The American Studies Association of Korea was founded in May 1965. Its goal has been to research and understand America and its culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. Today, the association boasts nearly 600 members, half of whom are lifetime members.
The association holds three major annual events: the International American Studies Conference, the American Studies Workshop for Undergraduate Students, and the Thursday Lecture Series. Ever since the first international conference took place at Pusan for five days in 1966, it has been the most important event of the association. Each year, ASAK brings together domestic and international scholars to discuss the most current issues and research methodologies in American Studies. In 2015 it hosted International Congress of American Studies together with IASA (International American Studies Association) in Seoul, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The Student Workshop was first held at Suyuri Academy House on November 19, 1976 under the name of "American Studies Short-Term Seminar". After the fifth meeting, there was a brief hiatus. The workshop was resumed in 1986 as the "American Studies Graduate Student Workshop." Graduate student presentations were integrated into our annual international conferences since 2012. The Student Workshop focuses on undergraduate student’s works with the goal of promoting interest in American Studies for young scholars.
The first Thursday Lecture was given at the auditorium of United States Information Service in 1978, on the theme of "Values of America." Since then, it has been held every Thursday from April to June annually. Targeting the public audience including students and scholars, the lecture series covers various topics on American society, culture, and history. The annual events have established itself as a popular lecture series.
From the first President Yo-Sup, Ju, Professor of Kyunghee University to the 15th President Seung-Gul Czon, Professor of Seoul National University, the term of presidency was two years. But since 1994, the presidency was set for one year, reaching up to the 36th President Hyun-Song Lee of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in 2016. Professor Lim, Seong-Ho of Kyung Hee University is now the president serving from 2022 through 2023.
In 1993, in honor of the generous fund donation by Woo-Am Bo-Hyung Lee, Professor Emeritus of Sogang University, one of the founding members as well as the 4th President, Woo-Am Award was established. In that year, Sangjun Jeong was chosen as the first recipient. Each year, the award is given to one or two scholars who have published the most outstanding research on American Studies in that year.