The "American" in the AAA

mike salovesh (T20MXS1@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Sat, 18 Feb 1995 14:46:00 CST

On Feb 18, Leif Hendrickson asked:

===== lots of discussion of the term "American" omitted here ========

What do we call ourselves? States-ians? I wish I knew. It was
a trap in a visit to Argentina when someone responded "America"
to a question of where we live. They're American also. We're
North Americans; they're South Americans. Saying I live in
California solved the problem. "The States" was equally well

Can someone tell me what the AAA has to say about representation
of South America since "American" is part of their title?


Can't say the question has never been asked. But the AAA has met
several times in Mexico, and at least once in Canada, since I've
been going to annual meetings. The AAA has members in most countries
in the hemisphere.

Back in the 1960's, when there was a lot of discussion of matters
like U.S. involvement in wars in Viet Nam and elsewhere, some members
who were citizens of other countries expressed their discomfort with
participating in discussions that were essentially about U.S.
politics. In those days, there were invidious distinctions made
between Fellows of the Association and mere members: only Fellows
were allowed to vote in the annual business meetings, for example.
(Fellows also paid more in dues, I might add.) To accomodate the
concerns of those non-U.S. Fellows who worried about interfering in
the internal politics of the U.S., a new category of membership
was created: Foreign Fellows. Nobody was forced to become a
Foreign Fellow who wanted to be, simply, a Fellow; newly-elected
Fellows could still be from anywhere without being identified as
Foreign Fellows if they didn't choose to be. I don't recall the
existence of a category called "foreign member".

With the extension of the franchise to all members of the AAA, the
distinctions between Fellows, Foreign Fellows, and members became,
essentially, moot. Anybody can join from anywhere.

--mike salovesh, Fellow, AAA <>