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Race and Periodization: a RaceB4Race Symposium

Race and Periodization

Race and Periodization: A RaceB4Race Symposium

September 5-6, 2019
Folger Shakespeare Library
Washington, D.C. 

This event was sponsored by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Medievalists and early modernists have long grappled with the meaning and use of their own historical period designations as well as the strictures of periodization itself. This event sought to explore how critical race theory can enable new insights about, approaches to, and critiques of periodization. Critical race theory situated in both historical and contemporary disciplines necessarily challenges assumptions about historical knowledge, theoretical borders, and scholarly dissemination and impact. This theoretical complex thus holds exciting potential to revolutionize the very terms of academic periodization in medieval and early modern studies.

Setting this conference at the Folger Institute and building upon its recent focus on early modern race studies, the conference invited scholars of history, literature, and other disciplines to consider the intersection of critical race studies and historical periodization in terms of the theoretical, methodological, archival, activist, pedagogical, professional, temporal, and spatial implications.


  • Dennis Britton (University of New Hampshire)
  • Ruben Espinosa, (University of Texas at El Paso)
  • Marisa Fuentes (Rutgers University)
  • Michael Gomez (New York University)
  • Margo Hendricks (University of California, Santa Cruz)
  • Geraldine Heng (University of Texas)
  • Elisa Oh (Howard University)
  • Wan-Chuan Kao (Washington & Lee University)
  • Carol Mejia LaPerle (Wright State University)
  • Haruko Momma (New York University)
  • Su Fang Ng (Virginia Tech)
  • Mary Rambaran-Olm (Independent Scholar)
  • Michelle M. Sauer (University of North Dakota)

Listen to the recordings

Listen to the introductory remarks and keynote presentations on the Folger Shakespeare Library's website