Dear ASA Colleagues,
Just over one week ago, amidst celebrations and mourning over the loss of the constitutional right to abortion, musician Reina del Cid quietly went to work. In conspiracy with this pending day of July 4th and all of its claims, she delivered without bluster a familiar song now rendered necessarily unfamiliar:
My country tis of thee
Land of inequity
Of thee I sing
Land where my mothers cried
Fought, bled, and sacrificed
For rights we are now denied
Let freedom ring
What is the fourth of July to those who are still and again captives; to those who, inches from what they’re told is freedom, are left to die; to those whose adoptive home subsidizes the occupation and siege of their forever home; to those whose rights end at their body? To be tasked on this day with facing the noise of the nation’s virtue is perfectly cruel. Yet such is the logic of nationalism, which “knows no compromise; it seeks to sweep aside the many complications that always are part of life as it actually is.” What it actually is, is grievance and grief. Yet, what it is, what it is, what it is, is something altogether different.
Three days ago, in the midst of distress and exhaustion, I began my term as President of the American Studies Association. This constellation of scholars drives thought through intensive study and broad engagements, from organizing and solidarity movements to language preservation and storytelling. Holding in thoughtful tension and strategy the world we receive and that which we create is a task many generations in the making; that task is carried forward today and will ground November’s ASA conference. Even when too heavy, these opportunities continue to inspire and build our capacity to know and dream. I look forward to what we have yet to reveal.
With wishes for personal and collective fortitude,
Shana L. Redmond, Ph.D.
President, American Studies Association (2022-2023)
Community announcements and events are services that are offered by the ASA to support the organizing efforts of critical constituency groups. They do not reflect the decisions or actions of the association’s governance bodies, the National Council or Executive Committee. Questions should be directed to the committee, caucus, or chapter that has authored and posted this notice.