Actions by the AHA Council
January 2021 to June 2021
Through email conversation from January 6 to May 26, 2021, and at teleconferences on June 8–9, 2021, the Council of the American Historical Association took the following actions:
- Approved a statement condemning the report from “The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission,” which failed to engage a rich and vibrant body of scholarship that has evolved over the last seven decades.
- Sent a letter requesting the California State Legislature amend the list of exceptions to AB 1887 to permit state-funded travel for research and educational initiatives related to the discipline of history, broadly conceived, including LGBTQ culture, health, law, and politics.
- Sent a letter of concern to the University of Evansville regarding the proposed removal of the history major and termination of two tenured history professors.
- Sent a letter urging the University of Kansas to reject a Kansas Board of Regents policy that would “temporarily allow public institutions of higher education to terminate or suspend employees, including tenured faculty, without declaring a financial emergency.”
- Signed on to an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) letter to the University of Kansas Board of Regents.
- Approved the nominations of Erin Greenwald (Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities) and Karissa Haugeberg (Tulane Univ.) to co-chair the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2022 annual meeting in New Orleans.
- Approved a statement opposing a policy issued by India’s Ministry of Higher Education that requires Indian scholars and administrators to obtain approval from the Ministry of External Affairs to convene online or virtual international conferences, seminars, or trainings.
- Signed on to an Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies statement calling for an end to the trial of historians Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, who had been charged with libel for their 2018 co-edited book, Night without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland.
- Sent a letter to President Andrzej Duda and other Polish leaders calling for an end to the trial of historians Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking.
- Approved a statement expressing alarm regarding the San Francisco School Names Advisory Committee’s process in proposing changing the names of 44 public schools.
- Signed on to a Middle Eastern Studies Association statement regarding the attacks on the integrity of higher education in Turkey by the Erdoğan regime.
- Sent a letter to the University Press of Kansas Board of Trustees expressing alarm about financial cuts and the press’s possible elimination.
- Endorsed the Educating for American Democracy initiative, a multi-institution, cross-partisan initiative funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the US Department of Education and involving hundreds of historians, K–12 teachers, education policymakers, and museum educators.
- Sent a letter to President János Áder of the Republic of Hungary, expressing “deep concern about recent government actions against the Institute of Political History.”
- Endorsed the reintroduction by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) of a Resolution Recognizing the Centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
- Signed on to a letter sent by the ACLS to members of the Iowa legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds encouraging lawmakers to oppose House File 496 and Senate File 41, which would remove the status of tenure for professors and discontinue the practice at Iowa’s three public universities.
- Sent a letter to John Carroll University leadership expressing concern about the recent approval by the Board of Directors of a “budgetary hardship” amendment to the university’s Faculty Handbook that would eliminate tenure protections.
- Sent a letter to the City Council of New Orleans expressing support for the consultative work of the New Orleans City Council Street Renaming Commission and praising its final report, “a remarkable document of collaborative historical research.”
- Sent a letter to King Mohamed VI and Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani of Morocco protesting the imprisonment of Maâti Monjib, historian at the University of Mohammed V, Rabat.
- Signed on to an ACLS statement condemning anti-Asian violence.
- Approved a statement deploring recent incidents of violence and harassment aimed at Asians and Asian Americans.
- Signed on to an amicus brief in Jill Lepore v. the United States regarding the release of materials from a grand jury proceeding related to the Pentagon Papers.
- Sent a letter to the president and provost of Salem State University protesting the proposed termination of tenured faculty. The AHA also sent copies of the letter to various media in the Salem area.
- Signed on to a letter drafted by Open the Government requesting the reevaluation of the Department of Homeland Security records schedules authorizing the destruction of records of abuse, neglect, and misconduct.
- Joined a group of ACLS organizations in writing a letter to convention bureaus in Georgia regarding our unwillingness to sign future contracts for conferences in Georgia as long as the new voting restrictions remain in force.
- Signed on to a Coalition for International Education letter regarding enhancements to Title VI of the Higher Education Act.
- Signed on to a Middle Eastern Studies Association statement opposing Florida’s HB 233, a bill that would allow students in classrooms to record without the consent of their professors; it also mandates the State Board of Education and the Board of Governors to conduct an assessment of the “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” at every institution in the Florida College System.
- Signed on to a Coalition for International Education letter supporting increased funding for the US Department of Education’s international and foreign language education programs.
- Sent letters to Messiah University leadership urging against eliminating the history department and merging it with a politics department.
- Sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and members of the Texas Senate urging them to reject Texas House Bill 3979, which would prevent the teaching of “divisive concepts” in public schools and would likely endanger Advanced Placement and dual-enrollment programs.
- Approved a statement opposing efforts by state legislatures to restrict the teaching of LGBTQ+ history in elementary, middle, and high schools.
- Approved a joint statement, along with the American Association of University Professors, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America, voicing “firm opposition” to legislation, introduced in at least 20 states, that would restrict the discussion of “divisive concepts” in public education institutions.
- Adopted the Policy Regarding the Changing of Authors’ Names in AHA Publications.
- Updated AHA Bylaw 4, Pursuant to Article IV, Section 6.4, to add five new slots to the Board of Editors of the American Historical Review.
- Approved the following nominations to the American Historical Review Board of Editors to begin three-year terms in July 2021: Shelly Chan, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (East Asia and the Pacific World); Kalani Craig, Indiana Univ. (Digital History/Methodology); Atina Grossman, The Cooper Union (Modern Europe); Joshua L. Reid, Univ. of Washington (19th-Century US); Eric Tagliacozzo, Cornell Univ. (Southeast Asia); and Wendy Warren, Princeton Univ. (Early America and the Atlantic World).
- Approved the operating budget for fiscal year 2022.
- Approved the minutes of the January 2021 Council meetings.
- Approved the interim minutes of the Council from January through May 2021.
- Approved the disbanding of the State Standards Ad Hoc Committee.
- Appointed the following members of the 2023 Annual Meeting Program Committee: Shelly Chan (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz); Sheetal Chhabria (Connecticut Coll.); Craig Coenen (Mercer County Community Coll.); Edward Cohn (Grinnell Coll.); Ruben Flores (Univ. of Rochester); Jessica Johnson (Johns Hopkins Univ.); Rosalind Remer (Drexel Univ. and Lenfest Center for Cultural Partnerships); and Laura Wangerin (Seton Hall Univ.).
- Updated the description of the Equity Awards to streamline the nomination process and clarify language.
- Approved the nominations for the 2021 Awards for Scholarly Distinction (names to be released at a later date).
- Approved the nominee for the inaugural AHA John Lewis Award for Public Service to the Discipline of History (name to be released at a later date).
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