Cord Whitaker, associate professor of English at Wellesley College and expert on race literature, rhetoric and politics, will speak at the Fall Scholars Symposium on Friday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. in the Plant Hall Music Room on campus.
The event is free and open to the public.
Whitaker’s talk, “Black Metaphors: Race, Rhetoric and the Middle Ages Today,” will explore the modern understandings of feudalism, caste systems and racial homogeny in Medieval Europe. The key questions of the talk are: How did the Middle Ages make race? How can we use this knowledge to reduce racism and make the world better?
“Putting these into conversation with critical race theoretical concepts that explain the construction of whiteness, and with my own theories for medieval rhetoric’s role in the construction of modern blackness, this talk exposes the integral role of the Middle Ages in the development of modern racial ideology,” said Whitaker.
Whitaker is the author of Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race-Thinking. He is currently working on another book titled, The Harlem Middle Ages: Color, Time and Harlem Renaissance Medievalism. Whitaker is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and is a fellow of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.
There will be copies of Whitaker’s book available for sale and refreshments at the event, which is co-sponsored by the UT Department of English and Writing and the Honors Program.
For more information about the event, contact Sarah Juliet Lauro, assistant professor of hemispheric literature, at [email protected] or (813) 257-3322.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves approximately 9,600 students from 50 states and 132 countries. The majority of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.