Appropriations: A RaceB4Race Symposium
January 17-18, 2020
Arizona State University
The RaceB4Race event in Tempe in January 2020 focused 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 asked how these different arenas for appropriation, and their various implications, intersect and if they can expand our insights into early critical race studies.