AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY
NUMBER 19______________________MAY 1995
- I. CONFERENCES & SEMINARS
- II. GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, ETC.
- III. JOURNALS, NEWSLETTERS, SERIES
- IV. RECENT BOOKS PUBLISHED BY AOS MEMBERS
- VII. AOS ETHICS GUIDELINES
- IX. FINANCIAL REPORT (Note: The appearance of the column alignment will vary
according to your web-browser. This document was prepared to display more or less correctly
- X. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 205TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN
ORIENTAL SOCIETY, MARCH 26TH-29TH, 1995, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH
I. CONFERENCES & SEMINARS
AOS Middle West Meeting
The 1996 AOS Middle West meeting will take place 11-13 February, 1996, at the First United
Methodist Church, La Grange, IL. Our intention is to honor Michael C. Astour in his eightieth year for
his many years of excellent scholarship. Those interested in participating in honoring Dr. Astour may
contact Mark W. Chavalas, Dept. of History, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, WI
54601 [tel.: 608-785-8350; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org].
American Numismatic Society
The American Numismatic Society has announced its Forty-third Graduate Seminar in Numismatics
to be held at the Museum of the American Numismatic Society from June 13 through August 12,
1995. The purpose of the Seminar is to familiarize students with numismatic methodology and
scholarship and to provide them with a deeper understanding of the contributions made by
numismatics to other fields of study. The deadline for this year's Seminar was 1 March 1995.
Information regarding future Graduate Seminar in Numismatics, application forms, stipends available,
should be addressed to: The American Numismatic Society, Broadway at 155th Street, New York,
NY 10032 [tel.: 212 234-3130; fax: 212 234-3381].
The American Numismatic Society also announces a second year of Saturday Afternoon Seminars,
which in 1995 will include two sessions on Islamic coinage led by Michael L. Bates, Curator of
Islamic Coins. The March 25, 1995 session was on "Collecting Islamic Coins". The October 21,
1995 session will be on "The Arab-Sasanian Coinage of Iran in the Seventh Century". Participation is
limited to fifteen members in order to permit the examination of coins and to allow free discussion;
there is a fee of $15.00 for each session. For further information call the Society at 212 234-3130.
NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers of Interest to AOS Members
Cultural Themes in Japanese History will be the topic of an NEH Summer Seminar for College
Teachers present by Professors Harold Bolitho and Albert Craig at Harvard University from June 26
to August 11, 1995.
Inscription as Art in the World of Islam
A call for papers has been issued for an interdisciplinary conference on Inscription as Art in the World
of Islam will be held from 25-27 April 1996 at Hofstra University. The conference will address
salient intellectual and scholarly issues associated with the role of inscription in Islamic art, based on
Arabic or the numerous languages that adapted the Arabic alphabet. Areas of inquiry include:
- 1. The usage of the Arabic script as sacred inscription in different parts of the world.
- 2. Formulation and usage of Arabic based regional scripts where Islam was accepted as a
faith, such as Persian, Urdu, Sindhi.
- 3. Inscription as icon: expression of devotion/faith via sacred writing (cross-comparative).
- 4. Legacy of the decorative and functional aspects of inscriptions within the context of the
traditional learning and scholarship in Muslim societies over centuries.
- 5. Historical perspective on the evolution of the Arabic script as a feature of decorative art
and/or the development of various calligraphic styles.
- 6. Context, function and comparative features of inscriptions on portable objects and
- 7. Differences of texts and varieties of interpretative contexts of inscriptions in zahir
(exoteric) versus batin (esoteric) formulations of Islamic ideology.
- 8. Impact of inscriptions on objects in the Muslim milieu. Were objects with inscriptions
considered more meritorious or distinguished than other comparable ones? What moral or
didactic or ethical purpose was served as a result of the inscriptions on various objects? Were
inscriptions extravagant and purely ornamental or did they serve to define and hence limit the
usage of the object?
