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Race, Race-Thinking, and Identity in the Global Middle Ages (Whitaker, Otaño Gracia, Fauvelle, Jansen, & Correa-Reyes, Featuring Matthews, Oehme, Price, Zhang, Ramos, Choe, & Ilko)



What goes into editing a special issue of a journal? How does the framework of race and race thinking inform medieval studies today? What is the role of objectivity in the study of the Middle Ages? Join us for this conversation with the editors of the special issue Race, Race–Thinking, and Identity in the Global Middle Ages, published by Speculum this April (99.2)


This episode is the podcast's fourth collaboration with Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies and was hosted by Katherine L. Jansen and Jonathan F. Correa-Reyes in conversation with Cord Whitaker, Nahir Otaño Gracia, and François-Xavier Fauvelle, featuring Thai-Catherine Matthews, Annegret Oehme, Basil Arnould Price, Angela Zhang, Eduardo Ramos, Soojung Choe, and Krisztina Ilko.



Cord Whitaker is the author of Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race Thinking, winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America in 2023. He is also a founding member of the Medievalists of Color and the Race Before Race Collectives, and he is working on two new books, one on Black American Medievalism in the Harlem Renaissance, and another on Black American Resistance Strategies and their utility for fighting the global rise in far right fascism.


Nahir Otaño Gracia has published a number of articles on literature from the Global North Atlantic, including "Towards a De- Centered Global North Atlantic," winner of the MAA's Article Prize in Critical Race Studies. Her co edited volume of essays, Women's Lives, Self Representation, Reception, and Appropriation in the Middle Ages was published in 2023, and she's currently working on a monograph entitled The Other Faces of Arthur, Chivalric Whiteness in the Global North Atlantic.


François-Xavier Fauvelle is a widely published author on medieval Africa with about 20 books and 150 articles and chapters to his credit, most notably in English, The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages. He's worked extensively in Ethiopia and Morocco and for many years has been advocating to put Africa on the map of the Middle Ages.

Katherine L. Jansen is a historian at the Catholic University of America whose work specializes in the history of medieval Italy, religious culture, and women and gender. Her most recent book is Peace and Penance in Late Medieval Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018). She currently serves as the Editor of Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies


Jonathan Correa-Reyes is an Assistant Professor of English. He joined Clemson University in 2023. His research focuses on constructions of collective identity in the medieval literary archive. He is especially interested in premodern articulations of race and understandings of the Human. Although mainly working on the medieval literary traditions of the British Isles, Jonathan also studies the textual cultures of medieval Iberia and Scandinavia. His work has been supported by the Ford Foundation.


Thai-Catherine Matthews has recently defended her PhD dissertation at the Johns Hopkins University.


Annegret Oehme is Associate Professor in the Department of German Studies at the University of Washington.


Basil Arnould Price is a Humanities Research Center Doctoral Fellow and a Wolfson Scholar at the Center for Medieval Studies at the University of York.


Angela Zhang is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Harvard University.


Eduardo Ramos is a postdoctoral research scholar at Arizona State University.


Soojung Choe is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Krisztina Ilko is a junior research fellow at Queen's College at the University of Cambridge.




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