Appropriations: A RaceB4Race™ Symposium

January 17-18, 2020
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona

The RaceB4Race™ symposium that was co-hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library in September 2019 explored the meaning of the periodization categories “medieval” and “early modern” as they pertain—or not—to the emerging field of early critical race theory. The next RaceB4Race™ event in Tempe in January 2020 will focus on how the term appropriation has recently signified in different ways for early modernists and medievalists.

For early modernists, “appropriation” figures in crucial analyses of cultural productions, rewritings, and reimaginings of older narratives, most typically those by Shakespeare. “Appropriation” exists in a complex relation to “adaptation,” raising questions about who has the power, authority, and desire to liberate, alter, or personalize narratives. Medievalists, in contrast, have increasingly deployed “appropriation” to discuss the ways white supremacists use the period’s imagery for overtly political purposes; and medievalists have been asking whether such uses constitute appropriations, misappropriations, or reflections of an inherent ideological stance within medieval studies as a whole.

Bringing scholars into dialogue about these facets of appropriation, we ask how these different arenas for appropriation, and their various implications, intersect and if they can expand our insights into early critical race studies.


Invited speakers

  • Vanessa I. Corredera (Andrews University)
  • Carissa M. Harris (Temple University)
  • Arthur L. Little, Jr. (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Sierra Lomuto (Macalester College)
  • Adam Miyashiro (Stockton University)
  • Eduardo Ramos (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Kathryn Vomero Santos (Trinity University)
  • Justin P. Shaw (Emory University) 
  • Matthew X. Vernon (University of California, Davis)
  • Lehua Yim (Independent scholar)

Apply for travel support

Thanks to the generosity of many donors and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Division of Humanities, we are able to offer travel support for early career researchers, scholars and aspiring scholars looking to attend RaceB4Race™. 

Apply by December 1st, 2019

Headshots for early career scholars

With the generous assistance of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Division of Humanities, we are pleased to offer free headshot photography throughout Appropriations: A RaceB4Race™ Symposium. Sign up will take place during on-site registration. 


Reclaiming the Fantasy Novel: A Dialogue with Marlon James

On the first night of RaceB4Race, Michael Bennett and Marlon James will discuss the literary, historical, and cultural influences on James' novel Black Leopard Red Wolf. How does a global medievalism move into Afrofuturism? How do we transcend the worlds of Tolkein and Martin as writers, as readers? What does it look like to reclaim and reinvent the fantasy novel?


Support early career scholars

Any donation made to ACMRS' public programs will be used to help fund the travel and participation of scholars and aspiring scholars lacking the resources to attend RaceB4Race™ events.