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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Egads! SJWs look to hijack academic conference on medieval studies
The following article appeared in the American Thinker on July 24th
By Rick Moran
Medieval studies is one of those academic disciplines that fairly breathes "ivory tower." You wouldn't think it the sort of place where scholars care much about modern politics or the social justice agenda.
Let's face it: it was hard for the knights and ladies to be racist when there were no black people around to hate.
But that hasn't stopped SJWs in the medieval academic community who are threatening to boycott the discipline's largest annual conference because there's nothing on the agenda related to their pet causes.
On July 11, the BABEL Working Group published an open letter to the organizers of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS), which is planning to host its annual conference of about 3,000 academics at Western Michigan University in May 2019, outlining two "concerns" about the conference.
"The first is that there seems to be a bias against, or lack of interest in, sessions that are self-critical of medieval studies, or focused on the politics of the field in the present, especially relative to issues of decoloniality, globalization, and anti-racism," the letter explains, adding that the second concern relates to an alleged "lack of transparency around the process by which ICMS programming decisions are made."
The letter, which has been signed by more than 600 people as of press time, argues that by rejecting workshops such as "How to Be a White Ally in Medieval Studies 101," "Toxic Medievalisms," and "Intersectionality and the Medieval Romance," the ICMS organizers are hurting scholars of color and excluding their perspectives.
"The rejection of multiple sessions co-sponsored by Medievalists of Color (MOC) in particular minimizes the intellectual guidance that scholars of color would provide at the conference, when these scholars are already severely underrepresented in the field," the letter protests.
Other workshops rejected by ICMS organizers included "Toxic Medievalisms: Misuses and Abuses of the Medieval in Contemporary Culture," "Race and the Medieval," "Translations of Power: Race, Class, and Gender Intersectionality in the Middle Ages I and II," and more.
Methinks they doth protest too much.
If you haven't figured it out by now, SJWs in any academic discipline are balmy. Their objections are not so much about the insensitivity of people who lived during medieval times as much as they object to how the period is studied. Unless you put on SJW blinders to wear along with your funny hat and uncomfortable clothing and see the medieval world through thoroughly modern eyes, you won't be able to judge your fellow academics.
This is their version of "academic freedom." You're free to speak your mind, my friend, as long as you agree with me.
With more than 600 signatures on the petition, I guess we can expect the agenda to be altered to reflect the reality that about a quarter of the organization's members are raving lunatics.