The CRRS-sponsored working group on Whiteness in the Early-Modern World will be hosting a two-part colloquium this spring. (See below for links to register via Zoom.) Part I will take place on Friday, April 23, and feature a series of roundtables in which workshop participants will each spend 5-7 minutes sharing their work in progress and drawing connections to readings from our 2020-2021 workshop series. Part II will take place on Friday, May 7, and feature a keynote lecture by Kim F. Hall (Barnard College), whose book, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, was—and remains—foundational to our discussions.
About the Working Group
Schedule of Meetings and Readings
While the study of blackness and indigeneity in the early modern world has been well established within diverse disciplines, the study of whiteness is a comparatively recent phenomenon. The 2020-2021 CRRS Working Group addresses the following questions (among others): How was whiteness defined, constructed, and depicted in the early modern world? What did it mean in terms of ideas about labor, class, nation, gender, and beauty? How were its boundaries delineated, and against whom was it held in opposition?
In attending to whiteness as a category of analysis, we seek to complicate our understanding of race in the early modern context by moving beyond those framings that primarily racialize black and indigenous subjects without considering the ways in which whiteness was constructed and necessarily operated as a racial category across time and space. We also explore the disciplinary and methodological frameworks we apply to our enquiry into the early modern world.