Expert Available to Comment on Perceptions of Race and the Misuse of Medieval Icons


Expert Pitch

 

Newswise — New Brunswick, N.J. (March 21, 2019) – Laura Wiegert, director of the Program in Medieval Studies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, is available to discuss the misuse of medieval icons in white supremacist rhetoric, as well as common misperceptions about the racial diversity of Europe during the Middle Ages.

“White supremacists in the United States and Europe have long relied on symbols and motifs associated with the Middle Ages, and references to the Crusades, to further their agendas. Such use of the medieval past, which stems from a misunderstanding and idealization of the Middle Ages as a homogeneous Christian and white Europe fighting against groups like Muslims and Jews, was strikingly visible during the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In response to such co-option and subversion of the Middle Ages, medievalists have called attention to the lack of diversity within the field and encouraged their colleagues to evaluate how they teach the history of this period.” 

Laura Wiegert  is a professor of Art History at Rutgers University, and can be reached by contacting Cynthia Medina.

 

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Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University–New Brunswick has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Cynthia Medina at c.medina@rutgers.edu.

 

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Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship university is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is home to internationally acclaimed faculty and has 12 degree-granting schools and a Division I Athletics program. It is the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse university. Through its community of teachers, scholars, artists, scientists, and healers, Rutgers is equipped as never before to transform lives.

 

 

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