The history of the annual meeting is a window onto the field of American studies, on the emergence and development of research paradigms, and on the response of American studies practitioners to trends and tensions within higher education and broader U.S. and global contexts.

Past Program Books 

The past programs listed below reflect the history of the association. Chartered in 1951, the ASA met biennially in conjunction with the American Historical Association (AHA) and the Modern Language Association (MLA) on a rotating basis until 1967.  During those years, ASA-sponsored panels were incorporated into the program books of the larger societies. From 1967-1985, the ASA met independently on a biennial basis. The first independent annual meeting of the ASA was 1987. 

Past program books from 1997 to the present are listed below. In recent years, the Program Committee submits a post-meeting reflection to the Office of the Executive Director. Those reflections, from 2011 to present, are included as a post-script to the program book.  

For programs before 1997, consult the Library of Congress, the official repository of the American Studies Association. Founded at the Library of Congress, the ASA is one of the few learned societies for which the Library of Congress houses its official archives. Printed program books from 1987-2005 are archived at the Library of Congress; beginning in 2005, the Library of Congress only archives electronic books.


Year Theme Program Reflection


Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are Program  


The (Re)production of Misery and the Ways of Resistance Program Reflection


The Fun and the Fury: New Dialectics of Pleasure and Pain In the Post-American Century Program Reflection


Beyond the Logic of Debt: Toward an Ethics of Collective Dissent Program Reflection


Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Past, Present, and Future Program Reflection


Imagination, Reparation, Transformation Program  


Crisis, Chains, and Change: American Studies for the Twenty-first Century Program  


Practices of Citizenship, Sustainability, and Belonging Program  


Back Down to the Crossroads: Integrative American Studies in Theory and Practice Program  


America Aqui: Transhemispheric Visions and Community Connections Program  


The United States from Inside and Out Program  


Groundwork: Space and Place in American Cultures Program  


Crossroads of Cultures Program  


Violence and Belonging Program  


The Local and the Global & Recovery Project/Redefining "Nuestra América" Program  


Multiple Publics/Civic Voices Program  


American Studies in the World/The World in American Studies Program  


Crossing Borders/Crossing Centuries Program  


American Studies and the Question of Empire: Histories, Cultures and Practices Program  


Going Public: Defining Public Culture(s) in the Americas Program