Thinking Race: Migration, Representation, Appropriation in the Middle Ages and Beyond

Since Antiquity, race has conventionally been defined using biology and descent, climate and geography, physiognomy and skin color. Although it is now generally accepted that race is perceived in culturally specific ways, and embraces religion, language, customs, law, and culture, recent alt-right demonstrations in Charlottesville and elsewhere have shown that conventional stereotypes are very much alive. What is more, alt-right groups frequently sport medieval symbols and evoke imagined, racially pure, medieval nations to support their cause. This interdisciplinary workshop therefore has a particular urgency. It challenges us to think about race in both medieval and contemporary contexts, exploring intertwined aspects of migration, representation and appropriation.

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