Before the national American Studies Association was founded, there were regional associations for American studies. In 1951, these groups joined together to form the ASA as we know it today. Because of this history, the regional chapters remain a vital component of the association and they play a crucial role in the development of the field.
Depending on the needs and desires of its members, chapters organize a variety of activities within their regions such as journals, conferences, reading and writing groups, summer institutes, newsletters, and cultural activities. Some chapters sponsor panels, and others host receptions at the annual meeting. As semi-autonomous organizations, regional chapters are as active and productive as their members want them to be. The ASA allocates a portion of every member’s annual dues to the regional chapters. Consequently, all national ASA members are automatically members of the regional chapter in their area. Members may also affiliate with additional chapters outside their region for a small additional fee.
Many chapters have produced materials describing their goals and activities and organize events. Learn more about your regional chapter.