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AUPresses Joins Statement Opposing Restrictions on Teaching about Racism and American History

Read the statement at PEN America >

AUPresses joins 80 organizations, including the American Association of University Professors, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America, in a statement of “firm opposition to a spate of legislative proposals being introduced across the country that target academic lessons, presentations, and discussions of racism and related issues in American history in schools, colleges and universities.” 

These proposals are under consideration or already passed in more than twenty US states. Many include explicit efforts to ban the teaching of the award-winning 1619 Project, created by acclaimed journalist and AUPresses 2021 opening plenary speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, and are also marked by a malignant campaign to reframe the important scholarly tool of critical race theory as a new white supremacist dogwhistle. While both the 1619 Project and critical race theory have been the subject of vigorous debate within communities of scholars and teachers, this is—and should be—true of all rigorous scholarship on slavery, settler colonialism, or indeed, any topic of human inquiry. 

Attempts to ban frank discussion of our shared national and global past, or to legislate against critical tools of humanistic scholarship, are antithetical to the Association’s core values of intellectual freedom and integrity. Materially, our members publish serious and well-regarded work on slavery and racism in US history, on the impacts of empire and settler colonialism around the world, on critical race theory in legal history, and, indeed, the scholarship of several of the 1619 Project essayists.

A growing list of signatories will be hosted by PEN America.

A New Resource

May 23, 2022—The American Historical Association’s Teaching History with Integrity initiative promotes the principles and practices of historical work in the face of these challenges to educators. The initiative supports evidence-based, professional history through careful research on what is actually taught, short videos on the controversies over teaching histories of American racism, and informational materials for legislators and school boards.

Teaching with Integrity: Historians Speak

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आम्ही अशा जागतिक प्रकाशक समाजाच्या अत्यावश्यक भूमिकेची प्रगती करतो ज्यांच मुख्य कार्य शैक्षणिक श्रेष्ठतेची व ज्ञानाच्या जोपासण्याची हमी देणे आहे.

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Marathi