TOEBI would like to publicly state our complete support for the victims that have spoken out in the Al Jazeera report, as well as for those who remain anonymous. Our thoughts are with survivors. For the record, Andy Orchard has no part in our organisation and he will not be cited in the newsletter.
In light of recent reports in the media, TOEBI would like to condemn in the strongest terms all forms of sexual harassment, abuse, and bullying. We are committed to a fully inclusive, safe, and harassment-free environment for all our members. The TOEBI committee will take action against any person, regardless of perceived seniority, who violates our values and code of conduct. We want our members to be assured that we have zero tolerance for such behaviour and are committed to making the field of Old English studies a better, safer, and more inclusive environment for all. Any of our members is welcome to approach the TOEBI committee with any concerns or questions.
We have made an additional statement in support of the victims of this abuse here.
TOEBI wishes to acknowledge its support for the position of staff in English at the University of Leicester, and to condemn the injurious position of the university management’s approach to the study of Medieval and Early Modern Literature and English Language.
The leadership of the University of Leicester has notified staff that it is opening a consultation on a plan to close English Language, including the BA English with English Language and the MA English Language and Linguistics, and to cease teaching Medieval Literature and reduce the size of Early Modern Literature. The first consultation meeting on this plan will take place on Wednesday 27th January 2021. Staff in English remain committed to supporting and developing our current curriculum and oppose this plan.
TOEBI exists to promote and support the teaching of Old English in British and Irish Universities, believing that knowledge of the foundations of the subject is integral to any understanding of English language and literature. At a time when medieval studies in particular is frequently in the public eye, it is a fundamental disservice to students and prospective students at the University of Leicester to deny them the opportunity to pursue study in this field.