News & Events

New Chaucer Society Statement on the Death of George Floyd

The New Chaucer Society expresses our solidarity in mourning with the family and communities of George Floyd, who died, restrained and unarmed, in Minneapolis on 25 May.  His killing follows those of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Vonderrit Myers, Jr., Michael Brown, and so many others. We mourn their deaths.  We know that the response to George Floyd’s killing from communities across the US, the UK, the rest of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Japan is also a reaction to longstanding systemic racism and social inequalities, now painfully amplified by the current global pandemic, in which people of color are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.  The New Chaucer Society is a public, international, and outward-facing organization, that stands in opposition to the many kinds of violence done to people of color and to all oppressed groups around the world.  We know that words are not enough.  The ethics of our scholarship and our teaching, and our commitment to diversity and inclusion, call us to speak out in support of African American communities, but let us also actively listen and learn from one another and reflect upon the ways in which we perpetuate cycles of racial injustice.  Let us stand together for a better future.  

Tom Goodmann, Executive Director, New Chaucer Society
Ruth Evans, President, New Chaucer Society

Addendum, Monday, June 8, 2020:

Our thanks to those members who have written to express concerns over the inclusion of China in the list of countries and regions responding to the death of George Floyd. We intended to signal the global scope of responses to the deaths of African Americans, and want to acknowledge that the list of countries, regions, and peoples was not sufficiently nuanced. We meant to include the people of Hong Kong, Uighur Muslim communities, Taiwan (Republic of China), and those in the PRC whose resistance has a very long history.
Our apologies for using words that were insufficient and imprecise, and our thanks to members who have written to us for clarification.
Thomas Goodmann, Executive Director, The New Chaucer Society
Ruth Evans, President, The New Chaucer Society