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March 24, 2020

Dear AAAS Members and Conference Attendees,

On behalf of the AAAS Executive Board and administrative staff, I want to personally thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to monitor international, national, and local government alerts regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

We hope you are tending to your personal, family, and community needs during this time. 

Please consider the following options that can help us with the cost of cancellation from our event contract.

Your first option involves donating your conference registration fee to the Association. As a non-profit, all-volunteer organization with minimal staff, we work on the narrowest of margins. Your donation would ensure that we set up next year’s conference for success. Additionally, you could contribute to the development of a Solidarity Fund, which would support the participation of contingent faculty and others who have the least institutional backing to attend our conferences. Your second option involves a voucher — requesting that your registration fee apply to the 2021 conference.

Some of you will remember what was involved in the Association having to relocate the conference from Nashville to San Francisco in 2014. The reasons for that relocation are different, but the financial considerations that are being negotiated with hotel representatives are similar in this case. The Association benefited from the generosity of its members, and we even saw the membership grow as a result. We are hoping you will consider one of the above choices. If neither of the above options are desirable, the Association will issue conference registration refunds.

We ask for your patience in the processing of these requests. Please use this form to help us keep track of how you would like to proceed. If we do not hear from you by April 7, 2020, your 2020 registration fee will be donated automatically to AAAS. Also, remember to cancel your hotel reservations if you have not already done so. 

These circumstances should remind us of our shared values as an organization committed to the welfare—and not just the study—of Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Asian diasporic communities. Our collective histories and experiences are crucial for understanding the entanglement of race, place, fear, and power, especially at this pressing time. Please share our statement regarding anti-Asian harassment as it relates to the Coronavirus pandemic. In this election year, consider how each of us and our communities need to keep issues such as the need for a living wage, universal health care, paid sick leave, vaccine access, comprehensive virus testing, and federal funding for evidence-based research top of mind. 

I am truly saddened that we will not have a chance to convene as this Association has done over the last 41 years. For many of us, the AAAS conference is more than a place to hear academic papers. We have turned to each other during these annual meetings when no one else on our campuses or in our departments would understand, listen, or care. I’ve come to know many of you as trusted colleagues and as dear friends. During these trying times, I hope we can exercise as much patience and understanding as possible with each other. And I hope we can see each other soon.


Theo Gonzalves


Association for Asian American Studies

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