Dear Academy Members,
I hope Spring is bringing all of you the cheer of blossoms and of warmer days. I write hoping to encourage all of you—especially our female members—to consider submitting your work to Speculum.
Before the pandemic, roughly equal numbers of female and male medievalists offered articles to Speculum. However, from the onset of the COVID crisis in March 2020 through the end of 2021, a disturbing gender imbalance emerged. As Editor Katherine L. Jansen recently reported at the annual meeting, of the articles submitted over those twenty-two pandemic months, “only 90 (39%) were from women, while 143 (61%) were from men, revealing a gender disparity of almost 59%.” While the reasons for this disparity are complex, it seems reasonable to speculate that women medievalists, like career women more generally, have had their ability to work negatively affected by the pandemic, and in particular by care-giving duties.
Members of the MAA Council have informally discussed how the Academy might help all care-givers to get back to publishing their work, but I would be grateful to hear from those of you experiencing pandemic-related setbacks in research and writing: what kinds of assistance would make a difference for you?
In the meantime, I encourage every woman reading this who has a research article in preparation to submit it to Speculum. The journal also welcomes co-authored papers. Your scholarship is a gift to all of us.
Maureen C. Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org), President of the Medieval Academy of America