“there seems to be a bias against, or lack of interest in, sessions that are self-critical of medieval studies”
Medieval Studies has been under fire from the left for a while now, for being too white. Please note: This post has been updated, see below.
Campus Reform reports:
Activists demand more social justice in Medieval Studies
A prominent association of medieval studies scholars has pledged to boycott the discipline’s largest annual conference over a lack of social justice programming.
On July 11, the BABEL Working Group published an open letter to the organizers of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS), which is planning to host its annual conference of about 3,000 academics at [Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo] in May 2019, outlining two “concerns” about the conference.
“The first is that there seems to be a bias against, or lack of interest in, sessions that are self-critical of medieval studies, or focused on the politics of the field in the present, especially relative to issues of decoloniality, globalization, and anti-racism,” the letter explains, adding that the second concern relates to an alleged “lack of transparency around the process by which ICMS programming decisions are made.”
The letter, which has been signed by more than 600 people as of press time, argues that by rejecting workshops such as “How to Be a White Ally in Medieval Studies 101,” “Toxic Medievalisms,” and “Intersectionality and the Medieval Romance,” the ICMS organizers are hurting scholars of color and excluding their perspectives.
“The rejection of multiple sessions co-sponsored by Medievalists of Color (MOC) in particular minimizes the intellectual guidance that scholars of color would provide at the conference, when these scholars are already severely underrepresented in the field,” the letter protests.
Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the ICMS annual conference was at Kalamazoo College. We regret the error.DONATE
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