Medieval and Early Modern Student Association
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MEMSA Officers Mission Statement 2021-2022
We, the 2021-2022 MEMSA officers (Chase Caldwell Smith, Richard Ibarra and Stefanie Matabang), hope to make MEMSA a welcoming, friendly, supportive, and useful community to pre-modernists and early-modernists from a diverse group of departments and fields, especially those fields beyond the traditional medieval-Renaissance axis. Importantly, we will continue promoting and highlighting diversity, equity, and inclusion in medieval studies and early modern studies. MEMSA will serve as a bridge between graduate students and research institutions like the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) and advocate on behalf of students with CMRS and other institutions relevant to our graduate students’ research. MEMSA will provide community, support, and enrichment to graduate student social and intellectual life at UCLA.
The past year plus has seen enormous change and extreme challenge and as MEMSA officers, we seek to meet those various challenges responsibly, with the diverse needs of the medieval and early modern graduate student community in mind. ‘Community’ is a key idea for us and when we speak to that idea, we want to emphasize that we are referring to ALL who engage in the global medieval and early modern eras. One of our goals is to continue to foster more interdepartmental community and communication with African Studies, American Indian Studies, Latin American Studies, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Building off the groundwork of the virtual year of 2020-2021, we plan to continue facilitating social and intellectual engagement between medievalist and early modern graduate students through various spaces, both virtual and in person as conditions allow. We would like to offer as many forums as possible for students to discuss their work and key issues related to the field, to build skills, to promote professional development, and to foster collegiality and community. This would include such things as:
- Continuing the monthly race reading group for graduate students and faculty
- Our second annual MEMSA graduate student conference
- Highlighting scholarship and activism of BIPOC and AAPI medieval and early modern scholars in our bimonthly newsletters and communications
- Informal working groups that allow graduate students to work on writing and research in a supportive and collegial space
- Professionalizing workshops geared towards preparation for various jobs on the job market, like application workshops, mock job talks, and discussions with recent alumni about their experiences, academic and non-academic
- Collaborative workshops or group discussions centered around key topics such as decoloniality and medieval and early modern studies; the global Middle Ages and the global early modern world; pre-modern race; discrimination against and exclusion of AAPI and BIPOC; medievalism and neomedievalism, justice and the academy)
- Social events like museum excursions, movie and game nights, and happy hours (virtual or in person as conditions allow)
- Continuing to facilitate connections among members through our bimonthly MEMSA newsletter, Facebook page, and MEMSA Graduate Student Directory
- We will also make an effort to secure a dedicated physical study and social space for MEMSA students and their colleagues
We look forward to incorporating a larger group of student voices as MEMSA continues to expand under the aegis of CMRS, shaped with the needs of our diverse student community in mind.
Chase Caldwell Smith
MEMSA Officers 2021-2022
Please follow the link for information about the May 27, 2021 MEMSA Conference, “Resilience, Resistance, and Renewal in the Medieval and Early Modern World” in the Events Calendar.