Historians Against the War


Sign the Petition

Speaker's Bureau

Press Releases and Statements

Virtual Movement Archive

Teaching Resources


Join our Listserv

Download HAW images

Contact Us

Dear Friend and Colleague:

This letter invites your support and participation in “Historians Against the War’s” National Teach-In Project on Wednesday and/or Thursday, April 9/10, 2003.

“Historians Against the War” is a national network of scholars formed at the American Historical Association Meeting in January 2003 to respond to the crisis of impending war against Iraq. After this initial meeting, the organization has been increasingly active in contributing to the anti-war movement in our capacity as historians. A committee was appointed to draft the following statement, which has been circulated for other historians to sign and is posted on our official website, www.historiansagainstwar.org.

We historians call for a halt to the march towards war against Iraq. We are deeply concerned about the needless destruction of human life, the undermining of constitutional government in the U.S., the egregious curtailment of civil liberties and human rights at home and abroad, and the obstruction of world peace for the indefinite future.

Over 1800 people have signed this petition.

Animated by these concerns, “Historians Against the War” hopes now to enlist historians at colleges and universities around the country to take part in a nation-wide teach-in on the topic: “Iraq: Anatomy of a Crisis.” Teach-ins have already been taking place on individual campuses. Panels of historians have met to speak with students and colleagues about the historical dimension of the tensions with Iraq and to prompt discussions of the issue. In calling this April 9/10 event, “Historians Against the War” seeks to merge these local actions into a coordinated, nation-wide initiative.

The national teach-in project is conceived as a way to:

  • raise consciousness of the historical background of the crisis and engender discussion of the meanings of war, past and present;
  • help faculty and students on individual campuses to feel united and empowered in the anti-war movement to overcome a sense of isolation;
  • bring media attention to the voice of historians united against the war, offer visible protest against the Bush administration’s policies, and elicit deeper understanding among the general populace of historical reasons for avoiding this unjustified war.

We hope that you would be interested in helping to coordinate a teach-in on your campus as part of this day of nation-wide events. The format and length of your particular teach-in would be up to your own local coordinators. You may choose to feature sessions throughout the day, a brown-bag lunch panel, or a session that lasts around an hour at some point during the day or evening of April 9 and/or 10. We welcome a variety of forms that your local teach-in might take, but suggest some of the following guidelines:

  1. Inform “Historians Against the War” that your campus will be participating in this event, so that your college and participating historians can be listed on our website.
  2. Reserve a room on campus and publicize the event throughout the community.
  3. Enlist a panel of three or four historians or other speakers from your campus to talk to a gathering of students and other interested members of the community. Each member of the panel could speak for around ten minutes about historical issues relating to the crisis in Iraq, conditions in the Middle East, the relationship of the United States to the UN, perspectives on the war by UN Security Council member countries, peace movements, human rights, the histories and legacies of war in general, and other related issues. We encourage historians on individual campuses to speak from their own perspectives, expertise and interests.
  4. Allow the audience to ask questions of the panelists and encourage a general discussion.
  5. Report to “Historians Against the War” on the success of your event.

We hope that individual campuses, while offering a variety of teach-in formats and historical perspectives on the crisis, will present to the nation at large a unified voice of protest by historians against the war strengthened by the particular contribution that historical analysis of world events can provide.

If you are interested in joining with this initiative and would like to be the organizer for your campus or if you have an alternative organizer in mind, please send your or their name and email address to Teach-In Project coordinator Katherine Pence of Baruch College at:


Thank you,

Historians Against the War Coordinating Committee