AMS Reaffirms Its Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Free Inquiry

In light of the recent wave of racist, xenophobic, and antigay activities on campuses and in cities across the nation, I write to reaffirm the core values of the American Musicological Society. As a society, AMS supports diversity, inclusion, and tolerance as well as free inquiry and academic freedom. These values are essential to the very project of music research, which hinges on a diversity of ways of understanding music and hence a diversity of orientations and viewpoints. We maintain that music and musicological inquiry are now more important than ever in helping us to understand the human experience.

Specifically, the AMS pursues these values through the work of its Committee on Cultural Diversity, its Eileen Southern Travel Grants, its Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship program, its Committee on Women and Gender, its LGBTQ Study Group, its Music and Disability Study Group, and most recently its planning Committee on Race and Ethnicity in the Profession, among others, all of which are critical to supporting diversity in the profession. We also do so through the activities of the Committee on the History of the Society and in other forums through which we both examine our past failures to be diverse and inclusive, and carry out the hard, sometimes uneven, but very necessary work of becoming more so. Above all, we reaffirm this commitment as key to our core activities of writing, publishing, speaking, and teaching.

In June 2016, the Society's Board of Directors approved a detailed set of guidelines regarding matters of diversity and inclusion, the AMS Statement of Fair Practice and Representation.

Martha Feldman, President, American Musicological Society

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