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The 94th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America has ended
Friday, March 8 • 2:15pm - 3:45pm
Workshop III - Feeling Anti-Racist Whiteness in Medieval Studies

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Feeling Anti-Racist Whiteness in Medieval Studies
Organizer: Joy Ambler, Dwight-Englewood School, and Carla María Thomas, Florida Atlantic University

As the field of Medieval Studies looks to productively problematize traditional periodization and geographic bounds of our disciplines and curricula, where can the work begin, for those of us who are white colleagues and white educators, in responsibly rendering our own scholarship and curricula, and in participating in multicultural, collegial spaces? In short, where does anti-racist work begin for the white medievalist?

This workshop, designed primarily to serve medievalists who identify as white, takes the stance that as we give attention to scholarship on race and revisions to curriculum, responsible practice requires attention to our own, personal white identity. Extensive research since the 1990s by those such as Dr. Janet E. Helms, or Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr., outline not only the patterns of white racial superiority enculturated into white people from an early age, but how these messages continue to shape experience, perspective, and action much later in life — including when conducting anti-racist work with sincere conviction. The result is a subconscious mode of emotion that surreptitiously steers conscious thought away from racial equity and toward reinforcement of white superiority. This negatively impacts our attempts to perform anti-racist work. Through writing, active listening, and discussion exercises, this workshop will equip its participants with beginning tools for feeling their white identity in new, liberatory ways. With greater awareness of how we have been enculturated to react to matters of race, we may begin to reframe our emotional selves as we embark on anti-racist work within Medieval Studies.

Organizer
CM

Carla María Thomas

Florida Atlantic University
JA

Joy Ambler

Dwight-Englewood School


Attendees (5)