Seeing Race Before Race

Race is a powerful and challenging concept. It is a social construction that affects our lives in ways both obvious and practically invisible. When, where, and why did conceptions of race come into being? How might learning about its history help us better understand the complex role that race plays in our lives today?

Noémie Ndiaye, Lia Markey, Christopher Fletcher, Rebecca L. Fall, Yasmine Hachimi
Conservators and Preparators
Barbara Korbel, Kimberly Nichols, Gabriel Hamer, Leith Calcote
Exhibition Specialist
Patrick Kepley
Director of Exhibitions
Sarah Boyd Alvarez
Digital Services
Catherine Gass, Nicolas White, Jennifer Wolfe
Graphic Designers
M. N. Kennedy, Andrea Villasenor
Georgina Valverde, Luisa Feuerstein
Gallery Preparators
Chris Cermak, Pete Diernberger, Mike Mitchell, Jason Ulane

The Newberry gratefully acknowledges loans from the Adler Planetarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation.

Seeing Race Before Race is generously supported by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Pam and Doug Walter, and an anonymous donor.

Thank you to the contributors to the ACMRS publication, Seeing Race Before Race, particularly Olivia Dill (Dürer), Risa Puleo (Tultepec map), Christopher Fletcher (Miroir), Rebecca Fall (Wonders), and Lia Markey (Tarih), whose contributions inspired this resource.

Seeing Race Before Race draws on the pathbreaking work of our partners in the RaceB4Race research collective. Founded in 2019, RaceB4Race centers the expertise, perspectives, and sociopolitical interests of scholars who are Black, Indigenous, and of color to demonstrate the value of premodern critical race studies and highlight the powerful histories of people of color in the classical, medieval, and early modern past.