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AMS Forum at Humanities Commons

The AMS Forum is a web-based platform for online discussion.

The Forum is part of the broader Humanities Commons (HC), an online community that is strong and full-featured. Established by the Modern Language Association, it hosts several academic societies in addition to the MLA, along with numerous less formally participating societies and working groups like the AMS. Joining the HC site will give our members access to capabilities beyond the Forum itself, including creating individual academic profiles (searchable by research interests) and a repository for open-access publication (the Common Open Repository Exchange, or CORE). These functions resemble the for-profit offerings of such sites as, but in an open-access, non-profit environment overseen by academics themselves. The goal of HC is to increase interchange among humanistic disciplines, and we believe its offerings are impressive and will be attractive to members. It promises to have staying power and the administrative support needed to make it useful for all those interested in the humanities.

How to Join

To join the Forum (and the other functions at HC), follow these instructions:

  • Visit Humanities Commons (, click the "Register" button at the top, and follow the instructions for creating an HCommons account. (Note: There are several options for logging in to your HCommons account.)
  • When registered, continue to and follow the instructions for requesting membership in this group. The group administrators will quickly approve your request.
  • To reach the discussion forum itself, go to or navigate there from any HCommons page by clicking "Groups" (on the left hand side) My Groups American Musicological Society. Finally, click the "Discussion" tab underneath the banner for the group. (Note: the discussion forum itself is on the "Discussion" tab, NOT the "Activity" tab.) From there, you may view and reply to existing discussion posts and create new ones.
  • Click the "Email Options" tab to decide how frequently you wish to be e-mailed with the contents of the discussion forum. You can have the Forum send you email notifications at various frequencies, from no email at all, to weekly or daily summaries, to notices of each new post as it appears (similar to the current AMS-L).
  • If you have any issues signing up, please contact the group administrators, forum-admin -at-

Posts to the Forum will not be monitored before appearing, but the Forum does have some simple guidelines for use (included below) that all participants are asked to follow. Users may notify the Forum moderator, forum-admin -at-, of any posts that appear to violate those guidelines. Noncompliant posts will be removed promptly.

AMS Forum Guidelines

The mission of the AMS Forum is to encourage

  • lively and thoughtful discussion of music and music scholarship . . .
  • in a more informal and dialogic mode than publication . . .
  • among the greatest possible number of contributors, with the most diverse possible backgrounds and viewpoints.

To enable that mission, the Forum adopts the following guidelines to be observed by all who participate:

1. All posts that initiate a thread must clearly state the issue or question to which the member wishes the community to respond, framing the issue so as to foster discussion.

2. Subsequent comments need to stick to the topic of the given thread. If the focus of a thread shifts from one topic to another, a new thread may be started.

3. Posts of a controversial nature are always welcome. The author of the post must be sensitive, however, to the interests and work of other list members whose efforts may be the subject of the controversy. In such posts, avoiding ad hominem discourse is critical.

4. Posts must adhere to standards of courteous professional discourse. Posts that include any of the following will be subject to removal:

  • Violence, threats of violence, or violent language directed against another person
  • Deliberate intimidation, personal insults , or any other language that denigrates a person
  • Jokes or other language that is sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise discriminatory in nature
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Unwelcome sexual attention, including sexualized comments or jokes
  • Inappropriate or illegally obtained/used photography or recording
  • Encouragement of any of the above behavior

5. Members may flag posts or comments that they consider inappropriate by emailing the Forum moderator ( Such posts will be reviewed by the moderator(s) and may be removed if the posts include anything proscribed in point 4 above.

6. Anyone who repeatedly violates the guidelines of the Forum, especially as regards inappropriate posts, will be subject to sanction as the moderators deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary or permanent ban from the site.

7. Appeals related to rejected threads, removed messages, or more serious sanctions are to be directed first to the moderating team. If the appealer remains unsatisfied, she/he may appeal further to the AMS Communications Committee, which will respond within two weeks. The decisions of the Communications Committee are final.