Session Title

A Mecca for Medievalists? Religion and Racialization in Medieval Studies (A Roundtable)

Sponsoring Organization(s)

BABEL Working Group

Organizer Name

Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Organizer Affiliation

Institute for Advanced Study

Presider Name

Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Paper Title 1

Discussant

Presenter 1 Name

Shamma Boyarin

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Victoria

Paper Title 2

Discussant

Presenter 2 Name

Murad Idris

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Virginia

Paper Title 3

Discussant

Presenter 3 Name

M. Lindsay Kaplan

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Georgetown Univ.

Paper Title 4

Discussant

Presenter 4 Name

Karla Mallette

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Paper Title 5

Discussant

Presenter 5 Name

Mairaj U. Syed

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Davis

Start Date

7-5-2020 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 2020

Description

The cover article of the May 2019 issue of the magazine Encore is titled “Going Medieval: Kalamazoo is a Mecca for Medievalists.” Using this phrase as an entry point, we explore the ways that religious difference and race intersect within the discipline of Medieval Studies, both in disciplinary terms – at the nexus of Medieval Studies and Islamic Studies, as well as Jewish Studies – and at the level of individual scholars’ experience. To what extent, and in what ways, is the field of Medieval Studies by default understood as Christian in orientation? And how does religious difference intersect with racialized identities? The session will be organized as a roundtable with no more than five participants, plus a chair, each speaking for seven to eight minutes in order to leave substantial time for discussion. The panel will reflect a range of perspectives, both with regard to the disciplinary issues foregrounded in the CFP (Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies) and with regard to individual experience. Panelists will consider to what extent we claim identities for ourselves and to what extent we are interpellated into identities, both confessional and racial. When racialization involves religious identity, what is the place of the secular? Suzanne C. Akbari

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May 7th, 10:00 AM

A Mecca for Medievalists? Religion and Racialization in Medieval Studies (A Roundtable)

Fetzer 2020

The cover article of the May 2019 issue of the magazine Encore is titled “Going Medieval: Kalamazoo is a Mecca for Medievalists.” Using this phrase as an entry point, we explore the ways that religious difference and race intersect within the discipline of Medieval Studies, both in disciplinary terms – at the nexus of Medieval Studies and Islamic Studies, as well as Jewish Studies – and at the level of individual scholars’ experience. To what extent, and in what ways, is the field of Medieval Studies by default understood as Christian in orientation? And how does religious difference intersect with racialized identities? The session will be organized as a roundtable with no more than five participants, plus a chair, each speaking for seven to eight minutes in order to leave substantial time for discussion. The panel will reflect a range of perspectives, both with regard to the disciplinary issues foregrounded in the CFP (Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies) and with regard to individual experience. Panelists will consider to what extent we claim identities for ourselves and to what extent we are interpellated into identities, both confessional and racial. When racialization involves religious identity, what is the place of the secular? Suzanne C. Akbari