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Call and Response: A Summer Discussion Series

Call and Response is a digital event series hosted by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. Every summer, we bring together scholars of premodern history, literature, and culture to discuss a pressing issue in our present moment and to shed light upon its long historical relevance. Past discussions have addressed issues such as police violence, archival erasure, and reproductive justice. 

Upcoming discussion

Resistance: a Call and Response discussion | July 23, 2024 | 1:00 p.m. (MST) 

In the face of oppression, we cannot look away. In the words of bell hooks, “By courageously looking, we defiantly declared: ‘Not only will I stare. I want my look to change reality.’” This conversation aims to shed light on the histories of resistance—tracing a lineage to how resistance is mobilized in our current moment. Where does resistance begin? How do we gauge its efficacy? And what is our obligation as scholars to foster, support, engage in, and/or challenge forms of resistance? Join scholars Tarren Andrews, Eric De Barros, and Farah Karim-Cooper for this roundtable discussion.

Previous discussions

Inclusive Futures: Race, Religion, and PCRS  | July, 2023

This discussion with Bernadette Andrea, Geraldine Heng, Stephanie Shirilan, and Lehua Yim, moderated by Patricia Akhimie, addressed the reach and limits of antiracist research and teaching. This discussion aimed to have an honest conversation about who is included and who is excluded when it comes to antiracist work in premodern studies. How do we engage (or do we engage with) anti-Semitism? Islamophobia? anti-Asian racism? anti-immigrant sentiments? Namely, how do we envision effective allyship in premodern studies? 

Rights Revoked | August, 2022

In the wake of the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision to revoke Roe v. Wade, the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies brought together Ariane Balizet, Maeve Callan, Lydia M. Harris, Valerie Traub, and Kim F. Hall for a roundtable on reproductive justice. Drawing on pre-and early modern literature, history, and culture and on contemporary perspectives, these scholars discussed human rights surrounding reproductive health practices and justice.

Black Lives Matter in the English Archives | July, 2021

This roundtable featured the work of Lisa Barksdale-Shaw, Jean E. Howard, Marisa J. Fuentes, and Lehua Yim, and was hosted by Urvashi Chakravarty and Kim F. Hall. The roundtable brought together scholars from different disciplinary perspectives to celebrate and discuss the legacy and futures of a landmark work by a groundbreaking scholar in the field of Premodern Critical Race Studies, Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500-1677: Imprints of the Invisible, by the late Imtiaz Habib. A vital intervention in archival praxis, methodological innovation, and disciplinary possibility, Black Lives in the English Archives radically redefines the scope of scholarly possibility. These scholars reflected on the legacy and futures of Habib’s work for their own and for the commitments and approaches of our field.

To Protect and to Serve | July, 2020

Margo Hendricks, Cord J. Whitaker, Justin P. Shaw, and Carissa M. Harris interrogate the phrase "To Protect and to Serve." This roundtable discussion brought together four RaceB4Race alumni, all scholars of color who write and research in the fields of premodern critical race studies. Our speakers addressed the historical and contemporary lenses in which the phrase "To Protect and to Serve" can be inspected, interrogated, and reenvisioned. While communities around the country fight for social justice and the end of police brutality, we ask: What does it mean to protect and to serve?