Medieval Academy of America Response to Immigration Executive Order

The Medieval Academy of America wishes to express its grave concern over the recent Executive Order suspending entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocking entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This order has, in practice, also been interpreted to deny legitimate green card holders and dual citizens from those countries re-entry to the United States.

This executive order not only directly impacts the transmission of knowledge and the free exchange of ideas – principles upon which this nation was founded – but also runs contrary to the work that we, as a scholarly community, do. As medievalists we critically engage the movement of peoples and the exercise of power across more than 1,000
years of human history. The European Middle Ages saw a range of approaches to religious and ethnic co-existence, including episodes of intolerance when religious minorities were subject to marking, restriction, and expulsion. We ask the Administration to learn from – rather than ignore – the past we work to illuminate.

In the days since the Executive Order was enacted, we have received several messages from members concerned that the EO may lead to a delay or denial of re-entry to the US if they attend our upcoming Annual Meeting in Toronto. To those members, please know that the governance of the Medieval Academy of America and the organizers of the meeting at the University of Toronto stand with you and share your concerns.


Please contact Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis directly at <> and she will work with you and the University of Toronto team to ensure that your scholarship is presented as planned.


We are committed to disseminating the content of the Annual Meeting and are working on finding feasible ways to do just that. We will be sure to let you know how you can follow along remotely should you choose not to attend.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns as this process moves forward.

Carmela Vircillo Franklin, President
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director

On behalf of the Council of the Medieval Academy of America

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