URGENT: AHA Members, Please Sign Our Resolution!

We have until October 1, 2023 to submit this resolution for consideration at the Business Meeting during the AHA Annual Meeting, January 4-7, 2024 in San Francisco.  AHA leaders have been defending “the right to learn,” and this resolution urges all Association members to get involved.

We need 227 members (2% of the total membership) to sign the resolution, so as to get it on the agenda for the Business Meeting.

If you are (or will be as of October 1) a paid-up AHA member, please send your signature and institutional affiliation to me at van.gosse@fandm.edu.  

In Defense of the Right to Learn

Whereas, Council’s Guiding Principles on Taking a Public Stance (2017) specify that “In a wide range of situations, whether involving the rights and careers of individual historians, historical practice in diverse venues, or the role of history in public culture, the AHA has the responsibility to take public stands.”

Whereas, Council further stipulated, as an example, “When public or private authorities…censor or seek to prevent the writing, publication, exhibition, teaching, or other practices of history or seek to punish historians…for conclusions they have reached and evidence they have unearthed as a result of legitimate historical inquiry,” mandating that “The AHA should defend historians, regardless of institutional affiliations or lack thereof, against efforts to limit their freedom of expression, or to punish them for ideas, grounded in legitimate historical inquiry, they have expressed or material they have uncovered.”

Whereas, numerous state legislatures and officials are censoring the teaching of history in public schools and universities;

Whereas, said legislation mandates the distortion of scholarship about such central topics as slavery, the dispossession of indigenous peoples, and LGBTQ people;

Whereas, under pressure from partisan groups, school boards across the country are forcing teachers to censor their treatment of these issues in their classes and libraries are removing canonical books in literature and history from their shelves;

Whereas, teachers and librarians who resist these measures have faced personal attacks and threats;

Therefore, the Association calls on its members to:

  • Support AHA actions to uphold accuracy in history teaching;
  • Organize on your campus against the attacks on history and historians;
  • Defend academic freedom and job security for history teachers at every level.
  • Write editorials and letters-to-the-editor defending teachers, librarians, and school board members;
  • Testify before legislative bodies and school boards about the right to learn.

Culture Wars Against Education Archive
The multifaceted culture wars against education constitute attacks how history and social studies are taught and written. They are attempts to severely restrict or eliminate teaching about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ issues. They are an assault on academic freedom in higher education and on professional autonomy and responsibility in K-12 schools. They reveal political efforts to undermine public education in the United States on all levels.

Historians for Peace and Democracy has compiled this archive of materials on the past and present of the culture wars and responses to them. We hope this archive will help teachers and students on all levels educate themselves about the current crisis and find constructive ways to respond to it. The archive provides a variety of resources that will be useful as well for journalists, commentators, politicians, and the general public. Contents will be updated regularly.

Click here to download the archive as a PDF.

H-PAD Steering Committee member Molly Nolan has published a valuable article in Public Seminar outlining the range of “Culture Wars” work of H-PAD.

H-PAD Statement on the Faculty Strike at Rutgers University (April 11, 2023)

On behalf of our 1,400 members and supporters, the Steering Committee of Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD) expresses our unequivocal solidarity with the faculty of Rutgers.  We stand with you in the fight for justice and equality for all teaching professionals, especially the contingent faculty who educate so many Rutgers students.  We urge all of our supporters and friends to immediately write President Jonathan Holloway, and demand that he cease all threats of strike-breaking and sanctions, and meet the just demands of the Rutgers strikers.

H-PAD’s Steering Committee

Marc Becker
Mara Dodge
Carolyn (Rusti) Eisenberg
Van Gosse
Molly Nolan
Jim O’Brien
Margaret Power
Ellen Schrecker
Andor Skotnes
Kevin Young


H-PAD has enthusiastically signed on to the campaign against what PEN calls educational gag orders– i.e. all the state laws banning the teaching about race, sexuality, and historical truth. Read more…

American democracy is under attack as never before – and educators at every level are on the front lines of the new culture wars.

Articles, Documents, Statements on Opposition to the Right-Wing Culture Wars

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