The Department of the History of Art Has Unanimously Approved the Following Statement in Response to the Presidential Election of 2016
RESPONSE TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, 2016
The Department of the History of Art is committed to the intellectual inquiry and rigorous analysis of artistic practices from across the globe and across time. It is our belief that a socially and politically responsible art history produces encounters with and the study of diverse cultures, which inspires both tolerance and ethical conduct, reminding us of our shared humanity. The repeated instances of xenophobic, racist, and misogynist language that characterized the recent presidential election is antithetical to the principles of this department which stands for the inclusion of a plurality of views. This rhetoric and the actions it engenders threaten the core values of our department, our university, and the UC system as a whole. Echoing the words of UC President Janet Napolitano, we “remain absolutely committed to supporting all members of our community and adhering to UC’s Principles Against Intolerance.“ We are concerned that some now face heightened risk of harassment and as a department we condemn discrimination, marginalization, and violence against any member of our community. We affirm our commitment to the diverse student population of UCR and offer our support and protection to students who feel vulnerable, due to their immigration status, gender or nationality. The current political climate has only sharpened our convictions about the imperatives of studying histories and diverse visual cultures. Critical thinking, factual argumentation, and lucid debate are even more vital in a climate of derisive language, images, symbols, and behaviors. One cannot underestimate the value of understanding history in shaping our collective future.