ACLS is angry and saddened by the recent increase in incidents of violence against Asians and people of Asian descent in the United States and around the world.
We find ourselves in a moment where, for good reason, we and many other Americans have been and continue to be focused intently on anti-Black racism. But we are reminded by the horrific events in Georgia this week and increased acts of violence over this past year linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, of the deep prejudices affecting Asians in this country. These and other attacks against the Asian-American community represent the latest chapter in our history of xenophobia, which tends to flare during times of crisis.
As an organization invested in supporting and advancing the study of what it means to be human, we believe the humanities and social sciences provide essential learning needed to unlock understanding of our historical pasts, good and bad, and help cultivate knowledgeable empathy for all of us in the present and the future.
ACLS is committed to elevating perspectives on the human experience that have traditionally been marginalized or ignored. Our work and practices are firmly grounded in values led by inclusive excellence and anti-racism.
We encourage educators, lawmakers, and community leaders to take this moment to listen closely to Asian and Asian-American voices and work with them in stemming this latest scourge of prejudice and violence. In the coming days, we will launch a new scholarly resource page focused on histories of anti-Asian bias, as well as the movements that have stood against them. This new page will appear as part of the “Race and Society” resource we first published in Summer 2020.
Our thoughts are with the families of the victims and with the communities impacted, including members of our ACLS family, among which there are many scholars and students of Asian history and life, as well as staff, members, and partners carrying the extra burden of processing these hateful events personally while being asked to operate normally on other fronts.
We commit to learning more and we encourage you to learn more about ways to support anti-violence and anti-hate efforts against the Asian community:
The following ACLS Member Societies have signed on to this statement:
African Studies Association
American Anthropological Association
American Comparative Literature Association
American Folklore Society
American Historical Association
American Musicological Society
American Philosophical Association
American Political Science Association
American Society for Environmental History
American Society for Theatre Research
American Studies Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Association of College and Research Libraries
Association of Research Libraries
Center for Research Libraries
College Art Association
Dance Studies Association
German Studies Association
International Center of Medieval Art
Middle East Studies Association
Modern Language Association
National Communication Association
National Council of Teachers of English
National Council on Public History
Oral History Association
Organization of American Historians
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Renaissance Society of America
Rhetoric Society of America
Shakespeare Association of America
Sixteenth Century Society & Conference
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Society for Ethnomusicology
Society for Music Theory
Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Biblical Literature
World History Association
The following ACLS Member Societies have also issued statements on this issue: