(VIRTUAL) 2020 Conway Lectures with Cord J. Whitaker (Wellesley), "'From Medieval America to Modern': Medieval Black Metaphors, the Harlem Renaissance, and Antiracist Chivalry Today"


Location: By Zoom

Professor Cord Whitaker
Professor Cord Whitaker

In 2002, the Medieval Institute inaugurated a lecture series in honor of Robert M. and Ricki Conway. Robert Conway is a 1966 graduate of Notre Dame and trustee of the University, and he and his wife are long-time friends and supporters of the Medieval Institute. The annual Conway Lectures bring senior scholars of international distinction to Notre Dame each fall to speak on topics across a variety of disciplines. The lectures are then published by the University of Notre Dame Press

This year's lectures will be on the topic of race in the Middle Ages with speakers Sara Lipton (Stony Brook University), Cord J. Whitaker (Wellesley), and Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Institute for Advanced Study), and will be held, for the first time, virtually.

This second lecture will be given by Cord J. Whitaker. The lecture will run from 5–6 p.m. with Q&A from 6–6:30 p.m. Eastern time.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This registration gives you access to all Conway lectures and the roundtable. If you have trouble registering, please email medinst@nd.edu for help.

About Our Speaker

Cord J. Whitaker is Associate Professor of English at Wellesley College. Having published widely on medieval romance, religious conflict, and race, he is also the editor of “Making Race Matter in the Middle Ages,” an acclaimed issue of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies. Whitaker is the author of Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race-Thinking (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019). As a fellow of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Whitaker has recently advanced his work on a new book arguing that major African-American authors in the Harlem Renaissance, including W.E.B. Du Bois and Jessie Redmon Fauset, deployed medievalism as a tool for racial justice. Professor Whitaker has received accolades from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Penn Humanities Forum, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium, among others. Professor Whitaker has served as a founder and board member in the Medievalists of Color and the Race B4 Race organizations, and he sits on the editorial boards of some of medieval studies’ most influential journals. Whitaker blogs, together with his students, at whatisracialdifference.com, co-founded and served as editor-in-chief of The Spoke: the blog of the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs, and is one of the lead bloggers at the popular medieval studies blog In the Middle.