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  • July 08, 2020 2:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ASEH endorsed a letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement concerning its decision to end visa exemptions for international students. The Modern Language Association drafted the letter and sent it this afternoon to Matthew T. Albence, the deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The letter text and signatories are here. Full text below.

    Letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement Concerning Its Decision to End Visa Exemptions for International Students

    In July 2020, the Modern Language Association and other members of the American Council of Learned Societies sent this letter to Matthew T. Albence, the deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    8 July 2020
    Deputy Director Matthew W. Albence
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    By email to

    Dear Deputy Director Albence,

    The higher education community represented by the undersigned disciplinary societies urges Immigration and Customs Enforcement to revisit its decision to end temporary visa exemptions for international students whose upcoming coursework will be entirely online. Colleges and universities alike depend on the presence, physical and online, of international visa holders, and many undergraduate and, especially, graduate students cannot complete their work without access to the archival, library, laboratory, and technical resources of their institutions, whether classes are being held entirely online or not. 

    International students are an important element of our institutions’ vitality and diversity, and the exemptions that were in place for spring and summer under the Student Exchange and Visitor Program allowed many students to remain connected to their US institutions during this unsettled time. Revoking those exemptions now will end the possibility of US study for international students, affecting both their futures and the futures of the institutions that have depended on and benefited from their contributions. These new restrictions will affect the futures of international students and will as profoundly affect the futures of the colleges and universities that depend on and benefit from their contributions. The increased financial burdens on US universities will be significant.

    Please reinstate the temporary visa exemptions for international students and faculty members while we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, including at least the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. The U.S. system of higher education has long attracted students from all over the world, and for good reason. Please do not refuse access to our colleges and universities for the estimated one million international students who would be affected by this change in policy.

    Thank you.


    African Studies Association

    American Academy of Religion

    American Anthropological Association 

    American Comparative Literature Association Executive Committee

    American Folklore Society

    American Historical Association

    American Musicological Society

    American Political Science Association

    American Schools of Oriental Research

    American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies

    American Society for Environmental History

    American Sociological Association 

    American Studies Association

    Archaeological Institute of America

    Association for Asian Studies

    Association for Jewish Studies Executive Committee

    Association for Research on Nonprofit Associations and Voluntary Action

    Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

    Bibliographical Society of America

    Latin American Studies Association 

    Medieval Academy of America

    Middle East Studies Association

    Modern Language Association

    National Communication Association 

    National Council of Teachers of English

    National Council on Public History

    North American Conference on British Studies

    Organization of American Historians

    Phi Beta Kappa Society

    Shakespeare Association of America

    Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

    Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study

    Society for Ethnomusicology

    Society for Biblical Literature 

    Society for Classical Studies

    Society for Music Theory

    Society of Architectural Historians

    World History Association

  • June 22, 2020 11:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Members and Colleagues,

    The American Society for Environmental History has decided to postpone our April 2021 conference in Boston because we are not confident that Covid-19 will allow us to hold a large, in-person meeting this coming spring. We are extremely disappointed that we will not be able to see everyone. We are going to use next year as an opportunity to connect through regional meetings and local events that bring environmental historians together and environmental history to a wider audience - Environmental History Week.

    Environmental History Week is an international celebration of environmental history, organized by environmental historians of all stripes to foster scholarly collaboration, academic research, teaching and public awareness of environmental history. It will take place April 19-25, 2021, and will coincide with Earth Day.

    Please join us by organizing an event in your area, and sending information to us so we can publicize it on the Environmental History Week events calendar on the website. You can help diversify environmental history by inviting colleagues, scholars, and community-members who do not normally attend environmental history conferences to participate. Find collaborators by posting on H-Environment, other H-Net lists, and social media channels listed on the Environmental History Week website. ASEH will help connect people and organizations, and promote and amplify the events and good works in your communities.

    Environmental History Week events can take many forms. In person, face-to-face events could be all-day mini-conferences; environmental history lectures on a campus or at a public library or museum; student presentations at a student research symposium; film series with audience discussions; field trips or tours, or hands-on projects in collaboration with nonprofits in your area; or a teacher training program for local K-12, community college, or graduate students. Digital events could be virtual conferences conducted on an online, video conference platform; streamed films with online discussions; self-guided field trips; or a virtual museum exhibit. Programs for all audiences are welcome. If you have other ideas for events, please share them. ASEH will maintain a calendar of affiliated events and promote all Environmental History Week activities. Check for regular updates and information

    Environmental History Week replaces the 2021 American Society for Environmental History conference in Boston. We are very grateful to the Boston Local Arrangements Committee for all their work. ASEH's annual meeting will return in 2022 in Eugene, Oregon; in 2023 ASEH will meet in Boston. In the meantime, Environmental History Week will provide rich opportunities for intellectual exchange, and for engaging the public, K-12 teachers, and scholars in adjacent fields in an era when global pandemic makes a large, international conference risky and unwise. We also hope that Environmental History Week will generate models for low-carbon alternatives to large academic conferences.

    Please join us as we celebrate environmental history and help us bring our interests and knowledge to a broader public.

    Thank you for your support.

    American Society for Environmental History

  • June 05, 2020 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ASEH has signed the AHA Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States.

    The AHA has issued a statement urging a reckoning with the United States' deplorable record of violence against African Americans, a record that stretches back centuries. The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers stands within this sordid national tradition of racist violence. It is past time for Americans to confront our nation's past, using insights from history to inform our actions as we work to create a more just society. 

  • June 03, 2020 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear ASEH Members,

    I feel torn apart by recent events.  The Covid-19 epidemic and job layoffs have caused terrible suffering in communities of color.  In the midst of that crisis came the horrific killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.  Those murders are, of course, only the most recent examples of a long history of racism and injustice toward African Americans in the United States.  Protestors have flooded into our streets to call for justice, and in too many cases police have responded to peaceful protest with violence. 

    In the midst of a terrible time, I am writing to say to all our members—and especially African Americans and members of other oppressed groups—that ASEH stands with you and condemns racism, injustice, and brutality.  I do not pretend to know what it feels like to be African American, but anyone can see that we live in a world of pain.  I too feel anger and despair.

    Now, as ever, we must work diligently to enact our principles of equity and inclusion in ASEH, educational institutions, and all of society.  I encourage all of us to contact colleagues, even by brief texts or emails, to let them know we support them.  We need to be ready to listen and respond to colleagues who voice their experiences with racism and injustice.  If there is a particular way in which I can help you, please let me know.  


    Edmund Russell

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