Announcements and Statements

SMFS Statement on Academic Professionalism

SMFS joins with the New Chaucer Society and other recently vocal groups in condemning all uncivil practices involving the belittling, ridiculing and otherwise denigration of the scholarly work and/or opposing positions of others. It also especially deplores any unprofessional practices involving the publicizing of images and information concerning the private lives of individuals with a view to invoking harm, whether intellectual or physical. Whilst recognizing the need for the academic freedom to publish research and personal opinion, we nevertheless categorically deplore the type of insouciant practice that willfully exposes individuals to third-party aggression by means of such so-called doxxing. We concur that this, and other forms of aggressive harassment have absolutely no place within the civil and collegiate society we are intent on building and maintaining in our professional lives, in our academic institutions, and in our interchanges and the professional ethics that should be driving them. Such behaviour runs counter to what we in SMFS believe in and what we stand for, and is not to be tolerated under any circumstance.

Since its establishment and growth in the last quarter of the twentieth century, SMFS, as a fully international body, has been in the forefront of research into, and engagement with, issues of inequality and otherness, including those pertaining to gender, sexuality, race, and differently abled bodies. As a community, SMFS continues to pride itself on its close connectedness, collegiality, shared enterprise and, above all, nuanced and integrity-driven critical engagement with the Middle Ages. The society therefore reiterates its utter refusal to countenance those negative, ideology-generated misappropriations that feed far-right extremism and play to an often malign agenda that hurts real people, in real circumstances, and in real time. Any incursion of these pernicious interventions into our academic lives will, therefore, be vehemently rebutted as we join together to defend those people and values that are rendered vulnerable, so that together we may build a stronger, unassailable, equal and ethical community.