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Statement of Fair Practice and Representation in the American Musicological Society

The AMS recognizes that an active commitment to fair representation and opportunity across all demographic sectors of its membership is integral to its mission and vital to its future within a changing social landscape. With this in mind, we have created this set of guidelines for the practical implementation by AMS committees, working groups, and individual members acting on behalf of the Society. These guidelines are meant to promote a positive working, learning, and social environment, free from prejudice and discrimination, in which the increasing diversity of the Society may develop and flourish.


It is important that those serving on committees and active in leadership of working groups engage thoughtfully with how best to ensure fair representation of the interests of the membership, be aware of their biases, and take steps to counter them through open and thoughtful discussion. Members’ actions should be guided by principles of equality and diversity with respect to such matters as:


  • Academic rank, including junior, senior, and contingent faculty
  • Age
  • Area of specialization
  • Disability
  • Economic status
  • Employment status, such as full-time, part-time, retired, unemployed, type of institution, and academic and non-academic affiliation
  • Gender identity
  • Nationality
  • Parental and care-giving status
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Regional distribution
  • Religion and belief
  • Sexual orientation

Issues of fairness and representation must be an integral part of the deliberations of every AMS group, whether standing and ad hoc committees, regional chapters, or study groups. These matters should be explicitly addressed during the nominations process for committees and in the composition of all committees and groups, as well as in the execution of a committee’s duties and during the business meetings of chapters and study groups. To this end all groups are encouraged to designate a member whose role will be to raise issues of fairness and representation for discussion. 


Summary of AMS boards, committees and appointive positions

The AMS conducts its activities through the following boards (2), committees (39), and appointive positions (10). The goals of impartiality and fairness are paramount in all these entities.  The Committee on Committees and the three Nominating Committees must be particularly attentive to considerations of fair practice.

I. Boards

A. Board of Directors
B. Journal Editors (3) and Editorial Board

II. Committees

A. Board Committees: Annual Meeting; Committees; Communication; Development; Membership and Professional Development; Technology
B. Annual Meeting Committees: Program; Performance; Local Arrangements
C. Fellowship Committees: Alvin H. Johnson AMS 50; Howard Mayer Brown
D. Award Committees: Einstein; Greenberg; Jackson; Kinkeldey; Lockwood; Music in American Culture; Palisca; Pisk; Slim; Solie; Stevenson; Teaching
E. Grant Committees: Travel; Hampson; Levy
F. Nominating Committees: Board of Directors; Council; Council Corresponding/Honorary (NB: the Board Committee on Committees, listed under II.A, nominates members for Committee service)
G. Publications Committees: Publications; American Music

H. Other Committees: AMS-MLA Joint RISM; Chapter Activities; Career-Related Issues; Cultural Diversity; Graduate Education; History of the Society; Obituaries; Women and Gender; Finance

III. Regional Chapters

Allegheny, Capital, Greater New York, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, New England, New York State-St. Lawrence, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, South-Central, Southeast, Southern, Southwest

IV. Study Groups

Cold War and Music, Ecocriticism, Ibero-American Music, Jewish Studies and Music, Ludomusicology, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer), Music and Dance, Music and Disability, Music and Philosophy, Pedagogy, Popular Music

V. Appointive positions

Archivist; JAMS Editors (3); AMS Newsletter Editor (1); Musicology Now Editor (1); AMS-L Moderators (3); Statistician; Delegates: ACLS; Grove; NRPB; NASM; RILMOffice staff positions (3)

—Approved, AMS Board of Directors, June 2016