Last year I wrote a post where I used the word racism of the state of affairs in Mongol studies. A year ago (but doesn’t a lot happen in a year, these days?) that felt almost daring, actually, because very few seemed to be addressing it, or calling it out, as I said. The skimpy bibliography I attached to the post was the most I knew of to point to.
Racism: In a history book near you
It was a crude post, because I don’t have the analytic tools on this subject of racism. But boy, have I been bothered by its obvious presence in Mongol history-writing.
Now a PhD candidate, Sierra Lomuto, has written a post that is being much shared, on ‘the utter lack of racial consciousness in our field of Medieval Studies’.
White Nationalism and the Ethics of Medieval Studies
It’s a welcome post, and what excites me is that Lomuto says she is working on Mongols and race: ‘As a mixed-race Asian woman working on histories of racial structures in medieval European-Mongol relations, this lacuna in Medieval Studies is not news to me. I regularly read adjectives like “uncultured” and “barbaric” to describe Mongols in books published within the last decade. I still see “Oriental” used uncritically to refer to Asian peoples.’
I hope she publishes soon. I hope she or others address racism in the historiography on Mongols.
Thanks for linking to my post here and for your own post about the racism you’ve seen in some of the scholarship. I completely agree with your observations. It will likely be a while before I publish my own work, but I am encouraged to know that people are excited about it!
It’s great to have you visit the blog. I look forward to anything you write — your area of investigation is much-needed. If ever you want a less academic space to jot a few thoughts, or share content, this blog is always open to you.