One way the American Studies Association supports the field of American studies and its members is by making public statements and resolutions on issues brought forward by the membership. As the association organizes its response, resolutions and statements come to provide the groundwork for further actions, policies, initiatives, and partnerships.
Resolutions and Statements of Support or Protest
Proposed resolutions may originate from standing committees, caucuses, or ad hoc groups of members. They are submitted to the Executive Committee for consideration and may be considered by the National Council as well.
Members may also petition the Executive Committee for statements or letters, including a rationale, summary of the issue, information about actions taken by other academic organizations, a deadline for action (of no less than 2 weeks) and contact information for the submitter(s).
In response to these petitions, the Executive Committee may write public or private letters of support and/or protest focused on specific issues affecting ASA members or meetings. The bylaws also empower the Executive Committee to speak for the association on public issues where these directly affect our work as scholars and teachers, or where they directly affect our ability to meet safely in public or at national or regional conventions and conduct our business freely.
Accountability and the Right to Appeal
The Executive Committee shares all statements and letters issued on behalf of the ASA with the National Council. The association’s bylaws reciprocally empower the National Council with the right to appeal: a simple majority of the National Council may request documentation and explanation of Executive Committee decisions on such actions, and a supermajority may reverse the decision and convene a subcommittee of three National Council members to draft a response and statement, to be issued upon a simple majority vote of the National Council.