AHA Expresses Solidarity with Mexican Historians
AHA Expresses Solidarity with Mexican Historians (January 2021)
Approved by AHA Council, January 4, 2021
The American Historical Association expresses solidarity with the professional historians affected by the extreme and arguably punitive fiscal retrenchment affecting Mexico’s system of higher education. Budget cuts implemented over the past year have particularly affected a subset of publicly funded academic research centers and regional postgraduate institutions of higher education (colegios) dedicated to the study of history and the other social sciences and humanities. Although some funds have subsequently been restored, shifting fiscal priorities resulting from the COVID-19 crisis have created unprecedented challenges to these institutions’ economic stability.
For half a century, Mexico’s research centers and postgraduate colegios have played a central role in historical research and graduate education. In concert with public research universities, these research institutions promote the formal study of history as a discipline, as well as the publication and dissemination of historical research. The students and faculty at research centers and colegios now face substantial academic and professional challenges.
These research institutions’ budgets are controlled by a federal agency dedicated to graduate education and science known as CONACyT, which dramatically reduced their funding over the summer of 2020. The human and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have understandably forced governments and educational entities such as CONACyT to make difficult choices about how best to address social needs. Nevertheless, the AHA reminds decision makers that the habits of mind and knowledge that derive from the study of history have never been more important and deserving of adequate funding than at the present moment.
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