Actions by the AHA Council
June 2021 to January 2022
Through email communications from June 17 to December 23, 2021; at teleconference meetings held on September 17 and November 3, 2021; and at teleconference meetings on January 6 and 9, 2022, the Council of the American Historical Association took the following actions:
- Signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education to Senators Patty Murray and Roy Blunt supporting increased funding for the US Department of Education’s international and foreign language education programs.
- Approved the Statement on Threats to Historical Integrity in Texas, opposing Texas House Bill 3979, which prevents state-owned agencies and facilities from presenting accurate views of Texas history and hobbles fundraising efforts crucial to the state-sponsored public history sector.
- Sent a letter to leaders in the Ohio legislature expressing strong opposition to HB 322 and HB 327, which would continue the trend of “divisive concepts” legislation, placing limits on what could be included in the social studies curriculum and how instructors could teach certain ideas, concepts, and historical facts.
- Appointed the following members to the 2023 Annual Meeting Program Committee: Andrew Johns (Brigham Young Univ.); John Kenney (Esperanza Cyber Charter School); Akram Khater (North Carolina State Univ); and Lydia Lindsey (North Carolina Central Univ.).
- Appointed Christopher Dietrich (Fordham Univ.) and Rose Miron (D’Arcy McNickle Center) as associate review editors for the American Historical Review (AHR) for three-year terms. Dietrich’s term begins August 2021; Miron’s term begins April 2022.
- Signed on to a letter from Scholars at Risk, an “urgent appeal for Afghanistan’s scholars, students, practitioners, civil society leaders, and activists.”
- Approved revisions to the FY22 budget.
- Sent a letter to Texas legislators, the governor, and newspapers across the state opposing proposed legislation limiting the scope of history education in ways likely to exclude major aspects of the American past.
- Appointed Sandra Mendiola Garcia (Northern Texas Univ.) as associate review editor for the AHR for a three-year term to begin August 2021.
- Approved becoming a founding member of Learn from History, a coalition of parents, educators, and other concerned Americans who are working together to combat “divisive concepts” bills and to ensure that all children can learn accurate, thorough, and fact-based history in our schools.
- Sent a letter to Missouri governor Mike Parson recommending that he reconsider his decision to relocate the exhibition Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights from the Missouri State Museum to a considerably less visible site.
- Released the Statement on Threats to Academic Conferences, condemning the harassment and intimidation of participants, organizers, and university sponsors of the virtual conference “Dismantling Global Hindutva: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.”
- Signed on to an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This brief aims to provide an accurate historical perspective as the court considers the State of Mississippi’s challenge to a woman’s right to abortion.
- Began work with the National Security Archive and Public Citizen on a petition to unseal grand jury records related to the 1964 murders of civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
- Appointed Jennifer Derr (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz) as associate review editor for the AHR for a three-year term to begin August 2021.
- Appointed Carin Berkowitz (New Jersey Council for the Humanities) and Athan Biss (Baldwin School) as co-chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2023 annual meeting in Philadelphia.
- Approved the AHA’s continued involvement in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement records disposition case with co-plaintiffs Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
- Signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education urging the Department of Education to prioritize and strengthen its international and foreign language education and research role under HEA-Title VI and Fulbright-Hays 102(b)(6).
- Sent a letter to President W. Kent Fuchs of the University of Florida objecting to the university’s decision preventing University of Florida faculty members from testifying as expert witnesses in a voting-rights case.
- Approved several policies for the 2022 annual meeting: requiring attendees to wear masks, requiring attendees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to retrieve a conference badge, and not allowing for religious exemptions to the vaccination requirement.
- Approved the Society for US Intellectual History as an affiliate of the AHA.
- Approved the Statement on Censorship and Prosecution by Chinese Authorities, expressing alarm about escalated censorship and prosecution of Chinese citizens and national laws and policies that in effect criminalize the historical enterprise.
- Approved the reappointment of Fei-Hsien Wang as AHR associate editor for 2022–23.
- Sent a letter to Polish president Andrzej Duda expressing continued concern about the harassment and firing of Polish historians and calling on Polish leaders to protect the rights of historians to conduct impartial research into history and to advance the search for historical accuracy.
- Appointed Christolyn Williams (Westchester Community Coll.) to the 2023 Program Committee.
- Signed on to a letter from the Coalition for International Education urging US House leadership to reauthorize Title VI international education programs.
- Appointed Kim Gallon (Purdue Univ.) as AHA delegate to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for a four-year term to begin in January 2022.
- Sent a letter to the Oklahoma legislature opposing House Bill 2988, which would limit how the history of slavery could be taught in public schools and colleges.
- Sent a letter to Drs. Brien Smith and Charles Howell discouraging Youngstown State University from proceeding with the reported nonrenewal of two faculty members in the history program.
- Approved the minutes of the June 2021 Council meetings.
- Approved the interim minutes of the Council from June through December 2021.
- Approved the 2022 Committee appointments.
- Authorized the AHA president to appoint a Committee to Explore Broadening the Terrain of Historical Scholarship.
- Approved changes to AHA Bylaw 12, Number 4a Pursuant to Article VII, Sections 1–5, to move the deadline for receiving resolutions for consideration at the business meeting from November 1 to October 1.
- Approved changes to the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award application materials to include three nomination letters of no more than three pages each.
- Adopted Oxford University Press’s “Read and Publish” policy for the AHR, on a trial basis, through the end of the current contract with the press.
- Suspended the John H. Dunning Prize, pending legal advice regarding the funding of the award.
- Approved recommending AHA book prize winners for the ACLS Humanities Ebook portfolio.
- Approved a template for use when sending letters of objection to “divisive concepts” bills.
- Approved a letter to the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District speaking out against proposed Resolution No. 21-12, “Resolution Opposing the Teaching of Critical Race Theory.”
- Received the FY20–21 financial audit.
- Authorized the revision of membership categories as appropriate, including the addition of a $200,000+ salary category for the FY23 budget year.
- Approved the 2022 Honorary Foreign Member (to be announced fall 2022).
- Appointed Amy Stanley (Northwestern Univ.) as chair and A. K. Sandoval-Strausz (Penn State Univ.) as co-chair of the 2024 Program Committee.
- Approved the addition of regularly scheduled Council online teleconferences of one to two hours in length, one each in the spring and the fall.
- Amended Bylaw 9 Pursuant to Article V, Section 1.2, to allow Council to convene online teleconference meetings with at least one week notice to address urgent business when the president or executive director deems it necessary.
- Approved the German Studies Association as an affiliate of the AHA.
- Commended the AHA staff for their work on the 2022 annual meeting.
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