ASECS STATEMENT ON CORONAVIRUS AND RACISM
The ASECS Executive Board has unanimously endorsed the following statement prepared by the Society’s DEIA (Disability, Equity, Inclusiveness, and Accessibility) Advisory Committee:
The CDC has recently declared that the spread of the coronavirus is a public health emergency of international concern. We trust that our members are seeking information from experts, following national guidelines, and taking personal care of your health. We also enlist your support as educators and as scholars of the eighteenth century in addressing the racism, xenophobia, and nationalism that have emerged in the wake of the current health concerns. Viruses, of course, do not discriminate by nationality, region, gender, race or ethnicity. Yet in ways reminiscent of past discourses of plague and “yellow peril,” many Asians and Asian-Americans are once again experiencing discrimination, hostility, and exclusion both in person and on social media platforms. Suspicion and hostility have also fallen on individuals who choose to wear masks in public whether for cultural reasons or from concerns for personal health. We ask all those attending the annual meeting or engaging with colleagues on line to ensure a fully professional environment for every member of our Society during this health crisis and to be cognizant of the burden that persons of Asian identities may be experiencing at this time. ASECS condemns all prejudicial and racialized responses to the current viral outbreak.
ASECS SIGNS MULTI-SOCIETY LETTER ENDORSING AAA'S STATEMENT ON TARGETING CULTURAL SITES FOR A MILITARY ACTIVITY
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies has joined the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and other learned societies in calling upon people throughout the US and, indeed, around the world to remind the President of the United States that targeting cultural sites for military activity is a war crime except under the narrowest of circumstances, and cannot be justified under any circumstances. The full text of the statement is available at
ASECS SIGNS MULTI-SOCIETY LETTER ENDORSING AHA'S STATEMENT ON DOMESTIC TERRORISM, BIGOTRY AND HISTORY
ASECS has joined with other learned societies in endorsing the American Historical Association's statement on domestic terrorism, bigotry and history.
The American Historical Association expects the following statement to stimulate more questions than answers. The Association hopes these questions make their way into classrooms, libraries, museums, city council meetings, community centers, and even coffee shops, wherever people are trying to connect with each other to make historical sense of our current moment. Read the full statement here: https://www.historians.org/news-and-advocacy/aha-advocacy/aha-statement-on-domestic-terrorism-bigotry-and-history?fbclid=IwAR25Hk9jR2TdJ-XoyfSbfI4oGPeq-kctxWG4_sm2dpLYxlu6pUhtXtYmKKA
ASECS SIGNS MULTI-SOCIETY LETTER ON ANNUAL SUBSIDY PROVIDED TO STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS BY STANFORD UNIVERSITY
On 13 May 2019, ASECS along with 15 other learned societies, issued a joint statement in opposition to the annual subsidy provided to Stanford University Press by Stanford University.
"University presses play a vital role in helping young scholars present their new ideas to the world, breaking new intellectual ground. They are thus ideally positioned to recognize emergent research areas, and to draw intellectual and public attention to new fields of inquiry, creating new audiences for new conversations as they evolve. A strong university press is a vital element of any major research university, and Stanford University Press, with its excellent reputation across a broad range of scholarly fields, enhances the reach and impact of the university which sponsors it..."
Read the full statement here: Society Statement
ASECS SIGNS MULTI-SOCIETY LETTER ON PROPOSED PROGRAM CUTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
On 26 April 2019, ASECS along with 15 other learned societies, issued a joint statement in opposition to the proposed program cuts at the University of Tulsa.
University administrators recently recommended eliminating a number of undergraduate majors and minors, graduate programs, and doctoral programs, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, in order to expand programs in the STEM fields.
In issuing the statement, ASECS stands with other scholarly societies in recognizing the threat to humanities programs at the University of Tulsa and urging the administration to reconsider its recommendations.
Read the letter here:
ASECS JOINS LETTER PROTESTING UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA BUDGET CUTS
On March 4, the American Society for Association joined 32 other learned societies in sending a letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy and congressional representatives of the state of Alaska to express concern over the proposed $134 million reduction in state funding for the University of Alaska. The letter explained the troubling consequences of such cuts to Alaskan high education and urged state leadership to reconsider.
