ACLS has a long history of convening scholars, administrators, learned society directors, leaders of national and international academies, and public figures to share ideas and solve problems. As outlined in our Strategic Priorities, ACLS seeks action on major challenges facing humanistic studies and continues to expand our capacity to serve as a key resource for societies, scholars, and administrators, with a focus on students and scholars who have not historically had a seat at the table in discussions about institutional change.

Situated in the middle of the flows of ideas and people across the higher education landscape, ACLS works to advance what we call the “new academy”—where a vibrantly curious, diverse professoriate can pursue scholarly inquiry with creativity and a sense of wonder; where collaboration and mentorship are valued; and where faculty are rewarded for their efforts to connect with an emerging generation burdened by financial worries and the pandemic. Through higher education initiatives designed to accelerate institutional change by improving practices and processes that were designed in and for a different age, we hope to encourage creativity and experimentation, recognize the full range of scholars’ work, and recruit and retain a more diverse community of scholars.

Fostering humanistic scholarship of the highest quality means expanding the topics, methods, and forms of writing we humanists value as scholars; increasing the number and types of people we reach; and supporting those most in need. We are especially concerned about PhDs lacking full-time employment; students and faculty at resource-constrained institutions; and scholars of color and first generation scholars, still too few in every discipline.

ACLS Strategic Priorities: 2020-2024

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