(Drafted by the Code of Conduct Subcommittee 2/2/21; reviewed and revised 2/18/21; approved by the Executive Committee March 2021)


The Modernist Studies Association is devoted to the study of the arts in their social, political, cultural, and intellectual contexts from the later nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. The organization aims to develop an international and interdisciplinary forum to promote exchange among scholars in this vital and rapidly changing field.


The MSA supports the professional development of its members and the ongoing work of the field through free inquiry, critical examination, the sharing of multiple and varied scholarly perspectives, and a commitment to access and equity. The MSA values collaboration, cross-disciplinary connection, and openness, and it aspires to create a professional space hospitable to the diverse intellectual interests of its members.

Code of Conduct

In order for the MSA to fulfill its mission and enact its values of free inquiry, collaboration, openness, access, and equity, such that all members have the opportunity to reap the full benefits of belonging, the MSA calls upon its members to support these values in judgment and in action. MSA members are expected to participate in the work of the organization with integrity and the highest standards of professionalism. In particular, MSA members should not:

  • exploit or discriminate against others on grounds such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, religion (or lack thereof), or other group identity.
  • sexually harass anyone they come into professional contact with, including students, colleagues, exhibitors, and staff members at partner institutions, hospitality and conference sites, or anywhere associated with the MSA and its programs.
  • use language that is prejudicial or gratuitously derogatory.
  • make prejudicial or arbitrary judgments (e.g., in evaluating conference proposals or grant applications) that might unfairly affect the academic freedom or professional development of anyone with whom they work.
  • fail to disclose conflicts of interest (personal, professional, and commercial) as they relate to MSA programs and competitions.
  • practice deceit or fraud on the academic community or the public, including plagiarizing the work of others in written or spoken discourse.
  • This Code of Conduct applies to all forms of participation in the MSA community, including, but not limited to:
    • messages sent via MSA communication channels, both internal (e.g., listservs, Slack) and external (e.g., social media);
    • participation in MSA governance and the administrative workings of the organization;
    • participation in virtual and in-person events convened by MSA (e.g., formal and informal events taking place during the annual conference, virtual events held over Zoom, off-site conference events such as graduate student meet-ups, etc.).

Reporting Violations

  • In interactions you have through your involvement with MSA, if you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns or violations of the Code of Conduct to report, please contact the Membership and Elections Chair or any other member of the MSA Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will consider whether a violation of the Code of Conduct has occurred; the Executive Committee will then determine the appropriate consequences, which may include sanctions up to and including suspension of member privileges or termination of membership.
  • If someone is found in violation of the Code of Conduct of one of MSA’s affiliate organizations, then sanctions issued by another organization may also extend to MSA participation. The Executive Committee will take into consideration the process and judgment of our affiliate organizations.

The MSA Code of Conduct was approved by the Executive Committee in March 2021, and is lightly adapted from the Code of Conduct prepared by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals with grateful acknowledgment.