AOS medallion
Western Branch

History and Purpose of the American Oriental Society

The American Oriental Society is the oldest learned society in the United States devoted to a particular field of scholarship. The Society was founded in 1842, preceded only by such distinguished organizations of general scope as the American Philosophical Society (1743), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1780), and the American Antiquarian Society (1812). From the beginning its aims have been humanistic. The encouragement of basic research in the languages and literatures of Asia has always been central in its tradition. This tradition has come to include such subjects as philology, literary criticism, textual criticism, paleography, epigraphy, linguistics, biography, archaeology, and the history of the intellectual and imaginative aspects of Oriental civilizations, especially of philosophy, religion, folklore and art. The scope of the Society's purpose is not limited by temporal boundaries: All sincere students of man and his works in Asia, at whatever period of history are welcomed to membership.


The Western Branch of the American Oriental Society


The Western Branch is deeply saddened to report the passing away of Daniel Bryant, former president of the Western Branch (2013-2014).  Please see the announcement by Richard King and Lin Tsung-Cheng.

To honor Daniel's enthusiastic, life-long commitment to the mission and activities of the Western Branch, the American Oriental Society has created the Daniel Bryant Memorial Fellowship Fund to help support participation in the annual meetings of the Western Branch.  To make a tax-deductible donation to this fund, please contact the Secretary-Treasurer, Alexei Ditter .

1. A Brief Description of the Western Branch

The Western Branch of the AOS was founded in 1951, and its annual meetings have become an important forum for scholars of pre-modern Asia.  While in recent years papers presented at the annual meetings have largely centered on China, they have not been exclusively so. The Western Branch actively encourages scholars with a wide range of regional specialties as well as comparative interests to participate.

Western Branch Procedures of Operation

2. Officers of the Western Branch

ANTJE RICHTER (2019-2021)
Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Colorado Boulder
Campus Box 279
Boulder, CO 80309

Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Rutgers University
Scott Hall, Room 330
43 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Immediate Past President
University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures
1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

ALEXEI DITTER (2016-2021)
Chinese Department
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard
Portland, OR

Executive Committee
ex officio
ANTJE RICHTER (2017-2023), University of Colorado Boulder
RICHARD VANNESS SIMMONS (2019-2025), Rutgers University
MADELINE SPRING (2015-2021), University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
ALEXEI DITTER (2016-2021), Reed College

elected members
XIAOQIAO LING (2019-2022), Arizona State University
THOMAS MAZANEC (2019-2022), University of California, Santa Barbara
SCOTT W. GREGORY (2020-2023), University of Arizona
ARMIN SELBITSCHKA (2020-2023), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen

3.  Meetings of the Western Branch

2020 Meeting: November 6-8, 2020 Online (hosted by University of Hong Kong and University of Colorado Boulder

Programs and Abstracts for Previous Meetings

Most recently updated: 10/23/2019