This essay argues that “medieval race”—which has been gaining a recent foothold in medieval studies—is counterproductive as a concept because it occludes the mobility of race. Mobility here refers to the way that race takes on multiple forms within the same historical moment, including skin color, language, religion, ethnicity, and systemic power. “Medieval race” erroneously presumes that there is only one form of race in the Middle Ages, which can be compared to a similarly fictitious singular “modern race.” This inattention to mobility creates misapprehensions about how race functions across time; therefore, race scholars must reach beyond their siloed disciplines to work collaboratively, so that they can articulate and disseminate theorizations of race that are grounded in transhistorical study.

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