Shakespeare Association of America

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Dear SAA members,

I write to you at a time of challenge and change in the Americas and larger global communities to ask that you consider making a gift to support the Shakespeare Association of America’s Annual Fund. In the wake of the presidential election in the United States, a growing number of causes in our lives and world hang in the balance and demand our attention, action, and resources. In such a year, no Shakespearean scholar would question the reasons to give to causes other than our own scholarly organization, particularly since many of them affect our own diverse membership. The controversies of the U.S. presidential election seem destined to generate yet more controversies of a public and deeply personal nature for our members and students. This a time to ask how our own organization may play a role in the changing futures of scholarship, teaching, theater and the arts, and public life.

The SAA has long stood for innovation, collaboration, and rigor in the broad areas of scholarship, pedagogy, and the arts that engage the study of Shakespeare. Our organization also stands up for the diversity upon which excellence depends. Recent initiatives of the SAA include the Scholars of Color Social, the NextGenPlen, and a three-year commitment to holding a paper session on “Shakespearean Futures,” the first of which is dedicated to “The Color of Membership.” The Plenary Session of the upcoming convention in Atlanta focuses on “Queer Natures.” In the January Bulletin, moreover, we propose a revision to the SAA’s Constitution to include a diversity statement as an expression of the SAA’s core values and mission. In addition, the SAA has made strong financial commitments to our Digital Strategies initiative, which is heading into a third year of exciting developments. At the same time, many of us in the SAA have found ourselves inspired and galvanized by our organization’s creativity and drive in traditional areas of scholarship, teaching, and performance. A hallmark value of the SAA is commitment to inclusiveness, dialogue, and change over time in ways that forge links between our academic goals and our pedagogy.

The financial support of members is crucial to the continuing success of the organization. The membership and registration fees cover only a portion of the SAA’s administrative expenses and the costs of an annual meeting. Donating to SAA is easy to do: right now you can click to donate. This can be done in a matter of moments with a credit card, should you decide that the contribution of the SAA to education and scholarship is one of the many needs to address at this time.

Yours sincerely,

Heather James

President of the SAA