In light of recent protests by students and faculty on college and university campuses across the United States, the American Historical Association has issued a statement “deplor[ing] recent decisions among college and university administrators to draw on local and state police forces to evict peaceful demonstrators.”

The AHA urges everyone involved to learn from that history and turn away from the violent escalation we are now seeing on campuses…

We…understand that loud and strongly worded differences of opinion on important, sometimes existential, issues can create a deeply uncomfortable, even disturbing environment for some community members. But as historians we emphasize that encountering ideas that might make us uncomfortable is central to the educational process. Suppressing the expression of those ideas by community members engaged in peaceful protest doesn’t make our campuses safer. It makes them weaker, and more dangerous places to be.

Statement Approved by AHA Council, May 2024

Several ACLS member societies have endorsed the statement, including:

American Association for Italian Studies
American Association of Geographers
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Theatre Research
American Sociological Association
College Art Association
Dance Studies Association
Linguistic Society of America
Medieval Academy of America
North American Conference on British Studies
Oral History Association
Shakespeare Association of America
Sixteenth Century Society
Society for French Historical Studies
World History Association

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