The recent wave of hate crimes against Asian Americans and people of Pacific Islander descent culminated in the horrific murders near Atlanta last week. Our Asian American and PI colleagues have been facing this kind of terror and discrimination for a long time and it is time for us to reflect on what our responsibility is as medievalists – as students, teachers, and scholars – in thinking through the history of hate, racism, and scapegoating minority groups and to formulate calls to action. The American Historical Association has documented the long history of discrimination and racism against Asian Americans in a recent statement. The upcoming Annual Meeting of the MAA’s Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) will include a breakout session focusing on how we can better support our AAPI and BIPOC colleagues and students, and the Council of the Medieval Academy of America is working intensively on a meaningful response to the anguish, fury, and exasperation our AAPI colleagues experience at this fraught moment.
Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, President