F20 Black Atlantic: Resources, Pedagogy, and Scholarship on the 18th Century Black Atlantic

Attended Dr. Kim's Class at Brandeis for Response Credit

Adam Miyashiro was the guest speaker for the class. He presented his work on the white supremacist desire to connect with Norse and Viking history and how any connection between the two is steeped in misinformation and false interpretation of history. Unfortunately, due to gatekeepers in the classics who are hesitant to acknowledge issues of race in classic literature and want to keep scholarship pertaining to the classics "colorless" (which by default means white), Miyashiro has experienced a lot of hate and sabotage. After his presentation, I asked him about one of his articles in which he discussed the trouble he ran into when submitting to a conference. He, as a person of color, was denied access to presenting at the conference because of the topic of his research. The conference ending up having all white presenters. 

The settler myths he spoke of reminded me of America's obsession with mythology at large. DC is the perfect example of how America has historically adapted and appropriated Roman mythology and ideas of empire to spin the narrative of their position as today's great empire. In the Capitol there is a painting on the ceiling in one of the rooms called The Apotheosis of George Washington. It features GW in a godlike manner surrounded by Roman gods and goddesses. With this sort of obsession with Roman mythology, it makes sense that in order to further establish a historical origin of White American settlers, that they would also attempt to adapt Viking history and Norse mythology. 

Another good connection to this topic is a book called Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat. It argues that while white Americans attempt to align themselves with the proletariat and erase the fact that the founding fathers were landowners and slaveowners, they possess a petit-bourgeois consciousness and that the only true proletariat are the descendants of the colinised Native population and enslaved Africans. 

This page has paths:

This page has replies: