Social Climate Concerns

    The History Department at Harvard is acutely aware and has been fully engaged in responding to the ongoing social and political changes happening in the United States, providing insight, guidance, and support to our faculty and students insofar as it relates to how these reforms affect the studies and ability to pursue their scholarly work. Please refer to the following permalinks to help navigate this challenging time:

    For the Department’s undocumented students:  the “Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic” has amplified its capacity in this area by engaging a new, full-time staff attorney specially focused on representing and advising undocumented students in the Harvard community. A website pointing toward resources of particular interest to undocumented students and their friends and colleagues.  The University at large has initiated several in-person information sessions and webinars, as well as training sessions to inform key staff about the concerns facing undocumented students and about how they can help.  This work will continue as circumstances evolve.

    Rest assured that the History Department and the University at large supports the activities and freedom of our students, faculty and staff to carry out their scholarly research and learning unimpeded, first and foremost. Kindly bookmark this page as it will continually update with relevant resources that will help guide our community through this unprecedented time.

    The links below offer access to Harvard-based resources as well as statements from local and national organizations regarding the values that are intrinsic both to scholarly discourse and the practice of History in this country. Please write to the department ( if you have suggestions for additional resources. 

    Harvard Division of Social Science

    American Historical Association (AHA)
     Blog Post: 1/30/17 - AHA Condemns Executive Order Restricting Entry to the United States



    Update March 7, 2017:

    With respect to the new Exec Order, it is very similar to the first exec order. Major changes include:

    1. Iraq is no longer on the list of affected countries
    2. Visitors from the named countries with valid visas prior to Jan 27 and still valid on March 16 are excluded in most cases
    3. U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) from the named countries are excluded in most cases
    4. All refugees without current paperwork are impacted, not just Syrians
    5. Individuals can apply for waivers in accordance with guidance provided in the exec order

    The exec order is more clearly defined and more nuanced than the original. OGC is reviewing the legal language. The Harvard International Office is continuing to assist students and faculty. They are also addressing staff inquiries as needed. My understanding is the HIO will provide information to newly admitted students who will begin classes during the summer and fall. The HIO recommends that all Harvard-affiliated travelers carry a letter issued by the appropriate Harvard school while traveling.

    I also understand that GSAS sent out a message to students yesterday along the below lines that we signed off on. It is a good summary of recommended actions.

    • Earlier today, the White House announced a revised version of an executive order restricting travel for citizens and nationals from certain countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (Iraq is now exempted). While this order no longer applies to those who currently have a valid visa or a green card, it is very important that international students who are contemplating travel should watch for updates from the Harvard International Office.
    • Regardless of whether you are affected by the executive order or not, you should enter your itinerary and contact information in the Harvard Travel Registry when you travel abroad. The Registry is managed by Harvard Global Support Services and provides access to Harvard Travel Assist, the 24/7 global emergency response program. If you do travel abroad and are not permitted to return to the US, you should contact Harvard Travel Assist at +1-617-998-0000 or to immediately notify the University.
    • GSAS staff are ready to support anyone who is affected by this executive order. If you have concerns that require immediate attention, you can reach out me at or to Jackie Yun, director of student services, at