kelly Nguyen (University of California, Berkeley)
- Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Princeton University)
- Kristina Richardson (Queens College CUNY)
- Miguel A. Valerio (Washington University in St. Louis)
- Cristi Whiskey (University of California, Los Angeles)
- Shao-yun Yang (Denison University)
Keynote conversation: Shahzia Sikander
MacArthur Fellowship-winning visual artist Shahzia Sikander’s vibrant body of work in a range of media reveals an extraordinary relationship with the materials, images, and artistic traditions of the premodern world, and with the political, religious, and cultural tensions that connect that world to our own. Sikander builds a visual vocabulary to express the cross-cultural dialogue and hybrid forms of identity and expression that are always there, suppressed but present, across the centuries.
In conversation with Kishwar Rizvi, Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at Yale University, and the RaceB4Race Executive Board, Shahzia Sikander will discuss the interplay between the “traditional” techniques (such as Indo-Persian miniature painting) and the striking and at times incongruous imagery that enable her work to connect inexorably past and present. As the keynote conversation for the RaceB4Race Region and Enmity symposium, this event will ask questions about the “enmity” that intersects the racial and regional alliances of the conference theme. Sikander’s work makes clear that enmity is not only armed engagement or a mappable conflict zone, but is also an intimate and codependent relationship that is also always a struggle for dominance and control.
The recorded conversation will be available to watch on the ACMRS YouTube channel at 5:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. It will be available to watch for two weeks.
View works from Shahzia Sikander’s retrospective exhibit “Extraordinary Realities,” organized by the RISD Museum and recently on display at The Morgan Library.
Read Shahzia Sikander’s recent reflection, “What We Believe About Culture," in The New York Times The Big Ideas series.
How to register
RaceB4Race is free and open to the public. You will need to register for each session individually.
Coffee talks are primarily intended for early career researchers. They will have a maximum of 20 participants and will be first come first serve. In an effort to allow everyone who wants to participate a chance to get a spot, please only register for one coffee talk session.
On the day of the session(s) you registered for, you will receive an automated email from Eventbrite with the livestream link to the email you registered with. Please check your spam/junk folders.
RaceB4Race is not just a conference series, it is also a professional development and network community. Although RaceB4Race Region and Enmity will be held virtually, we want to preserve the space for these conversations. These coffee talks will be informal—imagine all of us gathered around the coffee station, eating donuts between the presentations.
To generate an engaging conversation, coffee talks will be limited to 20 registrants. In an effort to allow everyone who wants to participate a chance to get a spot, please only register for one coffee talk session. Spots in these sessions will be first come first serve. If interest in these sessions is significant, we will open more coffee-talk sessions.
These sessions are primarily intended for early career researchers.
One-on-one editor meetings
Editors will be available for select one-on-one meetings. Those interested in this opportunity will supply a two-page curriculum vitae and a 150-word abstract of their book project. Details will be provided to all those who register.
The editors that are available for meetings are:
- Nick Jones (Editor-in-Chief, Caribbeana: The Journal of the Early Caribbean Society, Series Co-editor, Critical Junctures in Global Early Modernities, Routledge)
- Christina Lee (Series Co-editor, Connected Histories in Early Modern Europe, Amsterdam University Press)
- Karen Raith (Commissioning Editor, Oxford University Press)
- Jenny Tan (Acquisitions Associate Editor, University of Pennsylvania Press)
- Ayanna Thompson (Publisher, ACMRS Press; Series Co-editor, RaceB4Race: Critical Race Studies of the Premodern, University of Pennsylvania Press)
Everyone who registers for at least 1 session of RaceB4Race Region and Enmity before September 13, 2021 will be entered into a raffle for a printed program and other RaceB4Race swag! Winners will receive an email when the raffle closes requesting a mailing address.