Read the letter here: http://documents.acls.org/Learned-Societies/Work-of-the-Societies/Statements-by-Member-Societies/Letter-to-Alaskan-officials-re-proposed-budget-cuts-March2019.pdf
ASECS POSITION STATEMENT - IMMIGRATION BAN (FEBRUARY 2017)
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies unequivocally condemns as both unAmerican and unEnlightened the administration’s Executive Order suspending entry of refugees into the United States and blocking entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries even when they hold visas. As scholars of the era in which the United States was founded and its core principles of equality and justice established, as intellectuals committed to free inquiry, and as educators who recognize that the contributions of students and colleagues from around the world foster our highest intellectual values and promote our highest goals for achieving knowledge and understanding across national, ethnic, and religious boundaries, we call upon government officials to reverse this order and restore the principles that have guided this nation for more than two centuries. In this difficult and divisive time, we rededicate ourselves to principles of inclusion within our own Society and extend our support to those who are directly affected by these and other discriminatory practices including those by our own government. Our commitment to open and respectful intellectual exchange among people with differing and varied perspectives, which is another of the Enlightenment’s great legacies, is reaffirmed each year in our annual meeting. Should any member of ASECS be barred from entering the United States to attend our annual meeting, ASECS is committed to providing an alternative method for presenting their work.
NEW PRIVACY POLICIES
The European Union has adopted rules for protecting the privacy of an individual’s data and also for allowing that person greater control in determining how their data is used. These new protocols, which go into effect 25 May 2018, are known collectively as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
STATEMENT ON PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS
Along with two dozen other learned societies, ASECS has signed this statement on the proposed program cuts to Humanities programs at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
You can access the statement here: http://www.apaonline.org/resource/resmgr/docs/UWSP_Statement.pdf
TAX LEGISLATION UNDER CONSIDERATION BY CONGRESS (22 NOVEMBER 2017)
Tax legislation under consideration by Congress would designate graduate tuition waivers as taxable income. Although ASECS members will agree or disagree with many components of this wide-ranging and complex legislation, learned societies with which ASECS is affiliated, including the American Historical Association, the Modern Language Association, and the College Art Association, have issued statements or contacted their members with concerns about the impact of this particular provision. More information about the proposal to tax graduate tuition waivers is available on the blog of the National Humanities Alliance. ASECS urges its members to learn how this proposed legislation could create an unsupportable burden for our graduate student members while preventing future generations from navigating the financial pathways of graduate education—and, if they share this concern, to contact their members of Congress.
ASECS EXECUTIVE BOARD STATEMENT ON HARASSMENT AND ABUSE (10 NOVEMBER 2017)
Along with fellow members of ASECS, the Executive Board read with horror Professor Seo-Young Chu’s essay "A Refuge for Jae-in Doe: Fugues in the Key of English Major," published in Entropy on November 3, 2017, which detailed her rape and abuse at the hands of the late Stanford University Professor and ASECS member Jay Fliegelman. Last year, when this incident was brought to the Society's attention, we contacted Professor Chu, and with her permission brought to the ASECS Board and the Graduate Student Caucus, which confers our Graduate Mentorship Award, a proposal to remove his name from this award. The letter Professor Chu addressed to the Board, and which she has now published, moved us deeply. The proposal was accepted unanimously and the name immediately removed from the award. The Board deeply regrets the pain caused to Professor Chu, and perhaps to others, with the initial naming of the award. Professor Chu’s extraordinary courage in bringing the details of her experience to public attention now allows us to make clear the reasons for the name change, and we are grateful that she has called upon our Society more fully to address the problem of harassment and other forms of predatory behavior.
The ASECS Board unequivocally condemns all forms of harassment, discrimination, and abuse, including mistreatment based on sex, race or status. In the months ahead we will be developing policies for incorporation into our bylaws that make clear that harassment and discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. This process will require the commitment of our entire membership to join together in a firm endorsement of our standards and values. On behalf of our Society, we accept this charge, and we thank Professor Chu and our colleagues for their eloquence and passion in urging us forward.
Executive Board of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Susan S. Lanser, President
Dena Goodman, Past President
Melissa Hyde, First Vice President
Jeffrey S. Ravel, Second Vice President
Jill Bradbury, Treasurer
Lisa Berglund, Executive Director
Jenna M. Gibbs, Member at Large
Julia Simon, Member at Large
Lisa Freeman, Member at Large
Tony C. Brown, Member at Large
Mary Terrall, Member at Large
Misty G. Anderson, Member at Large
The statement can also be accessed here: