Motions and Resolutions
Motion of the Association of African Studies Programs, March 31, 1993
We, the members of the Association of African Studies Programs (AASP) at our 1993 Spring Annual Meeting, unanimously join the African Studies Association, Middle East Studies Association, the Latin American Studies Association, the South Asian Council of the SSRC, the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, the Association of Asian Studies, the Boards of the Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, and other scholars in seeking to separate foreign language and area studies in the United States from military, intelligence, and other security agency priorities and programs. We believe that long-term interests of the peoples of the United States are best served by this separation.
Specifically, we reaffirm our conviction that scholars and programs conducting research in Africa, teaching about Africa, and conducting exchange programs with Africa should not accept research, fellowship, travel, programmatic, and other funding from military and intelligence agencies or their contractual representatives – for work in the United States or abroad. We are concerned especially about the Department of Defense (DOD) National Security Education Act (NSEA, “the Boren Act”) and the new Central Intelligence and National Security Agencies Critical Language Consortium. We call on our colleagues to abstain from these and similar funding initiatives and consortia of security agencies. These military and intelligence programs violate the integrity of the scholarly process and will hinder our relationships with African colleagues and collaborators, embarrass African universities and governments, and, thereby, decrease U.S. access to scholarly information in African studies.
We also believe that the broader interests of the people of the United States are served best by Africanist scholarship and programs oriented to goals, issues, and regional foci which are determined openly using academic and broader public priorities, not in secret or for the narrower priorities of military, foreign policy, and intelligence agencies.
We are not opposed to U.S. government funding of African studies. Indeed, African studies by far is the poorest of the world area studies and urgently needs an increase of funding for activities in the U.S. and in Africa. Therefore, we urge the U.S. government to increase its funding for African studies and linkages through agencies and institutions outside the security agencies.
Enactment: We ask that our AASP Chairperson forward a copy of this resolution to all parties in paragraph one, the Association of American Universities, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant College, Association of State Colleges and Universities, National Independent College Association, Assn. of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, relevant members of the Administration and Congress, the Chronicle for Higher Education, relevant members of the military, intelligence, and other security agencies, and others he deems relevant.
Passed unanimously by all members in attendance, March 31, 1993, Washington, DC
[Note: At meetings of the AASP in most years from 1994-2001, members have been asked if they wanted to revisit, amend, or reconsider this resolution. The membership declined to reopen the issue but to allow the 1993 resolution to stand.