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ASA Trustees' Statement in Response to Executive Order on Immigration

Tuesday, February 7, 2017  
Posted by: Julie Van Camp
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The Board of Trustees of the American Society for Aesthetics voted unanimously to issue the following statement, which was released on February 7, 2017.

The mission of the American Society for Aesthetics is to promote study, research, discussion, and publication in aesthetics.  Pursuit of this mission depends on the ability of teachers, scholars, and students to move freely among academic and other cultural institutions and to interact at scholarly meetings.  Aesthetics inherently involves scholarly inquiry into the arts and related forms of expression, which are not restricted to certain nations, and our work depends on cultural exchange.

The travel ban imposed by the executive order prevents citizens from the seven listed nations from travel to the United States, where our meetings are generally held.  It may have harmful effects on the prospective careers of graduate students whose education has been disrupted by the ban. Some international scholars from other nations intend to boycott academic meetings in the U.S. while the ban is in effect in solidarity with those directly affected.  The travel ban also discourages citizens from any other nation to travel to our meetings, having seen how an executive order disrupted the travel plans of the citizens of listed nations, in some cases even when they were already en route.  Furthermore, it is inimical both to academic freedom and to the high value we place on artistic and related cultural achievements whatever their nation of origin.

The Board of Trustees of the American Society for Aesthetics wishes to join with those of many other learned societies to ask the President and Congress to rescind this order.


In issuing this statement the Trustees of the ASA join dozens of other member societies of the American Council of Learned Societies. The complete list is here:

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