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Author of “The Black Middle Ages,” Matthew X. Vernon

location icon for event Event Location: Hollins Room, Wyndham Robertson Library, 7916 Williamson Road, Roanoke, VA, 24020, United States time icon for event Event Time: Thursday, February 15, 2024: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Vernon is the author of The Black Middle Ages: Race and the Construction of the Middle Ages, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018, which examines the influence of medieval studies on African American thought. Vernon focuses on nineteenth century uses of medieval texts to structure racial identity, but also considers the flexibility of medieval narratives more broadly in the medieval period, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. This book engages disparate discourses to reassess African American positionalities in time and space. Utilizing a transhistorical framework, Vernon reflects on medieval studies as a discipline built upon a contended set of ideologies and acts of imaginative appropriation visible within source texts and their later mobilizations. An associate professor of English at the University of California, Davis, his academic interests include medieval literature, travel narratives, migration, film, and comic books. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University and completed his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. at Yale University.   Sponsored by the Department of English and Creative Writing and the Dee Hull Everist Visiting Speaker Fund.