Statement of Support of Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm and the Medievalists of Color

The Islands of the North Atlantic (IONA) conference in Vancouver, BC last April benefited immeasurably from the labor of the Medievalists of Color. IONA's organizers for Vancouver (Donna Beth Ellard, Matthew Hussey, Georgia Henley) strongly support Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm and her principled stand for radical and substantive change to the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, and we thank her for her work there and in the field more broadly. We have inherited and maintained structures and institutions in early medieval studies that actively and knowingly harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as well as women, queer, trans, disabled, early-career, contingent, precarious, and independent scholars. Only the kind of work undertaken and urged by the Medievalists of Color can transform early medieval studies into a more inclusive field and IONA has tried to follow by aiming to create a space for non-hierarchical, collaborative, interdisciplinary, comparatist, and experimental work from which, we hope, the inherent racism and exclusionary practices of our field can be challenged. IONA could not have begun this work without Mary and her colleagues: we trust her decision and we urge the meaningful changes she calls for.

We will continue to work collectively and collaboratively to take these changes forward as we plan the next conference in London with Josh Davies and Clare Lees.

Medievalists of Color Panels at IONA Conference 2019

Medievalists of Color is sponsoring the following exciting panels at IONA: SEAFARING CONFERENCE 2019. Please spread the word and join us!

Organizers: Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm, Dr. Nahir Otaño-Gracia, and Dr. Valerie M. Wilhite

WORKSHOP: DECENTERING WHITENESS IN MEDIEVAL TEXTS, IN THE FIELD, AND THE CLASSROOM
The purpose of this two-part workshop is to encourage participants to seek out texts, themes and branches of medieval studies beyond white, Christian, Anglo-centric methodologies in research, the classroom, and within our understanding of the field. We encourage scholars from various fields and disciplines to participate in this workshop. The major feature of the workshop is ‘how to be a better ally’ which will allow participants to engage in discussion on what ally-ship means and how one can strengthen ally-ship in the workplace and classroom.

SEMINAR: MOVING THE NORTH ATLANTIC BEYOND IONA
This is a three-panel seminar. When we think of the medieval North Atlantic we tend to think within Anglo- or Euro-centric parameters, much to the detriment of our understanding of the entire region, its history and development. So much is lost in our discussions of the medieval past by excluding regions within or beyond the north. This session seeks 15-20 minute papers on medieval subjects that expand our understanding of the early medieval North Atlantic. Discussions may include papers on topics dealing with medieval Iberia, Africa, and as far north as the Canadian archipelagos to the far reaches of the Canary Islands. Further to this, themes might range from the inclusion of Iberian and African material in North Atlantic Studies to racism and Digital Humanities/academia, and ‘others’ in Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian, and Welsh studies, history, archaeology, art history and other fields. These sessions will challenge our understanding of the medieval North Atlantic and encourage thinking beyond the norm.