The AAAS Email Network:
The Userís Guide (Version 6.0)

by Jiannbin Lee Shiao


Welcome to the AAAS Email Network!

This document gives an orientation to the Networkís mailing lists, their use, and policies.

This is Required Reading for all Network members. Please read this userís guide carefully and keep it for future reference. Given its length, you may want to print it out before reading it.

Membership in the Network is open to all interested and knowledgeable parties. "Knowledgeable" means that you understand (1) the mission of the AAAS and its Network community as well as (2) the Networkís technical procedures (subscribing, going on vacation, changing your address, etc...). If you are an internet novice, donít worry; our threshold for "knowledgeability" is simply that you have read this Guide and have attempted to follow its content in good faith. This policy is intended to screen out persons who have only a random interest in "any Asian list" and/or who do not have the time to be responsible members.

What is the Network and its relationship with Asian American Studies?

The "AAAS Email Network" is the unofficial mailing list community of the Association for Asian American Studies, a national academic, professional, and activist organization. For more information on the actual Association, whose membership is more extensive than the Networkís, contact them at:

Association for Asian American Studies
National Headquarters
Cornell University
420 Rockefeller Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853-2501


Being a member of a mailing list enables you to easily share the same mail with everyone else on the list. You send your email messages to one common email address,and they are then distributed (or "broadcasted") to all subscribers of that mailing list. This makes it possible to distribute news and to participate in discussions. The interactive nature of this medium can make things quite lively, fun, and a learning experience. In addition, unlike a Usenet newsgroup which also shares messages, membership is regulated to ensure the absence of flame wars and raise the average relevance of any given post for all members.

Currently, the Network is comprised of only two mailing lists:

  1. A combined list for announcements and discussion (AAASCommunity@Lists.UOregon.Edu) and
  2. A Board of Directors list for the board and other AAAS officers and staff (AAASBoard@Lists.UOregon.Edu).
The AAAS Email Network currently runs on a Majordomo server on the Lists.UOregon system located at the University of Oregon.

Majordomo is a fully automated program like the broadly used Listserv program. The lists' subscription configuration is "Open + Confirm", meaning that subscription requires confirmation from the address to be subscribed; unsubscription on the other hand does not require confirmation.  In the past, the list was "Closed", meaning that subscription requires approval from the Network Coordinator. This feature allowed the Coordinator to unsubscribe repeatedly insulting, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate subscribers. Because thankfully, the only "offense" that has prompted action as yet has been malfunctions in membersí domain systems, i.e. acts of god, not uncivil behavior, the list was changed to "Open + Confirm".

Phe posting rights to the list have been restricted to the subscribers since June 18, 1998. Posts from non-subscribers will be posted by the list administrator on his judgement and convenience.

Network Membership

Participation on the AAAS mailing lists is open to members and prospective members of the Association for Asian American Studies. In the future, electronic and actual memberships may be periodically cross-checked. If this practice is instituted, and you have not joined or renewed your AAAS membership, you will be removed from the lists. At this time, we are simply encouraging new members to join AAAS if they have not yet done so.

When your request for membership is approved, a standard confirmation will be sent back to you. Please do not send email to the above list addresses until you receive confirmation.

IN ORDER TO SUBSCRIBEto the AAAS Email Network, simply send an email with the following command in the body of the message with no other text:

subscribe AAASCommunity <your_full_email_address>

to the Majordomo address:

Membership requests should only be sent to the majordomo server address above, not to the list addresses. E.g., if your email address is "", then you would send:

subscribe aaascommunity

to the address.

IN ORDER TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION, send the command "unsubscribe <listname> <your full email address>" to the majordomo address, e.g.:

unsubscribe aaascommunity

Unsubscription is completely automated as long as (1) you send your command from the same email account which you subscribed to the Network and (2) you unsubscribe the exact same email address.

When you go on vacation or plan to be away from your email for any substantial period, please unsubscribe yourself from the list and resubscribe upon your return.

IN ORDER TO CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS in any of the AAAS mailing lists, send a single email combining both subscribe and unsubscribe commands to the majordomo address, i.e.

unsubscribe aaasposts
subscribe aaasposts

For documentation on more Majordomo commands, send the command "help" to the majordomo address and/or point your web browser to:

and for even more information on how to set up lists on your own, point your web browser to:

