RACE: Are We So Different? posters now available on the AAA Online Store. Order your poster today at the special AAA member price of $4.99.
Today’s guest blog post is by NHA Executive Director, Stephen Kidd.
Dear Humanities Advocate,
This morning, the House subcommittee that oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities proposed to fund NEH at its lowest level since 1972. If enacted, this $8 million cut would bring NEH’s funding level to just $138 million for 2015.
It is time to stop the steady erosion of NEH’s capacity!
The subcommittee will be voting on the proposed cuts tomorrrow, so it is essential that you act now. Please contact your Member of Congress and urge them to oppose the proposed cut to the NEH.
Click here to send our message to your Representative today. They are waiting to hear from you.
Thanks for your help!
Stephen Kidd, Ph.D.
National Humanities Alliance
Today’s guest blog post is by COSSA Executive Director, Wendy A. Naus.
On Wednesday, May 21, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will mark up the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act, or FIRST Act. As previously reported, this legislation proposes massive cuts to NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate, among other problematic provisions impacting the scientific community. COSSA has issued an Action Alert encouraging members to write to their House Representative urging them to vote “NO” on the bill.
Please take a moment to weigh in with your Member of Congress. Thank you!
In collaboration with the American Schools for Oriental Research, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Society of American Archaeology, AAA President Monica Heller expresses support for the proposed Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt that will be considered by CPAC at its upcoming public meeting on June 2 of this year.
Below is an excerpt, read the entire letter here:
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our collective support for the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt that will be considered by CPAC at its upcoming public meeting on June 2, 2014. Our organizations represent the primary professional bodies for the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and Egyptology as well as many interested members of the public. Our collective membership of over 230,000 has a strong interest in the long-term research, preservation, presentation, and safeguarding of the heritage of Egypt.
Modern-day Egypt is host to some of the oldest and most significant archaeological remains in the world. The geographic diversity and temporal representation of the archaeological and historical material of Egypt covers fabled monuments, such as those related to the rich Pharaonic past and the Roman and Byzantine periods, as well as places and complexes of the Islamic, Ottoman, and Christian inhabitants, many still in use today. Whether woven into the urban fabric of the cities of Cairo or Alexandria, or situated in the rural areas of the Fayum, Sinai, and Upper Egypt, the cultural landscapes of Egypt represent a palimpsest of time. The proposed MoU imposes import restrictions on archaeological material from the Early Dynastic Period through the New Kingdom period as well as on the more recent Islamic material, ending with the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517.
Our call for action under this MoU recognizes the significant place of history from Egypt in our collective lives, from the plazas of Rome to the halls of U.S. institutions; from the covers of National Geographic, Archaeology magazine, and the New York Times to the stories told by National Public Radio and Fox News. The indelible position of Egypt in our understanding of the ancient history of writing and medicine, as well as the histories of museum practice, the preservation movement, and tourism development, notably in Cairo and at Abu Simbel, all offer sound evidence for the importance of protecting the Egyptian past. An MoU offers further opportunity to expand cultural relationships between the United States and Egypt. The MoU enables and encourages collaborative initiatives that aim to support research, to preserve archaeological and historical places, to promote educational exchange programs, and to quell activities that contribute to the illicit trafficking of Egyptian heritage.
Read the entire letter here.
April 22, 2014 -The Supreme Court upheld a Michigan voter initiative that banned racial preferences in admissions to the state’s public universities in the case Schuette v. Bamn. The American Anthropological Association filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in this case, supporting the universities’ use of race in admissions. A considerable body of research provides convincing evidence that student body diversity promotes learning outcomes, and better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and society.
AAA Executive Director, Dr. Edward Liebow said “today’s Supreme Court decision suggests a world view that race has no place in such important life altering events as university admissions choices.” He argues on the contrary, “this decision flies in the face of social science research that shows how race matters.”
The American Anthropological Association’s public education project, RACE: Are We So Different? helps to promote a broad understanding of race and human variation, including the importance of diversity. The RACE Project has produced to date an award-winning public education program entitled RACE Are We So Different? The program includes a traveling museum exhibit, an interactive website, and educational materials.
To AAA members:
This letter was sent on March 31st, 2014, to the National Geographic Society, National Geographic Channels and National Geographic Channel International to protest a program aired in Europe (with a trailer briefly available on YouTube), by the presidents of six anthropological and archeological associations based in the United States and Europe, including the AAA. The effort was spearheaded by Jeff Altschul, President of the Society for American Archeology. The content of the letter provides, I think, sufficient information for you to understand why this program is of concern to all anthropologists. Shortly before the letter was sent, Dr. Altschul received the following statement from John Francis, Vice-President of National Geographic:
“National Geographic Channels International, in consultation with colleagues at the National Geographic Society, announced today that it will pull the series Nazi War Diggers from its schedule indefinitely while questions raised in recent days about allegations about the program can be properly reviewed. While we support the goal of the series, which is to tell the stories of long lost and forgotten soldiers, those left behind and still unaccounted for, and illuminate history working in concert with local governments and authorities, we also take seriously the questions that have been asked. National Geographic Channels is committed to engaging viewers in the exploration of the world and all of us associated with National Geographic are committed to doing our work with the highest standards. We know the same holds true for our producing partners, including our partners on this series.”
We look forward to their response to our letter, and will indicate to them our willingness to work with them to ensure their programming meets the highest professional standards.
President, American Anthropological Association
Filed under: Advocacy, Anthro in the Media, Association Business | Tagged: #Diggergate2014, American Anthropological Association, Archaeological Institute of America, archaeology, Monica Heller, National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel International, National Geographic Society, Nazi War Diggers, Society for American Archaeology, Society for Historical Archaeology | 3 Comments »