Afterlives: Reinvention, Reception, and Reproduction

Afterlives: Reinvention, Reception, and Reproduction

November 9, 2019

Forest Lawn Museum, 1712 S. Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at California State University, Long Beach, in collaboration with Forest Lawn Museum, is pleased to announce our upcoming biennial conference, Afterlives: Reinvention, Reproduction, and Reception. The conference program is available here.

Register for the conference here.

If you should need assistance with this online registration or have questions, please email Ilan Mitchel-Smith at or call 562.985.4247. Please allow 24 to 48 business hours for a reply.

Plenary Roundtable: Race, Identity, and Fantasies of the Past

As evidenced by the overwhelming presence of classical, medieval, and Renaissance references in our popular media, it is clear that Western culture has a love affair with the past. This love affair, however, is often problematic in depictions of race, identity, and ideas of nation. Never was this more evident than when various white pride and white supremacist groups marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, waving flags and carrying shields decorated with medieval and Renaissance symbols meant to trumpet their presumed white identity. While it is alarming that these organizations see history as a justification for their agendas, the concern of this panel is that such perceptions of the past mirror more widespread and less overtly racist engagements with history.

These engagements have manifested in numerous ways: racialized tropes in fantasy fiction and gaming; casting and setting choices in productions of Renaissance drama; and New Age, Black Metal, and “Ren Faire” fantasies of “medieval” music. These afterlives of the past have revealed deep-seated biases and racial blind spots in the way we conceive of, teach, and inhabit racialized spaces and subjects. This roundtable panel interrogates these biases and offers a forum for collaborative exchange among scholars whose work intersects with these themes.

Roundtable Participants:

Ambereen Dadabhoy, Assistant Professor of Literature at Harvey Mudd College
Alison Locke Perchuk, Associate Professor of Art History at California State University, Channel Islands
Ayana Smith, Associate Professor of Musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
Paul B. Sturtevant, Editor-in-Chief of The Public Medievalist