The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR), one of the oldest academic associations, announced Tuesday that it will not allow “all-male and all white” panels at its annual conference.
“Finally, display diversity in your selection of personnel,” the rules for this year’s SHEAR conference advise. “It is no longer acceptable to submit a panel that’s all-male and all-white, but these are not the only forms of diversity we look for.”
With this new measure, SHEAR wants to promote diversity and encourage the participation from different genders, educational background and location in the conventions
These kinds of rules do not promote scholarly discussion about American history between 1776 and 1861, which is what the panels are supposed to be doing. By prohibiting all – male and all – white panels, more than one third of proposed panels have been rejected.
An academic association should focus on looking for the brightest persons to ensure the best papers and studies regardless of their race, gender, or educational degree.
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