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C19's Commitment to Anti-Racist Praxis

C19: The Society of Nineteenth Century Americanists is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion as core values. As an organization dedicated to the study of the long nineteenth century, C19 is invested in interrogating the multiple forms of marginalization, violence, and inequality that defined this period, including slavery, colonialism, racial discrimination, sexual and gender-based oppression, and ableism. In addition to our scholarly examinations of these subjects, C19 aspires to address their residual legacies in our research, classrooms, professional organizations, and beyond.


“Equity,” “diversity,” and “inclusion” are therefore not only values that guide our inquiry into the past, but they are at the heart of our ethos as an organization in the present. C19 sees an intellectual and ethical imperative to support a diverse range of perspectives and positionalities in our membership and in our leadership, and we also acknowledge the precarity of academic employment for many and aim to support and include scholars regardless of institutional status.

We aim to enact these values in the following ways:

  • By promoting nineteenth-century American literary and cultural studies that bring attention to underrepresented texts, groups, eras, and movements.

  • By challenging exclusionary disciplinary structures.

  • By encouraging debate and dialogue in print, digital, audio, and archival projects.

  • By advocating for the recovery and preservation of histories and cultures across race, ethnicity, citizenship status, class, ability, orientation, and gender identity.

  • By engaging diverse communities and initiatives that move beyond academia.

  • By fostering collectivity and striving to make scholarship accessible through public-oriented programming and interdisciplinary approaches.

  • By supporting scholars of color through our networking events, community-building initiatives, and a mentoring initiative we hope to launch.

  • By encouraging conference panels that prioritize diversity in terms of race, gender, ability, and institutional status.

  • By hosting events at locations and venues that help us fulfill our commitment to these values in terms of accessibility and anti-discrimination policies.

  • By ensuring that our leadership is diverse in multiple ways.

  • C19 Podcast Antiracist Best Practices

Image: Letter from Martin Robison Delany, 157 Church St., New York, to William Lloyd Garrison, Feb. 19th, [18]59; Delany wants Garrison to recommend his book, "Blake; or, The huts of America," to the consideration of a publisher. Delany would like Garrison to write a "criticism of it so far, in the columns of the 'Liberator.'"

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