Historians plan to introduce resolution against speech codes at AHA meeting in Atlanta

Historians in the News

At the upcoming Atlanta conference of the American Historical Association, a group of historians will propose a strongly worded resolution (shown below) opposing the use of speech codes to restrict academic freedom. The vote will take place at the business meeting for the general membership on Saturday, January 6, 2007 in the Fulton/Cobb Room at the Atlanta Hilton. To get the resolution on the agenda, however, twenty-five paid-up members have to sign it before October 13.

Those AHA members who are willing to do so should write as soon as possible to David T. Beito at dbeito@bama.ua.edu Please respond today. There is no margin for error. RESOLUTION ON SPEECH CODES AND ACADEMIC FREEDOM Whereas, The American Historical Association has already gone on record against the threat to academic freedom posed by the Academic Bill of Rights; and v Whereas, Free and open discourse is essential to the success of research and learning on campus; and

Whereas, Administrators and others have used campus speech codes and associated non-academic criteria to improperly restrict faculty choices on curriculum, course content, and personnel decisions; and

Whereas, Administrators and others have also used speech codes to restrict free and open discourse for students and faculty alike through such methods as"free speech zones" and censorship of campus publications; therefore be it

Resolved, The American Historical Association opposes the use of speech codes to restrict academic freedom.

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