I write to assure the SCMS membership that I and the other officers condemn the recent Executive Order that limits entry into the United States for citizens, travelers, and refugees from seven countries, including (as of yesterday) Green Card holders, dual citizens, and those already approved for travel. Be assured that the Board of Directors has already begun to discuss a formal statement to be released as soon as possible. In the meantime, since these are exceptional circumstances, we will make an exception to our policy that requires every presenter at the upcoming conference to be physically present so that anyone registered for the conference who is unable to travel, or fearful of traveling, to Chicago from outside the US will be able to present their work. Details will be worked out and announced shortly, but if you have concerns now contact the home office. The conference will go forward and will have space—like the pop-up panel on activism—to discuss these issues. The importance of our joining together and engaging in critical dialogue is considerable and cannot be stressed too much. Finally, because there is so much uncertainty now, I have also asked the home office to extend the regular pre-registration deadline to Friday, 10 February.
I am glad that the SCMS President and Board of Directors are doing all they can to help scholars planning to give paper come to the United States according to their rights to take part in our international annual conference. We are extremely proud of the broad international nature of our conference, enabling us to benefit from sharing the diverse scholarship our international colleagues bring.