AHA Releases Statement on Threats to Academic Conferences (September 2021)

The AHA has released a statement condemning the harassment and intimidation of participants, organizers, and university sponsors of the virtual conference “Dismantling Global Hindutva: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.” “Conferences, both in person and across digital platforms, are critical to the exchange of ideas among historians and our colleagues in other disciplines,” the AHA wrote. “Disruptions to a conference represent an assault on the principle of academic freedom, and the AHA stands unequivocally with participants in this conference and its sponsors in their right to exchange ideas without fear of threats and intimidation.”

To date, 36 organizations have signed onto this statement.

Download the statement as a PDF.


Approved by AHA Council, September 2021

The American Historical Association supports historical scholarship and the free exchange of ideas. Scholarship itself is in many ways a conversation, and often that conversation takes place through conferences. Recently, participants, organizers, and university sponsors of the virtual conference “Dismantling Global Hindutva: Multidisciplinary Perspectives” (September 10-12, 2021) faced harassment and intimidation, including multiple threats of serious violence and invasion of a digital conference space. The American Historical Association condemns these and any other attacks that seek to limit conference presentations and participation.

Conferences, both in person and across digital platforms, are critical to the exchange of ideas among historians and our colleagues in other disciplines. Disruptions to a conference represent an assault on the principle of academic freedom, and the AHA stands unequivocally with participants in this conference and its sponsors in their right to exchange ideas without fear of threats and intimidation.

The following organizations have cosigned this statement:

Agricultural History Society
American Academy of Religion
American Anthropological Association
American Catholic Historical Association
American Journalism Historians Association
American Philosophical Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Theatre Research
American Sociological Association
American Studies Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Association for Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Association of Research Libraries
Center for Research Libraries
Central European History Society 
College Art Association
Coordinating Council of Women in History
Czechoslovak Studies Association
Executive Board, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
Executive Committee, American Comparative Literature Association
Executive Council, American Catholic Historical Association
Forum on Early-Modern Empires and Global Interactions 
German Studies Association
Immigration and Ethnic History Society
Linguistic Society of America
Middle East Studies Association
Modern Language Association
National Women's Studies Association
North American Conference on British Studies
Organization of American Historians
PEN America
Society for Austrian and Habsburg History
Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender
Society of Biblical Literature
Society of Civil War Historians
World History Association