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Advanced registration now open for 2021 Lincoln Lecture

September 1, 2021


Geraldine Heng

Geraldine Heng, an award-winning author will present “What’s Religion Got to Do with It? Seeing, Reading, Teaching Race in the European Middle Ages” during the Department of History’s annual Lincoln Lecture, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9 virtually via Zoom.

Advanced registration is required. Go to to request a link to the event prior to Sept. 9. Event links will be sent out from the [email protected]  mailbox one day prior to the event.

Heng is the Perceval Professor of English and comparative literature, Middle Eastern studies, women’s studies, and Jewish studies at the University of Texas in Austin. She is Professor of English and comparative literature, with a joint appointment in Middle Eastern studies and women’s studies.

This lecture draws on Heng’s award-winning 2018 book, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, which questions the idea that concepts of race and racism are modern phenomena.  Rather, religion was selectively deployed to identify differences among humans—Jews, Muslims, Africans, Native Americans, Mongols and Romani (Gypsies)—in order to distribute positions and powers differentially through what we today recognize as acts of race.

Invention of Race won the 2019 PROSE prize in Global History, the 2019 Robert W. Hamilton Grand Prize, the 2019 American Academy of Religion Prize in Historical Studies, and the 2020 Otto Gründler Prize and was listed among History Today’s best books of 2018.

She is founder and director of the Global Middle Ages Projects ( ) and author of four books — Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy (2003), The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (2018), England and the Jews: How Religion and Violence Created the First Racial State in the West (2018), and The Global Middle Ages: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2021).

The W. Bruce Lincoln Endowed Lecture Series brings to campus distinguished scholars who address topics of interest to both the academic community and the general public. The lectures engage key issues and are often interdisciplinary, in the spirit of Professor Lincoln’s research, writing, and teaching.

For more information about this year’s Lincoln Lecture, contact Professor Anne Hanley, Department of History, at [email protected] .