Call for Papers: Race and the Early Modern: New Scholars, New Scholarship
MMoR & the Centre for Early Modern Studies, King’s College London
May 24, 2022
The Centre for Early Modern Studies at King’s College London invites proposals for 15-20 minute papers from early career scholars researching any aspect of early modern race, slavery or race-making across literature, languages, history, art-history, material culture, and history of science, technology and medicine, religion and theology and other disciplines.
More than twenty-five years have passed since the near coincidence in print of Margo Hendricks’ and Patricia Parker’s edited volume, Women, Race and Writing, and Kim Hall’s Things of Darkness, which together definitively established race as a
Renaissance category. Whether reinventing racialized discourse, materializing racial hierarchies, or building scientific methodologies, the languages of blackness that arose within early modern Europe bequeathed new semantic meaning to the term race and attached to it a web of signifiers. Beyond text, the political violence of colonialism and slavery situated the process of racial subjugation as constitutive of European (early) modernity. The justifications for skin colour as a signifier, situate race as central to broader aspects of European culture, including religion, science, and medicine. Early modern race-making was neither linear, nor straightforward. Even as diasporic communities and individuals asserted identities and lived lives subverting historiographical fictions of homogeneity, race was crucial, and its contours and ramifications have yet to be fixed.