A one-page description of proposed paper and curriculum vitae are due by June 1, 1995. Other topics
will be considered. Preliminary inquiries are welcome. The conference director is Habibeh Rahim
(Dept. of History, Hofstra University). For any information contact the conference coordinators:
Alexej Ugrinsky and Kerry Hasselmann, Hofstra Cultural Center, 109 Hofstra University, Hempsted,
NY 11550-1090 [tel.: 516 463-5669/5670; fax: 516 463-4793].
- 9. The future of Arabic scripts both as functional and decorative elements in an era of super
computers and other communication innovations.
Central and Inner Asian Seminar (CIAS), University of Toronto
The Central and Inner Asian Seminar (CIAS) is dedicated to studying the histories and cultures of
ancient and contemporary nomadic peoples that occupy the region from the China Sea to Eastern
Europe, and the relationship they have to the surrounding sedentary cultures. It draws members from
university, government, business and education communities and represents a variety of interests
which include Anthropology, Archaeology, Art, Folklore, History, Language, Literature, Politics,
Religion, Science and Technology.
The activities of the CIAS are supported largely by the Joint Centre for Asia Pacific Studies
(University of Toronto and York University). Further sponsorship is provided within the University of
Toronto by the Departments of East Asian Studies, History, Middle East and Islamic Studies, Slavic
Studies, by the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, the Centre for Medieval Studies, and by
the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. The CIAS annually holds a one-day conference or a
series of seminars on the campus of the University of Toronto. Presentations are by invitation only,
but interested parties are encouraged to notify the organizers of the subject and stage of their current
work. The CIAS was founded at the University of Toronto in 1990 by Professors Wayne Schlepp and
Michael Gervers. In 1995-1996, it will be organized by Professor Maria Subtelny, Chair, Department
of Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5S 1A5. [tel.:
416-978-5672; fax: 416-978-3305].
Warring States Project
The Warring States Working Group, an inter-university scholarly collaboration organized in 1993
under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to criticize and extend the Warring
States text-chronology researches of Professor E Bruce Brooks, has grown from its original 16 to 40
members. The Group's May 1995 meeting was hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill. Inquiries concerning the Group or Project in general may be addressed to Prof. Alvin P. Cohen,
Dept. of Asian Languages and Literatures, UMass, Amherst, MA 01003 [tel.: 413 584 1810; fax: 413
Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies
The 1995 Annual Conference of the Mid-Atlantic Region/Association for Asian Studies will be held
21-22 October 1995 at Towson State College, Towson, Maryland. For further information contact
Program Chair Jonathan H. Wolff, Asian Studies Program, 4E37 Forbes Quadrangle, University of
Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 [tel.: 412-648-7370; fax: 412-648-2199; e-mail:
Return to CONTENTS
II. GRANTS, FELLOWSHIPS, ETC.
Fulbright Scholar Award for Faculty and Professionals
The 1996-97 competition for Fulbright Scholar awards for U.S. Faculty and Professionals has been
announced. The deadline for lecturing or research grants for 1996-97 is August 1, 1995. For further
information and application materials, contact: Council for International Exchange of Scholars, 3007
Tilden Street NW, Suite 5M, Box GNEWS, Washington, DC 20008-3009 [tel: 202 686-7877;
e-mail for application requests only: CIES1@CIESNET.CIES.ORG].
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The 1995 NEH Overview of Endowment Programs includes information on grant opportunities and
how to reach the NEH for information. You may access the NEH's Bulletin Board System on your
modems on 202/606- 8688; you can e-mail (Bitnet) NEH on NEHOPA@GWUVM.GWU.EDU; or
you can call NEH on their new public information telephone number 202/606-8400. This year's
Overview describes the 35 funding opportunities available from NEH and is available free. Contact:
NEH Overview, Rm. 402, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506 or by using the
Bulletin Board, email or phone number listed above.
