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.