The American Ethnological Society
is the oldest professional anthropological
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...
association in the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
History of the American Ethnological Society
Abraham Alfonse Albert Gallatin was a Swiss-American ethnologist, linguist, politician, diplomat, congressman, and the longest-serving United States Secretary of the Treasury. In 1831, he founded the University of the City of New York...
and John Russell Bartlett
John Russell Bartlett was an American historian and linguist.-Biography:Bartlett was born in Providence, Rhode Island...
founded the American Ethnological Society in New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
in 1842. Their goal was to promote research in ethnology and all inquiries involving humans. The early meetings of the AES took place in the homes of the members, where they discussed all aspects of human life, from history and geography to philology and anthropology. The AES was a scholarly institution, in which papers were presented that were later published.
In the late 19th century, the AES's focus changed from the evolutionary concerns of ethnology to the academic discipline of anthropology. The AES remained small, due to financial difficulties until the 1920s. In 1916, the AES became the American Ethnological Society, Inc. During this time, it also became associated with Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...
and linked to the American Anthropological Association
The American Anthropological Association is a professional organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology. With 11,000 members, the Arlington, Virginia based association includes archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, biological anthropologists, linguistic...
. In the 1930s, The AES and AAA jointly published the American Anthropologist
, which concerned itself with all four fields of anthropology.
In 1950, the AES went nation-wide and started having biannual meetings across North America. In 1972, the new American Ethnologist
journal was created to focus on the expanding field of socio-cultural anthropology. In the early 1980s the American Ethnological Society became incorporated into the American Anthropological Association as a sub-section.
"The American Anthropologist
is the quarterly journal of the American Anthropological Association. The journal advances the Association's mission through publishing articles that add to, integrate, synthesize, and interpret anthropological knowledge; commentaries and essays on issues of importance to the discipline; and reviews of books, films, sound recordings and exhibits."
is a quarterly journal concerned with ethnology in the broadest sense of the term. The editor welcomes manuscripts that creatively demonstrate the connections between ethnographic specificity and theoretical originality, as well as the ongoing relevance of the ethnographic imagination to the contemporary world."