Woodrow Wilson Fellowships
The Woodrow Wilson International Center has announced the competition for its Fellowships in the
Humanities and Social Sciences for 1996-1997. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Center
awards approximately 35 residential fellowships each year for advanced research in the humanities
and social sciences. Men and women from any country and from a wide variety of backgrounds
(including government, the corporate world, the professions, and academe) may apply. Applicants
must hold a doctorate or have equivalent professional accomplishments. Fellows are provided offices,
access to the Library of Congress, computers or manuscript typing services, and research assistants.
The Center publishes selected works written at the Center through the Woodrow Wilson Press.
Fellowships are normally for an academic year. In determining stipends, the Center follows the
principle of no gain/no loss in terms of a Fellow's previous year's salary. However, in no case can the
Center's stipend exceed $61,000. Travel expenses for Fellows and their immediate dependents are
provided. The application deadline is October 1, 1995. For application materials write to:
Fellowships Office, Woodrow Wilson Center, 1000 Jefferson Drive S.W., SI MRC 022, Washington,
DC 20560. [tel.: 202- 357 2841].
The Woodrow Wilson Center has also announced the 1995-96 Fellows. Of the 31 Fellows appointed
for the 1995-96 year, the Fellows listed below with the projects they will pursue at the Center may be
of interest to AOS members: Richard M. Eaton: "Social history of the Deccan, 1300-1700"; Haleh
Esfandiari: "Reconstructed lives: Women and the Islamic revolution"; Kiichi Fujiwara:
"Authoritarian democracies: Political parties and the state in five Asian nations"; Patrick Eric Weil:
"Immigration policies and national identities: The United States, Europe, and Japan"; Allen S.
Whiting: "Security perspectives in East Asia"; André Wink: "Al-Hind: The making of the
Villa I Tatti
Villa I Tatti: The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies offers up to fifteen
fellowships for independent study on any aspect of the Italian Renaissance for the academic year
1996/97. The application deadline is 15 October 1995. For further information or application forms
contact: Villa I Tatti, Harvard University, University Place, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA
02138-5762 [tel.: 617 495-8042].
American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIS) Dissertation Fellowships
Awards of up to $2,500 are made annually for research on any aspect of Iranian history and
civilization in any discipline. Applicants must be enrolled at an AIIS member institution (see below)
and have completed all requirements for the Ph.D. degree except the dissertation. Application forms
may be obtained by writing to:
- The Secretary, American Institute of Iranian Studies, University of Pennsylvania Museum,
3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6398.
Completed application forms for the current cycle should be submitted to the Secretary by September
30, 1995. In addition to the application form, applicants should submit a copy of their
dissertation proposal, a timetable for completion of the research including an explanation of how the
money would be used, a curriculum vitae and transcript, and names and addresses of two referees (one
of whom should be the dissertation advisor).
Founded in 1967, the American Institute of Iranian Studies AIIS) is a consortium of educational and
cultural institutions. It represents institutional interests in the field of Iranian Studies, promotes the
field in North America and facilitates research abroad. The Institute is a member of the Council of
American Overseas Research Centers. From the fall of 1969 to the fall of 1979, the AIIS maintained
an overseas research center in Tehran. It remains committed to reopening that center and/or other
centers elsewhere in Persian-speaking areas of West-Central Asia at the earliest possible time. AIIS
members currently include the Universities of Arizona, California (at Berkeley and Los Angeles),
Chicago, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas (at Austin), Utah, and Washington, and Columbia,
Harvard, New York, Ohio State, Princeton and Washington Universities, the Metropolitan Museum of
Art, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.
