Statement against Antisemitism

The Medieval Academy of America expresses concern for recent acts of antisemitism both in the United States and abroad. We unequivocally condemn antisemitism of all kinds and stand in solidarity with our colleagues and our community members who suffer from this bigotry.

Much of the hate that antisemites espouse draws from long-standing falsehoods about Jewish identity, and the MAA, in particular, deplores the way that nostalgia for medieval Europe underpins many of their claims. The desire to recreate what is called “crusades” or an “inquisition” warrants a direct condemnation from the Medieval Academy of America.

We urge medievalists and those who teach about the medieval world at all levels to speak out against antisemitism in both the medieval and our contemporary world. We urge medievalists to dispel simplistic understandings of the past that weaponize our period of study in order to offer justifications for violence of any kind – either rhetorical or physical. We urge medievalists to acknowledge the field’s complicity in perpetrating this violence in the past and, further, to take responsibility for advocating unequivocally against antisemitism in the present.

Medieval Academy of America Advocacy Committee

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