The American Studies Association sometimes launches campaigns to raise awareness and support around issues identified by the National Council and Executive Committee as meriting direct forms of action and rapid response.
While campaigns such as Scholars under Attack and Stand with the ASA have provided response to recent developments reflective of problematic trends in higher education in the U.S. and globally, they have also emerged out of the association's long history of resolutions and statements, particularly on the protection and proliferation of intellectual freedom.
Scholars Under Attack
In 2014 the American Studies Association launched a nationwide effort to document and publicize instances of assaults on academic freedom, including faculty profiling, the widespread dismantling of academic programs in American studies (as well as Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Ethnic Studies, and other allied programs), disruptions in access to education, and hostile environments on many campuses for faculty and student labor organizing and protest.
This effort, called Scholars Under Attack, aimed to document examples of assaults on academic freedom, program cuts, labor organizing and political protests, and instances of faculty profiling. Scholars Under Attack sought to support a systemic response to these issues that might reverse these trends for the sake of scholars, students, and our renowned system of higher education in the U.S. and globally. It was published using Scalar and is archived by the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture at the University of Southern California.
Stand with the ASA
In 2014 the American Studies Association also launched a campaign called "Stand with the ASA" to solicit support from association members and friends after the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions over Palestinian apartheid was passed.
The ASA was among the first national associations to join the movement to boycott Israel. While more scholarly societies have since joined the boycott, legitimating the resolution, the association still invites those in solidarity with the ASA, despite political or strategic differences, to join in supporting the association’s continued growth and impact. Monetary donations to this campaign have primarily supported the invitation of Israeli and Palestinian scholars to our annual meetings, as well as expanding our fund for graduate student travel, particularly in the context of threatened budget cuts.