Medieval and Early Modern Student Association

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CMRS-CEGS provides support for MEMSA, an interdisciplinary student organization that aims to foster connections and community among diverse graduate students from various departments and programs (including Asian Languages and Cultures, African Studies, American Indian Studies, Latin American Studies, Spanish, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, English, etc.) studying topics from late antiquity through the end of the seventeenth century. MEMSA annually hosts panels and workshops on professional development, scholarly topics, and research methods. Importantly, MEMSA also organizes extracurricular activities for its graduate students, including social events and group museum visits. Together with CMRS-CEGS, MEMSA organizes a yearly student conference, with the next conference in the works for Spring Quarter 2024. MEMSA’s mission as an organization is to provide a space to support students’ professional and personal well-being.

Contact to be added to the mailing list and receive regular newsletters. MEMSA looks forward to hearing from you!

May 31, 2024 MEMSA Conference
Thinking With Materiality in the Early Global World

June 2, 2023 MEMSA Conference
Frontiers, Borders, & Borderlands in the Early Modern World

May 20-21, 2022 MEMSA Conference
“Intersectionality in the Early Global World”

May 27, 2021 MEMSA Conference
“Resilience, Resistance, and Renewal in the Medieval and Early Modern World”

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 students’ 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, build skills, promote professional development, and 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 neo-medievalism, 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.

Richard Ibarra
Stefanie Matabang
Chase Caldwell Smith

MEMSA Officers 2021-2022