Publication Date

January 31, 2020

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities

Through email conversation from June 10 to December 19, 2019, and at meetings on January 3 and 6, 2020, the Council of the American Historical Association took the following actions:

  • Approved a letter to Jimmy Morales Cabrera, president of the Republic of Guatemala, urging continued access to materials in the Archivo Histórico de la Policía Nacional (AHPN). The agreement, concerning housing of the archive, expired on June 30, 2019, and the AHA urged officials to permit the archive to remain in its current location and to continue the program of lodging digitized copies with the government of Switzerland and the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Approved letters to the corporate headquarters of Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton praising their decision to not permit US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to use their hotel rooms as temporary detention centers during the agency’s raids on immigrant communities.
  • Approved affiliate status for The HistoryMakers.
  • Approved joining other ACLS associations in sending a letter to judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey expressing support for the right of scholars and academics to sign the Academics for Peace Petition.
  • Approved signing onto an amicus brief in Pitch v. United States regarding the release of grand jury records from a 1946 court case about the Moore’s Ford Lynching in Walton County, Georgia. Though grand jury records are usually kept under seal forever, the AHA supports the court’s original position that these records can be released as a matter of exceptional historical significance, a precedent the government is working to overturn.
  • Approved the Statement on Domestic Terrorism, Bigotry, and History.
  • Approved signing onto a statement from the American Sociological Association regarding the use and weight of student evaluations of teaching performance with regards to tenure and promotion.
  • Approved signing onto a letter from the Middle East Studies Association that registered alarm over the US Department of Education’s position toward the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies, an unprecedented intervention in academic curricula and the autonomy of higher education institutions.
  • Approved joining the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality (Seattle Univ.), the Organization of American Historians, and numerous individual historians on an amicus brief supporting respondents in Department of Homeland Security, et al. Petitioners v. Regents of the University of California, et al. Respondents. The brief explains the relationship between the history of anti-Mexican and Latinx racism and the use of related racist code words in the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Approved a letter to Vice Chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi discouraging the review of Romila Thapar’s status as emeritus professor. James Grossman noted that the letter gained considerable media attention in India.
  • Approved the AHA Resolution Supporting Scholars off the Higher Education Tenure Track.
  • Approved the terms of discussion for the 2020 AHA business meeting.
  • Approved the minutes of the June 2019 Council meeting.
  • Approved the interim minutes of the Council from June through December 2019.
  • Approved the 2020 Committee appointments.
  • Approved the Statement on Research Access.
  • Approved revisions to the penultimate paragraph in the Association’s Guiding Principles on Taking a Public Stance regarding amicus briefs and adopted Policies and Procedures for Considering Amicus Brief Requests.
  • Approved Improving the Status of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty: Recommendations for History Departments.
  • Approved extending eligibility for the AHA Council Annual Meeting Travel Grants to un-/underemployed historians beginning with the 2021 annual meeting.
  • Selected the 2020 Honorary Foreign Member (to be announced in fall 2020).
  • Appointed Mark Ravina (Univ. of Texas at Austin) as chair and Margaret Salazar-Porzio (National Museum of American History) as co-chair of the 2022 Program Committee.
  • Approved changes to AHA Bylaws (4) Pursuant to Article IV, Section 6 to extend the search process for the AHR editor from 18 months to 24 months, and to expand the search committee from four to five members.
  • Approved a proposal by the AHA Committee on LGBTQ Status in the Profession to create a spend-down fund to provide an annual $500 grant to support research in LGBTQ history. The committee agreed to raise the $12,500 to fund the grant until the account is depleted.
  • Approved changes to the Annual Meeting Guidelines to clarify when advisers and students may appear on the same session, to clarify the process for sessions organized by AHA divisions and committees, and to clarify that presentations in languages other than English are permissible, with certain conditions.
  • Referred the “Resolution Condemning Affiliations between ICE and Higher Education,” which was adopted by a majority of the members present at the AHA business meeting, to the AHA general counsel for a legal opinion as specified in Article 7 of the AHA’s Constitution. Council will veto the resolution if it requires the Association to support activities that violate federal, state, or local laws. If the general counsel indicates no legal concerns, Council will subsequently consider action on the resolution. If the general counsel recommends a veto due to legal concerns, Council will consider a new resolution at its June 2020 meeting on the issues raised in the petition that would conform to legal requirements and the mission of the AHA.
  • Established an ad hoc committee to revisit the AHA’s Constitution and Bylaws.
  • Received the Fiscal Year 2018–19 Audit.

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