From the AIW website: The American Indian Workshop (AIW) was founded in 1980 and has become the most important European scholarly platform for researchers concerned with topics related to the Native Peoples of North America. The AIW also includes scholars from all over the world.
The American Indian Workshop was initiated in 1980 at the Amsterdam Meeting of the European Association for American Studies (EAAS). Wilcomb Washburn, Harry Allen and Jacqueline Fear-Segal had organized an “American Indian Workshop” bringing together scholars in the field of American Indian Studies from various countries and disciplines. The participants of this first workshop were Gordon Brotherston, Naila Clerici, Jacqueline Fear-Segal, Christian Feest, Gerhard Hoffmann, Elise Marienstras, Joëlle Rostowski, Elemire Zolla, and Wilcomb Wasburn (Chairman). The European participants to this workshop decided to meet annually from then on – apart from the EAAS meetings – as the American Indian Workshop. Christian Feest volunteered to take over the organization of the AIW Conferences and the AIW Newsletter.
The goal of the AIW is to provide a platform for established academics and young scholars to share their expertise and experiences as well as to benefit from one another’s critical engagement. The meetings – hosted each year by a European academic institution – are now regarded as one the most important ones in Native American Studies worldwide. The domain of Native American Studies is enriched by scholars from such diverse disciplines as history, literature, anthropology, ethnology, art history, gender studies, museology, ethnomusicology, religion, law, linguistics, political science, cultural studies, philosophy, Canadian and American Studies, Native American Studies, Inuit Studies, and performance studies as well as communication and media studies. The AIW has become the most innovative venue in Europe for all involved with the scholarly pursuit of Native American and Inuit studies as well as being the place where Native American scholars and performers are honored and find a welcome reception.
The official AIW internet site and mailing list were set up by Renate Bartl in 2011. Renate Bartl is also responsible for general administration, finances, inquiry management and the official AIW LinkedIn site. Markus Lindner manages the official AIW Facebook site.
Due to the rapidly growing membership and interest in the AIW, an AIW organizing committee was formed at the 2011 business meeting. The members of the organizing committee may make decisions and act on behalf of the group. The committee is composed of a number of standing members and alternating organizers of the previous, current and future AIW meetings (see: AIW Committee and Mandates).