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White 'Figura' and the Animacy of Racialization

Friday, February 23, 2018
4:00pm – 5:00pm

Storrs Campus
Stern Lounge (Austin 217)

The UConn Medieval Studies Program is hosting Wan-Chuan Kao of Washington and Lee University in the "Methodologies of Difference" panel. His paper is titled "The White 'Figura' and the Animacies of Racialization". Description below:

This paper thinks through white materialism as a technique of premodern racialization. In Mandeville’s Travels, Genghis Khan dreams of a knight armed all in white who prophesies a rising empire; in the Eastern original, he sees only a nondescript shaman. Non-human things, not skin tone or religious conversion, are the animating figures of whiteness: fetishes of chivalric ideals. Whiteness renders imperial Tartary intelligible through a fantasy of romance objects that facilitates a mimicking approximation of, but never full identification with, the West. And racialization emerges out of an incomplete, figural whiteness of difference that is unsustainable because already defunct.

Contact:

uconn.medieval.studies@gmail.com

Medieval Studies (primary), English Department, History Department, Judaic Studies, Literatures, Cultures and Languages, UConn Master Calendar

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