ReMeDHe is an international working group for scholars of Religion, Medicine, Disability, Health and Healing in late antiquity, committed to inclusive collegiality at all stages of a scholar’s career.
What do we mean by scholar?
Within our working group every scholar is welcome as a valued colleague at every stage of their career, with or without institutional affiliation. Our membership is open to anyone with a professional interest in any aspect of our areas of scholarly focus and our Governing Board is structured with representatives in early, mid, and late careers.
Scholarship is the product; people are the priority. We are a working group of scholars producing academic works that address historic human concerns. Good scholarship happens when scholars have material support to live a life with dignity, meaning a fair wage, kind colleagues, physical safety, support in traveling, the ability to care for family, and access to professional resources and events.
A healthy professional life also includes time for friends and family, access to caregiving and caregiver support for ourselves and our loved ones, space to live authentically as one’s whole self, a respectful community of colleagues who offer grace in difficult seasons, leave without professional penalties, and access to comprehensive care for body and mind.
Because of this pro-people position, we invite discussion of equity issues in the workplace and will cooperate with and support the human rights of our membership. We also take care to share resources to help mitigate economic and practical barriers to participation in scholarly events.
Whole personhood includes sexual orientation, gender, race/ ethnicity, appearance, (dis)ability, neurotype, class, religious belief (and non-belief), and a host of other factors that make each of us unique. Everyone who embraces our inclusive values is wanted and welcome here.
We strive to be a space with grace in an academic landscape that is often unforgiving of our personal lives and needs. The best scholarship is supported by supporting each other first.
What do we mean by late antiquity?
Late antiquity is broadly defined from the third to the sixth century. Although we center this period in our community, some of our members specialize in earlier and later centuries. ReMeDHe members come from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including ancient historians, classicists, medievalists, religious studies scholars of various religious traditions, medical and social scientists. Although our geographic focus tends to be on the Mediterranean Basin, we welcome perspectives that range farther afield.
What do we mean by inclusive collegiality?
Inclusive collegiality is our guiding ethos. We approach each other with an assumption of competence and an attitude of mutual aid.
We believe that the field is best served and that the best scholarship is produced under conditions that promote human flourishing for all and in which all scholarly voices are given equitable weight and space. As we design our programs and resources, ReMeDHe is committed to core values that include accessibility; collaboration; diversity, equity, and inclusion; support and mentorship; accountability and transparency; warmth, kindness, and care.
Our best work is produced when we feel safe, respected, heard, and supported, and we work towards a community that realizes this standard. We strive to cultivate this climate in our programs and gatherings. This also means that we balance an assumption of good faith action in our communities with frank, direct conversations about areas where improvement is needed. As a society, we commit to both elements as necessary for a truly welcoming environment.
We reject ableism. Conversations about medicine, disability, and health must adhere to the standard of “Nothing About Us Without Us;” this is at the heart of disability advocacy. Our work cannot be done without the perspective of those with lived experience, and the comfort and support of non-neurotypical people and people with visible and invisible disabilities is non-negotiable. Further, scholarship that excludes perspectives of those with lived experience falls short of disability advocacy. All scholars regardless of their accessibility needs benefit from venues that enable equitable participation.
We explicitly normalize and make space for different ways of existing in scholarly spaces. Irrespective of identity, all members should feel confident with our commitment to inclusive collegiality. We commit to using accessible methods to communicate with our membership and welcome requests for additional aids, and we gladly advocate for conferences, publications, institutions, and other professional spaces to do the same. We commit to creating the best conditions to realize this goal, and welcome feedback and suggestions with gratitude.We recognize that there are many other ways in which the scholarship and scholarly climate of Late Antiquity falls short of true inclusion. Racism, ethnocentrism, homophobia, colonialism, imperialism, religious intolerance, and all other kinds of exclusion should have no place among us, and our membership should be a safe home for a truly global community. To make this happen, we commit to having frank, open conversations about ways to improve that result in swift, equitable actions to correct ourselves when we fall short. To that end, if you have any questions about the details of our community standards and our aspirations for what inclusivity should look like in practice, please have a look at our ReMeDHe’s guide: Actions for Inclusivity in Scholarly Communities.