Association for Ethnic Studies Conference

AES logo1


Association for Ethnic Studies / Department of Ethnic Studies at BGSU

November 5-6, 2021 | Bowling Green State University

The department of Ethnic Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, is excited to host the 2021 Association for Ethnic Studies conference. Originally planned for 2020 to mark the celebration of the 50th anniversary of BGSU’s Ethnic Studies program, the conference was postponed and now is rescheduled for Nov. 5 and 6, 2021. This will be an opportunity to look back upon the history of the scholarly field of ethnic studies and the social movements that forced the academy to accommodate it. In celebrating our history, we are also mindful of assessing our contemporary moment and the challenges of struggles for justice and equality in the future. We will meet soon after either the beginning of the post-Trump era or its continuation. Either way, the moment will reveal much about the underlying dynamics of American culture and society and be long recognized as a critical turning point in the nation’s history.

This is a moment to think about and understand the changing nature of activism in the 21st century. 2020 witnessed a historic upsurge in antiracist activism. What were the long-term consequences of these movements? How do we assess the nature of civil organization and social change in a social media environment in which much organizing happens outside of public view? What are the linkages and disconnections between academic and civic activism at this juncture?

Conference schedule will be available soon!

Conference Fees:

The Association for Ethnic Studies membership portal will be open soon. If you plan to enroll at that time for a new membership or to renew please choose the member rates when submitting your registration and payment.

  • Student/Community Member Rate: $30
    This category is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, community members, and others with limited or no institutional financial support.
  • Member Full Rate: $100
    This category is intended for faculty members and staff of non-profits or other organizations that may be able to provide institutional financial support.
  • Student/Community Non-Member Rate: $50
    This category is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, community members, and others with limited or no institutional financial support.
  • Non-Member Full Rate: $125
    This category is intended for faculty members and staff of non-profits or other organizations that may be able to provide institutional financial support.
  • Sustainer Rate (Member or Non-Member) : $250
    This category is intended for those who have the means to provide extra financial support. Sustainers help provide our all-volunteer, member-supported association with needed resources to carry forward the work of the AES.

Conference Fees will increase after August 1, 2021

Conference Schedule Coming Soon!

The Association for Ethnic Studies (AES) has a long history dating back to the early 1970s. It began with a small group of scholars in the Midwest who, in 1972, saw a need for an organization which would bring together those interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the national and international dimensions of ethnicity. From their work came the National Association of Interdisciplinary Studies for Native-American, Black, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Asian Americans. The objective of this organization was to serve as a forum for promoting research, study, curriculum design, and publication of interest to its members.

The Association sponsored its first conference on ethnic and minority studies in 1973 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. At the conference, university and college professors, public school teachers, and students gathered to examine content and approaches to multicultural studies. The association developed in tandem with the academic field of Ethnic Studies. Ethnic Studies grew out of the civil rights movement and the concerns of minority students on college campuses throughout the United States. Campus strikes began in the 1960s, driven by the demands of students of color and others in the Third World Liberation Front demanding an increase of students and faculty of color and a more comprehensive curriculum that spoke to the concerns and needs of marginalized communities. The result of these initial battles was the establishment of the School of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University and the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

During this time of struggle for power, place, and representation, the association supported student actions and worked to foster interdisciplinary discussions for scholars, activists, and community members concerned with national and international aspects of race and ethnicity. In 1985 the association officially changed its name to National Association for Ethnic Studies (NAES) with the stated purpose of the promotion of activities and scholarship in ethnic studies. In2017, NAES changed its name to Association for Ethnic Studies to reflect the global nature of the movement that once began as an US phenomenon.

Today, AES members continue to examine the interlocking forces of domination that are rooted in socially constructed categories of gender, sexuality, class, and race, and are committed to challenging paradigms that systematically marginalize the experiences of diverse national and international populations. As scholars and researchers, AES members are also committed to nurturing civic-minded and culturally informed students to strive to strengthen their communities.

AES is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the State of Wisconsin and conducts all business in accordance with its bylaws. The Association is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) educational organization and its contributions are tax-deductible. The AES bylaws contain rules that define who we are, what we do, and how we are governed. The bylaws establish a contract between members and define their rights, duties, and mutual obligations.

In 1970, amid vigorous student protests at BGSU, a Black Studies Committee was organized, “to bring students into direct creative contact with non-white experiences...” The committee won approval for the founding of an Ethnic Studies Center and the appointment of its director, Dr. Robert Perry, making Bowling Green one of the first Midwestern institutions to have such a program. In 1978 and 1979, James Baldwin was a resident scholar and his legacy continues to leave its mark on the pedagogical, intellectual, and activist strengths of the department. In 1979 the program successfully petitioned the
university for department status. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ethnic studies program at BGSU.

For questions contact Timothy Messer-Kruse,