The American Studies Association’s committees promote the interdisciplinary scholarship and political engagement that is characteristic of the association. Committees are formed to reflect the diversity of the membership and trends in the field: international scholars, students, secondary educators, ethnic studies departments, and regional chapter groups, among others.
Committees promote member participation in the ASA throughout the year and especially at the annual meeting. They are a dynamic and integral part of the ASA experience. Committees advocate for members’ needs and interests with panels and events related to professional and institutional development and to new directions in critical theory and pedagogy. Sponsored awards and recognition for published work and service keep committees at the forefront of American studies scholarship and public service.
Standing committees also have a very important function within the association's governance. Committees facilitate collaboration and communication within the association: collaborative work across committees encourages coalition building across the association’s different constituencies. Each committee has an ex-officio representative who serves on the National Council to keep the association and general membership informed of issues affecting its constituencies.
Members may become considered for membership of a committee through open calls for nominations: either through nominations by other members or self application. Committees also submit their own nominations. Drawing on this pool of nominations, appointments are made by the Executive Committee.