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Palgrave Macmillan

The Black Middle Ages

Race and the Construction of the Middle Ages

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Contributes timely research to join the fields of medieval studies and African American studies
  • Assembles an archive of texts to expand understandings of black studies
  • Promotes a transhistorical and comparative theoretical framework

Part of the book series: The New Middle Ages (TNMA)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)


About this book

The Black Middle Ages examines the influence of medieval studies on African-American thought. Matthew X. 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. 


“A volume consisting of four chapters that all stand alone and conclude with their own bibliography. … While each chapter stands all on its own, the volume concludes with an index for the entire book.” (Albrecht Classen, Mediaevistik, Vol. 32 (1), 2019)

Authors and Affiliations

  • University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA

    Matthew X. Vernon

About the author

Matthew X. Vernon is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Davis, USA.

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