This essay explores the politics of disciplinarity in medieval studies by revisiting the author's own graduate medieval studies program at the University of California, Berkeley. Along with another graduate student, the author advocated for a more flexible and inclusive conceptualization of the discipline. These efforts were perceived as threatening—and so were the advocates. This essay offers an account of their “diversity work,” which the author theorizes through Sara Ahmed's critical frameworks, in order to share the greatest lesson they learned: aside from the established governing body of the degree program, the fiercest defenders of a conventional, Eurocentric conception of medieval studies were those newest to the discipline—the graduate students.

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