Founded in 1979, the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) has emerged as a primary research and teaching hub for Asian American Studies, an interdisciplinary field born out of the 1960s movements for racial justice and student activism. Invested in advancing the highest professional standards of research, teaching, and service in the field of Asian American Studies, the AAAS is committed to sponsoring conferences, symposia, special projects, and events, which engage the association’s priorities with regard to scholarship, mentorship, and pedagogy. Equally important is the degree to which the association’s various objectives – specifically as they intersect with advocating and representing the interests and welfare of Asian American Studies and Asian Americans – reflect multiple communities and varied identities.
Since 1980, the AAAS has sponsored an annual national conference, which remains the central academic venue for Asian American Studies as a dynamic interdisciplinary field. The AAAS publishes an esteemed peer-reviewed journal (the Journal of Asian American Studies); sponsors convenings for directors and chairs of Asian American studies programs and departments; hosts workshops for junior faculty; stages “drop-in” job market clinics for graduate students; recognizes cutting-edge research via its book awards; celebrates the work of field founders and community organizers; and serves as an information/advocacy resource on matters concerning Asian Americans and Asian American Studies.
The goals of the Association reflect long-term interests of the membership and guide the Association’s policies and activities. They include:
- To promote the highest professional standards of excellence in teaching and research in the field of Asian American Studies.
- To promote better understanding and closer ties between and among various subcomponents within Asian and Pacific American Studies.
- To promote a meaningful and useful collegium among all individuals professionally involved and committed to the study of Asian Americans.
- To coordinate professional activity involving meetings, research projects, teaching, advocacy projects, and community relations among members, and between members and non- members.
- To support increased communication and scholarly exchanges among students, teachers, and scholars in the field of Asian American Studies.
- To promote professional dignity in the field, its many programs and its practitioners, so as to have a positive influence upon American public opinion, society, and government in all areas where Asian Americans are affected.
- To advocate for the interests and welfare of Asian American Studies in academia and government.
- To assist with the task of educating American society and government about the history of Asian Americans and the contemporary issues and problems they face in the United States.