How do marginalized communities across the globe use the medieval past to combat racism, educate the public, and create a just world? Jonathan Hsy advances urgent academic and public conversations about race and appropriations of the medieval past in popular culture and the arts.
Examining poetry, fiction, journalism, and performances, Hsy shows how cultural icons such as Frederick Douglass, Wong Chin Foo, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, and Sui Sin Far reinvented medieval traditions to promote social change. Contemporary Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and multiracial artists embrace diverse pasts to build better futures.
“Makes the crucial move of tying medievalism studies readings to social and racial justice work explicitly … innovative and greatly needed in the field.” Seeta Chaganti, author of Strange Footing
“A major accomplishment that belongs on the shelves of every person who believes in antiracism.” Geraldine Heng, author of The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages
Preface: Coalitions, Solidarities, and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Performing Medievalism, Crafting Identities
1. Progress: Racial Belonging, Medieval Masculinities, and the Ethnic Minority Bildungsroman
2. Plague: Toxic Chivalry, Chinatown Crusades, and Chinese/Jewish Solidarities
3. Place: Indefinite Detention and Forms of Resistance in Angel Island Poetry
4. Passing: Crossing Color Lines in the Short Fiction of Alice Dunbar-Nelson and Sui Sin Far
5. Play: Racial Recognition, Unsettling Poetics, and the Reinvention of Old English and Middle English Forms
6. Pilgrimage: Chaucerian Poets of Color in Motion
Further Readings and Resources
Antiracist Medievalisms solidifies the gains of the initial wave of scholarship on race and the Middle Ages, while also expanding the theoretical terms upon which medievalists can draw to enrich the conversation about race.[…] Antiracist Medievalisms asks what it would mean to fundamentally rethink our approaches to the Middle Ages. As this book attests, such a reexamination can, in skilled hands, lead to dynamic and fresh criticism.’~Matthew X. Vernon, Studies in the Age of Chaucer 44 (2022): 409-12
In Antiracist Medievalisms Hsy puts into practice the very notions of celebration, solidarity, and critical analysis that he sets out to uncover. I could not put it down, and I recommended it without reservations. His critical apparatus is now a model for my own work.~Nahir I. Otaño Gracia, Journal of British Studies 62 no. 1 (2023): 284-85