Open letter on ISAS from the MLA Old English Forum Executive Committee

From the MLA Old English Forum Executive Committee:

We write to express our support for the changes currently being pursued by the membership of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.

First: We wish to recognize the work of Dr. Mary Rambaran-Olm, who served as second vice-president of ISAS from 2017 to the present, whose resignation from the organization has spurred the field and its members to take stock of their own history of complicity in marginalizing people of color, women, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized groups.  We thank her for the work she has done for our field.

Second: We support unequivocally the current vote to change the name of the organization.  We cannot cling to a term that *our own scholarship* has demonstrated to be racist in its origin and its deployment: to do so is to signal to BIPoC that they are not welcome in our field, and that is unacceptable.

Third: We support unequivocally the amendment of the ISAS constitution to support demographic diversity in the society’s leadership.  We want the leadership of our field to reflect its membership as broadly as possible across all categories of identity, career stage, and employment status.   

Fourth: We support unequivocally the development of a sexual harassment policy for both the ISAS conference and our field.  Sexual harassment and abuse cannot be tolerated.

Finally: We wish to apologize for our own complicity and silences. We recognize our shared culpability in failing to make our field welcoming and safe for vulnerable colleagues. We have a responsibility to do better.

Samantha Zacher
Renée Trilling
Nicole Guenther Discenza
David Johnson
Mary Kate Hurley

One thought on “Open letter on ISAS from the MLA Old English Forum Executive Committee

  1. Pingback: SMFS | SMFS statement in support of Dr Mary Rambaran-Olm

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