Dear fellow medievalists,
In times of crisis we must all work together, and this is especially true in a time of multiple crises. This is why we are asking you to renew your membership in the Medieval Academy of America for 2021. While many of our events and activities are accessible to all, you must be a member in good standing to apply for one of the many grants and fellowships given out by the Academy, to speak at the Medieval Academy Annual Meeting, or to participate in its governance. We rely on you to keep the Medieval Academy going and enable us to continue to offer the support, both practical and intellectual, that makes us a community.<
Joy Connolly, President of the American Council of Learned Societies, joins us in stressing the importance of intellectual communities, especially in the current environment, and while she stresses the repercussions of the current situation on academic life, she also addresses those of us who work outside of academia in one of the many jobs that we have showcased in our recent initiatives.
COVID-19 has created hardship and unprecedented uncertainty for American academia. No individual faculty member or department or even self-organized group is in a position to cope effectively with its consequences, like the closure of entire departments or programs in the humanities and social sciences, already in the news each week and likely to increase in frequency. Nor is the individual professor or department or school best placed to respond to larger cultural crises like the decline of public trust in colleges and universities. […]
At this moment, professional academic societies – communities defined by the pursuit of knowledge – provide community for scholars of all kinds: contingent faculty, tenured faculty, scholars working outside the university, students in college and graduate school, and a diverse range of people who value and support research and teaching.
Trying to go it alone isn’t an option right now. For academia to survive COVID-19, we need communities without borders that bridge scholars in all situations of life and employment. […] Societies speak the loudest and do the most when they can point to a large, inclusive, active membership.
We invite you to join us.
Medieval Academy membership brings other benefits, such as:
– a subscription to Speculum, our quarterly journal
– online access to the entire Speculum archive
– access to our online member directory
– publication and database discounts through our website
You can easily pay your dues and/or make a donation through the MAA website where, after you sign into your account, you can also adjust your membership category if necessary. Please consider supplementing your membership by becoming a Contributing or Sustaining member or by making a tax-deductible donation as part of your end-of-year giving. Such gifts are crucial because they help subsidize lower membership rates for student, contingent, and unaffiliated medievalists and also support our grant-making programs. In order to make membership more affordable for those in financially precarious circumstances, we have recently revised our dues structure.
You may also wish to remember the Academy with a bequest as a member of our Legacy Society (for more information, please contact the Executive Director).
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Medieval Academy was able to redirect resources to host webinars on the latest Black Death research, working beyond academia, and race & racism in our classrooms and in our field. All of these webinars were recorded and can be viewed here. Thanks to prudent stewardship by our governance, we also increased support of members in 2020, especially student, independent, and contingent scholars, and expanded programming in support of medievalists of color and of medievalists working in various professional contexts. We will soon be launching an online course for K-12 educators on Africa and Africans in the Middle Ages, co-sponsored by the National Humanities Center. As we work towards a more expansive Middle Ages, we are also working to build a more inclusive Medieval Studies. We sincerely hope that you will renew your valued membership in the Academy as we continue this work in 2021. Your membership dues make such programming possible.
When you renew, please take a few minutes to update your profile page so that members with similar interests can find you, and you can find them. You can also check a box to indicate your interest in serving on a Medieval Academy committee or reviewing for Speculum. Your profile page now includes an option to indicate gender and racial/ethnic identity. This information will not be visible to other members, but it will help the Academy immensely as we strive to increase our understanding of member demographics and work to improve diversity and inclusivity in Medieval Studies. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, please contact us for assistance.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to working with you in 2021 and hope to see you (albeit virtually) at the Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America on 15-18 April at Indiana University, Bloomington.
Renate Blumenfeld Kosinski, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director
p.s. if you have already renewed, please ignore this message and accept our thanks!