OAH Responds to Emory University Report on Michael Bellesiles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

21 November 2002

CONTACT: Lee W. Formwalt, Executive Director
(tel. 812-855-7311)

At its meeting on 8 November 2002 in Baltimore, Maryland, the executive board of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) discussed the report on Michael Bellesiles recently issued by Emory University. Board members agreed that this matter raises larger questions about trust and integrity in the scholarly process and the ways in which historical argument and interpretation are conducted. The board agreed that these issues should become the subject of wider discussion across the profession. The Organization will use the OAH Newsletter as a vehicle for further consideration of the matter. In addition, sessions on the subject will be planned at upcoming annual meetings in Memphis and Boston in 2003 and 2004. The editorial board of the Journal of American History will consider a commissioned essay or a roundtable to address the ethical issues of this and other recent cases and how much historians rely on trust in practicing their craft. Finally, the board agreed that it would continue this discussion at its meeting next April in Memphis.

Founded in 1907, OAH is the largest professional association of scholars and teachers of the American past.