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The American Studies Association is the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history. Read on to find out more what the ASA does.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2014
American Studies Scholars Endorse Demands for Justice and Change in Policing of Communities of Color
The American Studies Association represents over 5000 scholars of American Studies around the world, a number of whom focus on the long history of anti-black violence and racism as constitutive of the U.S. state and “American” national experience. The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this summer is a profoundly troubling event. Far from isolated or exceptional, it reflects a long history of police violence against African Americans that is also represented in the recent deaths of Ezell Ford (Los Angeles, Calif.), Eric Garner (Staten Island, N.Y.) and John Crawford (Beavercreek, Ohio), as well as in the beating of Marlene Pinnock (Los Angeles, Calif.) by a California Highway Patrol officer to name only some recent cases. In company with Sociologists for Justice (http://sociologistsforjustice.org/public-statement/) and many others, we are troubled by the excessive show of force and militarized response to protesters who rightfully seek justice and demand a change in the treatment of people of color by law enforcement. As educators we oppose the militarization of police power and support investments in free education. We urge law enforcement, policymakers, media and the nation to consider decades of research in the field of American Studies about the systemic state violence that takes place against bodies marked by race, the repeated prioritization of property rights over the rights of people, and the long history of “legal” killing of black people in the name of private or communal self-defense. The current national focus on Ferguson reinforces the commitment of the association to promote American Studies scholarship that can inform the necessary conversations and solutions about the systemic conditions revealed by the events in Ferguson.
We at the ASA stand with all those calling for a full, transparent and timely investigation of the events that led to the death of Michael Brown. We also call for an assurance of the civil liberties of protestors and full respect for the civil rights of all, for independent investigation of all instances of police violence, and for concerted, coordinated, local, regional, national and international action to end racism in law enforcement.
Published on September 5, 2014 by ASASTAFF.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2014
The Executive Committee of the American Studies Association, which represents over 5000 scholars of American Studies around the world, protests the decision of University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise to rescind the offer of a tenured faculty position in American Indian Studies to highly regarded ASA member Professor Steven Salaita.
Professor Salaita was offered the position in October 2013 following a national search and evaluation of his scholarship based on its merit and contributions to comparative indigenous studies. The administration’s action in rescinding the offer in August 2014, after Prof. Salaita had resigned his tenured position at Virginia Tech, and just days before his classes were set to begin at UIUC, sets a dangerous precedent. This last minute top down decision with no faculty consultation and no reason provided violates the tenets of faculty governance. Alarmingly, these actions constitute as well a de facto assault against the Program in American Indian Studies at UIUC despite its carefully earned status as one of the leading intellectual programs nationally in its field. This decision if not overturned is sure to erode the confidence of scholars and students of American Indian and Indigenous Studies that UIUC is an open and welcoming institution that values equally their social, cultural and intellectual contributions. Additionally, if, as reported, the offer was rescinded based on Prof. Salaita’s twitter feed and opposition to the Israeli invasion of Gaza, the university’s actions constitute a clear violation of the principles of academic freedom, contravene the University’s self-proclaimed valuing of diversity, and suggest an intolerable anti-Arab bias.
We call upon you to restore faculty governance, to respect the Department of American Indian Studies and the faculty peer review process in evaluating faculty for tenured positions, and to begin to rebuild the UIUC’s reputation as an institution of academic excellence by restoring Professor Steven Salaita as a tenured associate professor of American Indian Studies at UIUC.
The Center for Constitutional Rights provides background on the case.
Open Letters from Scholarly Associations on the Salaita Case
American Anthropological Association (AAA)
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
American Historical Association (AHA)
American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
American Political Science Association (APSA)
American Studies Association (ASA)
California Scholars For Academic Freedom
Cultural Studies Association (CSA)
Middle Eastern Studies Association of North America (MESA)
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA)
Society of American Law Teachers (SALT)
Petition: In Defense of Academic Freedom: A Call to People of Conscience not to speak at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign until Chancellor Wise honors the contract to hire Professor Steven Salaita
Published on September 2, 2014 by ASASTAFF.
Please join us for the ASA Committee on Departments, Programs, and Centers annual networking breakfast for American Studies department chairs and program directors at this year’s annual meeting in Los Angeles. The breakfast will be held on Friday morning, November 7, from 7:30 to 8:30 am in the Los Feliz Room, located on the main level of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. For reservations, click here
Fourteen years ago, the Students Committee initiated a Roommate Connection Service for graduate students attending the annual ASA conference. The Committee will continue to offer this service for students attending the Los Angeles, CA conference. Rather than having to post your request for a roommate to a list, the Students Committee will act as a clearinghouse for students looking to share space.
Any student (or faculty) seeking a roommate need only send a message to the Students Committee. The Committee will, in turn, forward your message on to any other student(s) that seem to be a “match.” You will handle all the arrangements from there.
This service is available to all graduate students attending the ASA Conference. Please note that by submitting a request to the Roommate Connection Service, you give us permission to forward the entire contents of your message to other students seeking roommates. If the roommate connection works out, please RSVP back to the Students Committee so we can take your name off of our list.
-Your e-mail address
-The dates you will be staying in Los Angeles, CA
-Whether you HAVE or NEED a hotel room (with location, price, etc. if you already have one)
-Any preferences for lodging
-Any preferences for roommate (e.g., gender, smoking, gay/lesbian friendly)
Please submit your requests no later than October 26, 2014.
We cannot promise to find everyone a roommate, but we will do our very best!
Gentle reminder to our friends far and wide: deadline for submitting proposals to be part of SASA’s next big biennial conference—next February 19-22 in midtown Atlanta—is around the corner, as in Friday, September 12! Our website, http://www.southernamericanstudiesassociation.org, has info about our focus, ‘RECONSTRUCTION—1865—1965—2015,’ plus plenty of ideas for topics. Here, in the spirit of lagniappe, is another: Sister Rosetta Tharp would’ve turned 100 next March(!), R.I.P., so get those thinking caps on and get those proposals on their way! Looking forward, Dennis Moore, recovering SASA prez, on behalf of our current president, Professor Krystyn Moon
The American Studies Association (ASA) and the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), with support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUFSC), are pleased to announce a competition open to ASA members (U.S. citizens). We plan to select two ASA delegates (pending funding) for participation in the annual JAAS conference to be held at International Christian University in Tokyo from May-June 2015. We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the JAAS conference and for the two-day pro-seminars in Japan. The award covers round trip airfare to Japan, housing, and modest daily expenses.
The Women’s Committee calls for submissions to the annual Gloria E. Anzaldua Award for Independent Scholars, Contingent or Community College Faculty. Hosted by the American Studies Association, this award honors Anzaldua’s outstanding career as an independent scholar and her labor as contingent faculty, along with her groundbreaking contributions to scholarship on women of color and to queer theory. The award includes a lifetime membership in the ASA, a lifetime electronic subscription to American Quarterly, and $500.