Appropriations: A RaceB4Race Symposium

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

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.

Download the program


  • 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)


Watch the recorded talks