Statement of the Consumer Culture Theory Consortium Regarding Discriminatory Travel RestrictionsMarch 8, 2017
The Consumer Culture Theory Consortium (CCTC) is an international association of scholars who offer critical insights on how consumer culture dynamics matter to contemporary citizens and institutions. The CCTC membership is a diverse one, not least in respect to where scholars are geographically located. This diversity is deeply valued. Indeed, it central to the consortium’s identity, and the consortium strives to be an inclusive organization in every respect.
Given this defining characteristic of the CCTC, any political action that restricts the free movement of people and ideas across borders is deeply concerning. While the U.S. president’s executive orders on visas and immigration are not the only such political actions, they have vividly illustrated the fragility of institutional protections for the free flow of ideas and people.
The CCTC affirms its strong opposition to discriminatory travel restrictions and to policies that similarly make certain groups more vulnerable and insecure. It stands with sister societies, both international and U.S. based, to call for the protection of human rights, and of academic freedoms.
Given that restrictions on travel to the U.S. may still be in place when the annual CCT conference is held this July in California, some members may be prevented from attending in person, or may choose to avoid doing so. The consortium executive committee will be working with conference organizers to find technological solutions that will enable remote participation by those who are not present at the conference but who wish to partake of some aspects of it.
While the current conference has been in the works for several years and cannot be re-located, the consortium has no future conferences scheduled in the U.S. The current board of the CCTC will discuss, when it meets in July, the adoption of a policy to refrain from having CCT conferences in any country where discriminatory travel restrictions are in place. Of course, since restrictions may be enacted long after conferences are scheduled as is the case this year, the implementation of such a policy may never be fully assured.
The CCTC board welcomes any comments or suggestions in regard to the upcoming conference in particular, or the issues discussed above in general. Please channel these through the CCTC secretary, Cristel Russell, who will disseminate them to board members. Cristel’s email is Cristelrussell@fulbrightmail.org