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OK folks a few more thoughts for #MedievalTwitter on that NYT article as #Kzoo2019 approaches. [THREAD] #LitPOC #NotAMonk
1/ I’m glad that the #NotAMonk convos are pointing out problems with the NYT article's opening quote (Richard Utz, prominent white male medievalist, “speaking for” the field as if it were “apolitical” and as if monks were apolitical — in the past or present).
2/ But such convos are still uneven in naming the harms of such framing: this kind of statement is part of a continued pattern of sidelining marginalized medievalists (esp. BIPOC) and casting such ppl/allies as “inappropriately” political or “imposing” on an innocent field.
3/ Sadly (revealingly), the NYT article itself omits 3 WOC voices key to these issues relating to public medievalism, race, inclusion, change, and @KzooICMS: 1. @SeetaChaganti medievalistsofcolor.com/race-in-the-pr…
5/ And 3. @slomuto on public medievalism and antiracist critique here inthemedievalmiddle.com/2019/04/public… and here inthemedievalmiddle.com/2016/12/white-…
6/ Lastly: a VERY problematic quote by Dr. Jana Schulman speaking for @KzooICMS at the end of the NYT piece. Schulman grants MOC critique is “important” but uses “color” (verb) to describe bias-- such rhetoric can be used to cast BIPOC folks as “biased” vs. (white) “objectivity.”
7/ And most importantly, who is the “we” (“us”) in that Schulman quote? It’s either @ICMSKzoo and/or its *white medievalists* (with the implicit “them” being medievalists of color voicing critiques).
8/ So yeah the NYT article names important issues—& it's also devastatingly emblematic of the state of the field/culture. It cites white voices more than anything else, platforms harassers without full context/rebuttal, and it begins & ends with quotes sidelining BIPOC scholars.
9/ It would be nice if the “us” in public medievalism (incl. journalism) were BIPOC. “We” are hardly ever given a platform to tell our own stories, and even stories that are seemingly “about” us (like the NYT one) will literally frame the entire discourse through white voices.
10/ I realize this thread is going to make folks at #Kzoo2019 @ICMSKzoo uncomfortable — and it should. I wonder who will notice/feel an absence of medievalists of color this year, or even care.
11/ I can never know what it’s like to a white person in an all-white space, and I often wonder if folks in those spaces simply forget about us, or revert to “business as usual.” I just hope that "business as usual" doesn’t happen this year.
12/ ENDING WITH SHOUTOUTS h/t @ProfCWhit @dorothyk98 — I should have specified that both their quotes w/in the NYT article name the problems that whiteness poses (e.g., “innocence” and fragility) — phenoms overlooked in some of the #NotAMonk threads.
13/ h/t Jenny Tan’s excellent thread about the NYT article
14/ h/t Monica Green on fighting the good fight, invisible labor, and exhaustion
15/ h/t Mary Rambaran-Olm (2VP of @ISASaxonists) for this vital perspective medium.com/@mrambaranolm/…
16/ h/t @MedievalAcademy and the Belle da Costa Greene award (kudos to all involved; please donate!) And hooray @tandrews156 on being the first winner medievalacademy.org/page/GreeneAwa…
18/ h/t to #RaceB4Race acmrs.org/news/events/sy… for providing an “alternate home” for MOC (whose proposed #Kzoo2019 sessions were rejected except for stuff centering whiteness). Solidarity with #ShakeRace! NB next iteration acmrs.asu.edu/public-events/…
19/ More folks to follow (not already mentioned above) @adam_miya @KVMFinn @CCB_PhD @ontakragoueke @MedievalPhDemon @cmthomas (not always tweeting about the topics in this thread but great tweeps all around); if you’re in this tweet pls suggest more if you want
20/ AND once again, the Medievalists of Color website links to resources including scholarship on race & medieval studies, mentorship, funding/fellowships, and more; note also the public discourse tabs medievalistsofcolor.com/resources/
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