MAA News – From the Executive Director

I know that all of our members are facing serious challenges right now: transitioning to on-line learning or teaching; dealing with health issues, job insecurity, or financial precarity; trying to balance WFH with kids’ schooling; worrying about loved ones and the general state of the world. It’s a lot to manage. The Medieval Academy of America sees you and hears you and we are here to do whatever is in our power to help you get through this moment. Here’s what we’re doing right now:

1) Increased support of members:

* An extraordinary anonymous gift paid 2020 membership dues for nearly 1,500 members.

* Our Inclusivity and Diversity Committee is developing several initiatives that will directly support research and publication by medievalists of color in 2020 and beyond.

* Our Graduate Student Committee has developed a special 2020 grant program to support student members.

2) Digital Content: All of our digital content is available publicly on our website, including the 2020 Annual Meeting and recent webinars about best-practices in online pedagogy, the latest in Black Death research, working beyond academia, and “Race, Racism, and Teaching the Middle Ages.” All of these recordings are available here:

3) Upcoming webinars: We have two webinars scheduled for September dedicated to freelance careers for medievalists. A second webinar on race and racism in Medieval Studies is in development as well. More information about these programs will be announced in the coming weeks.

4) K-12 collaboration with the National Humanities Center: Development of a multi-week online myth-busting course on “Medieval Africa and Africans” is nearing completion. The first iteration of the course will open for registration this fall and, thanks to a generous anonymous donation from an MAA member, the course will be tuition-free and will run on multiple occasions. More information is available here:

5) Advocacy: the MAA has recently participated in several advocacy initiatives, including the recent direct appeal to university administrators to support, rather than defund, the humanities. That statement, issued in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies and co-signed by dozens of our sister Societies, has been sent directly to thousands of university administrators across the United States.

Our members are at the heart of everything we do. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if there is anything I, or we, can do to help you get through this difficult period.

Wishing you well,

– Lisa

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director

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