Using the AAAS Lists

Archives of Past Postings

  1. You can request full month archives for specific months by sending email to the Network Coordinatorís address at:
  2. Extractions by participant name, topic, or day are your responsibility.
Appropriate Usage of AAASCommunity
  1. Scope: The AAASCommunity List may be used for announcements (events, jobs, publications, etc) and discussion of Asian American Studies related topics. At this point, arts and political announcements are legitimate uses of the list because of their extensive use in Asian American Studies pedagogy. Social announcements and other commercial announcements, however, should be posted elsewhere.
  2. Audience: Please address announcements to the AAAS audience in mind: the universe of persons and institutions interested in the development of Asian American Studies. Announcements for a specific subset of the AAAS membership should specify that population in the Subject Line.
  3. Space: Announcements about local events should also specify their location in the Subject Line. Remember that the present lists are national in scope. For example: specify: "Poetry Reading in Berkeley, CA"; "Rally in NYC"; or "Conference in Houston, TX".
  4. Spamming News: Please DO NOT include the AAASCommunity address on a long listing of CCíd (carbon copied) addresses. If you intend to send a posting to multiple addresses, please send a separate copy to AAASCommunity. AAAS postings are archived in full, and the archives do not need to be cluttered with extraneous text.
  5. Attachments: Please DO NOT send file attachments with your posts. Instead, send a notice that you have a binary file (e.g. a Microsoft Word file) available and ask whether anyone wants to receive a copy. Text files should simply be enclosed in the body of the em ail rather than attached.
  6. Other Lists: Please DO NOT put any of the AAAS list addresses on any other distribution list. If you receive mail from another list you think is relevant, please just forward them individually to the AAAS Network.
  7. Spamming Discussions: Please DO NOT participate in discussions "spammed" across multiple (Asian American) lists.
Appropriate Usage of AAASBoard
  1. AAASBoard may be used to contact members of the AAAS Board of Directors, Officers, and Staff.  [Note: Sept. 29, 1998.  As of this time, because of resignations, there is only one Board member.  The Board list is currently empty.]
  2. Members of AAASBoard receive only the mail sent to aaasboard, unless individually they are also members of AAASCommunity.
  3. Membership on AAASBoard is restricted to the Board of Directors and Officers of the Association, including Conference Coordinators and others by the Boardís discretion.
People and Addresses

AAAS Officers and Board of Directors:
General inquiries

AAAS National Office:
Anita Affeldt

AAAS Email Network Coordinator:
Jiannbin "J" Lee Shiao
(Until further notice, you can expect me to handle Network business and respond to email inquiries once a week.)

Final Notes

Why I May Unsubscribe Your Address

If your account breaks down and begins returning Network mail repeatedly, I will unsubscribe your address and email you a notice to that effect. If you have any concerns regarding whether your account has been unsubscribed, please feel free to email the Coordinator at the owner address above. You can also use the "who" command on the majordomo address to confirm whether you are still subscribed to the list, i.e. "who aaascommunity".  Send "help" to the majordomo address for a description of this command and other commands.

Subject Lines

When the mailing list is very busy, fellow members may need to decide whether to delete your message or save it for reading in less harried times. Clear subject headings are very helpful. If you are a master of the "brain dump" (long messages), it helps to be very clear in your subject line about the topic you are exploring.

Please Use a "Smile"

Often sarcastic comments and humor donít transfer very well in writing, especially on the computer screen. This is extremely important to remember. People might be offended or take you more seriously than you intended. To smooth out human interaction s via e-mail, it helps to use a smile. A smile via e-mail looks like this :-) or :) if you turn your head sideways to the left. You will no doubt encounter many more of these "emoticons" in your Internet explorations.

Watch Your Terminology

People on the mailing list, may not always understand your terminology (even within your discipline, institution, and level of schooling). Expect requests for clarifications. Help to build our communityís capacity to communicate. There is no reason to be ashamed to respond with, "I donít know how," because someone else might be able to help you out. You may also try to innovate an explanation on the spot. Remember that interdisciplinary studies -by definition- create possibilities for new knowledge.

Courtesy, Credits, and Copyrights

Much of what goes on over the network is based on a sense of "trust", and we assume that most people are moral and ethical. If you re-post a work written by another person, please ask for their permission first --- just out of courtesy (or at least state the author and source). If you personally write a creative work (story, poem, essay) that you want to explicitly copyright, just put

"Copyright © 1997 by YourName"

after the work. Otherwise people might assume that it is public domain. There is no need for paranoia, but if you are extremely afraid of a copyright violation, then please do noít post it to the mailing list. When posting to the mailing list, members should assume that any writing will be shared with everyone else on the list--- in other words, itís "public".

Learn About Your Computer

To get maximum enjoyment from using e-mail, it helps to learn about your computer and itís e-mail system. Learn how to correct mistakes and edit your messages. Learn how to read, send, copy, print, forward, and delete messages and files. Learn how to excerpt other peopleís messages when you respond to them.

Suggestions for me?

If you have any suggestions or ideas on how this mailing list can be improved, please donít hesitate to write. All suggestions, ideas, complaints, or concerns should be directed to the following email address:

We hope you will gain something by being a member of the Network! :-)

Appendix: A Brief History of the AAAS Email Network and AAGPSO

The AAAS Email Network owes its philosophical formation to the trail blazing done by the AAGPSO Email Network for Asian American graduate and professional students, itself an outgrowth of an Ohio State University organization by the same name. Many AAGPSO mailing list members (who were also AAAS members) met at the 11th Annual AAAS conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in April of 1994. There, they confirmed their commitment to establishing an electronic community for Asian Americanists. The original User Guides were in fact modeled on Wataru Ebihara's User Guide for AAGPSO.  The first home of the Network lists was the University of California at Berkeley.

Copyright © 1994 by AAAS.
Please contact AAAS or the author for permission before modifying or reproducing this document.
AAAS has permission from AAGPSO to use modified portions of "The AAGPSO Electronic Mail Distribution List: A Userís Guide" (1992) by Wataru Ebihara, within this document, as long as it is used within the Asian American community for a non-commercial purpose without charge.

Version 1.0 first distribution via e-mail: June 5, 1994.
Version 2.0 first distributed via e-mail: November 4, 1994.
Version 3.0 first distributed via e-mail: August 12, 1996.
Version 3.1 first distributed via e-mail: March 21, 1997.
Version 4.0 first distributed via e-mail: June 21, 1997
Version 5.0 first distributed via e-mail: June 17, 1998
Version 6.0 made web accessible: September 29, 1998.

Back to the AAAS Mailing Lists Information Page

Back to J's Home Page