The Nineteenth Century Studies Association stands in solidarity with our Black and Indigenous People of Color members and all BIPOC. We stand with individuals and organizations around the world and call for justice for those who have been subjected to police violence, state-sanctioned white supremacy, and other forms of structural racism, such as were George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Sam Dubose, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, Alton Sterling, Jamar Clark, Jeremy McDole, William Chapman II, Walter Scott, Eric Harris, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner. We affirm that Black Lives Matter.

As the research of many of NCSA’s scholars has revealed, during the long nineteenth century, both settler colonialism and earlier conceptions of race as a hierarchy accelerated and laid the foundations for our contemporary world. The negative impacts of these historical systems continue to resonate in the ubiquity of inequality for BIPOC communities, environmental racism, and unearned privilege for whites.

As an organization comprised predominantly of white scholars, we must do better to listen to our colleagues and communities and to prioritize anti-racism in our Association’s mission and practices. We wish to amplify the work of scholars and activists in our Association, at our institutions, and in our communities whose work and lives are most greatly impacted by racism and social injustice.  

We also recognize that these words are hollow if they are not accompanied by action. NCSA will initiate projects aimed at highlighting the scholarship of and by BIPOC, and will also make space for initiatives driven by and for BIPOC to develop. 

To this end, we will:

  • Found a Working Group to seek collaborations with peer organizations–such as H-Slavery, INCS, ACRAH or AHNCA, among others–to share resources and to learn how we may support diverse scholarly voices. Actions may include, but are not limited to: generating a bibliography to amplify the work of and by BIPOC, collaborating with NCSA’s Graduate Student Caucus, and spearheading initiatives at the annual conference. 
  • Create platforms, such as dedicated panels at our annual conference or pointed Calls for Papers, to address how critical the scholarship of the nineteenth century is to understanding race and settler colonialism and to discuss structural racism in the academy. We must create open and direct dialog with systemic issues, particularly that of race and equality, and we will make an intentional effort to support these discussions.
  • Establish a new award aimed at supporting BIPOC at the annual conference. We will develop the submission details shortly and award the first recipient at our 2021 conference. If you would like to donate to the award, click here
  • Actively recruit more BIPOC to run for Board positions and to serve the editorial team of Nineteenth Century Studies; the Vice President will also invite BIPOC to serve on sub-committees.

We also welcome our Association’s help in this work. Please contact NCSA President Susan Cook ( or NCSA Vice President Maura Coughlin ( if you have any questions or suggestions.