As we mark our fortieth year as an organization in 2023, we, the board of Historians of Netherlandish Art, are taking a moment to look back on the thriving community we have created over the past four decades, and are considering the hard work needed to ensure an equally prosperous future for our field. At the same time, we acknowledge that we are facing a landscape of dwindling opportunities in academia and the arts, and an increasingly challenging economy. For this reason, we are asking for your financial support to help sustain attendance at the 2024 London/Cambridge HNA conference—particularly for those members who identify as BIPOC, un(der)employed, and/or as junior or emerging colleagues.
Our board, with the guidance of our special subcommittee, IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility), is working to address the inequities and lack of access in our field, in order to build a more robust organization for all. As articulated in our Statement of Solidarity and Commitment in June 2020:
Going forward, we will seek to recognize racial and cultural inequity in our activities and deliberations, and to actively engage with mechanisms to improve our inclusivity as an organization.
In the past two years since the formation of IDEA, HNA has committed an increase in funds to our annual fellowship competition so that we can offer additional—and more generous—fellowships, including at least one IDEA-focused recipient. While we are undergoing an examination of our membership levels, we have instituted a discretionary no-cost membership level with the aim of reaching out to related fields and under-resourced and international members of our community. We have also established a position on our board charged with liaising with the IDEA committee, which is working to provide resources for teaching, research, and best practices. In the context of IDEA advocacy and outreach initiatives, we have also run a highly successful mentorship program, matching over a hundred mentee/mentor pairs.
As we begin to look forward to our next gathering in 2024, we believe it is imperative to provide increased support for historically excluded colleagues to attend and feel part of what has always endeavored to be a welcoming community.
With a one-time contribution to HNA, you are making it possible for us to guarantee availability of travel stipends or subventions in advance of paper submissions to those in need, which will be a critical step toward creating a more inclusive conference program. To support this effort, click on “Support HNA IDEA” below. You can also support other aspects of HNA’s organization by clicking on “Give Now” lower on the Support page, or with an on-going donation-level membership. If you need to make different financial arrangements, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to direct your funds.
We thank you for allowing us to continue the important work we have begun. There is more to do, and yet more to imagine.