URGENT: AHA Members, Please Sign Our Resolution!

Dear H-PAD supporters and friends,


We have until October 1 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.  

Also, please forward this email to your colleagues and any historians you know who may be AHA members.  We need to get the word out as widely and quickly as possible.

Van Gosse, for H-PAD


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.