University of Pennsylvania, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the
For younger scholars who, by October 15, 1995, will have received the Ph.D. but not yet held it for
more than eight years nor been granted tenure. Research proposals are invited in all areas of
humanistic studies except educational curriculum-building and performing arts. Preference is given to
proposals that are interdisciplinary and to candidates who have not previously utilized the resources of
this university and whose work would allow them to take advantage of the research strengths of the
institution and to make contribution to its intellectual life. The award carries an annual stipend of
$32,000. Completed applications and supporting material must be received by October 15, 1995. For
further information and applications, write to:
Chair, Humanities Coordinating Committee,
c/o Margaret A. Viggiano, Program Coordinator,
16 College Hall,
University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6378
An Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer
American Philosophical Society Grants
The American Philosophical Society makes grants towards the cost of scholarly research in all areas of
knowledge except those where support by government or corporate enterprise is more
appropriate. Projects likely to culminate in publications are preferred; projects in the creative or
performing arts, and educational materials for classroom use are not included. Grants cover travel to
the objects of research, purchase of photoreproductions of documents, and consumable supplies not
available at the applicant's institution. The Society makes no grants for study, salary replacement,
travel to conferences, or the purchase of permanent equipment, telephone calls or stationery.
Eligibility: applicants are expected to have held the doctorate for at least one year. Foreign nationals
applying from abroad must state precisely what objects of research, ONLY available in the United
States, need to be consulted.
- January 1: for decision by mid-April
- March 1: for decision by mid-June
- July 1: for decision by mid-October
Amount of award: $5000 maximum ($4000 for full professors); average award in 1994: $3117.
- November 1: for decision by mid-February
Obtaining forms: Written requests for forms must indicate eligibility, specify the area of research, and
state the proposed use of grant funds. Telephone requests for forms cannot be honored. Our premises
have not changed, but either of two addresses is valid:
Committee on Research,
American Philosophical Society,
104 S. 5th Street OR 150 S. Independence Mall East,
Philadelphia, PA 19106--3387
Scholarly Exchange With China 1996-97
Committee on Scholarly Communication with China announces grants for social
scientists and humanists:
- Graduate Study/Dissertation Research
The CSCC offers support to scholars and advanced graduate students to conduct research and study in
China and to Chinese scholars to conduct research in the U.S. Under the National Program for
Advanced Study and Research in China, the Graduate Program and Research Program support
American scholarly interests in the social sciences and humanities through sponsorship of long-term
study and research in China. These two programs are open to US citizens and permanent residents
regardless of national origin, race, sex, or religious affiliation.
- Fellowships For Chinese Scholars
Chinese Fellowships for Scholarly Development support Chinese scholars for post-graduate research
in the US in the social sciences and humanities. Funding is provided by the US information Agency,
National endowment for the Humanities, and the Li, Luce, and Starr Foundations.
supports individuals with the MA to do advanced study and/or dissertation research in social
sciences and humanities at a Chinese university or research institute; requires Chinese language
proficiency acquired through at least three years of college-level study or its equivalent, preferably
including time in a Chinese language environment; and requires a minimum tenure in China of one
academic year, beginning September 1996.
supports individuals in social sciences and humanities with the Ph.D. or equivalent at the time
of application; primarily supports individual research; those interested in joint research must submit
separate applications; supports in-depth research on China, the Chinese portion of a comparative
study, or exploratory research on an aspect of contemporary China; supports limited research in Hong
Kong or elsewhere in East Asia to supplement research within the PRC; requires tenure of two months
to one year in China, between July 1, 1996 and December 31, 1997; and gives preference to those
who have not previously participated in the program, but encourages former participants to apply on
the basis of published research done during an earlier visit.
Postmark deadline for application to the Graduate and Research Programs is October 13, 1995.
Chinese Fellowships for Scholarly Development:
support Chinese scholars in social sciences and humanities with the MA, Ph.D., or equivalent,
from a Chinese institution; require nomination by American host and residence at host's institution for
research and collaborative academic programs; do not support scholars enrolled in degree programs;
offer living and modest travel expenses for one semester (five months) between August 1996 and
December 1997 give preference to nominees whose host will secure support for a second semester.
Postmark deadline for nomination for Chinese Fellowships is November 3, 1995.
Address inquiries to: CSCC, 1055 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW, Suite 2013, Washington, D.C.
The 1995 Ibn Khaldun Prize
An International Graduate Student Writing Competition
The Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East of the American Council of Learned Societies and
the Social Science Research Council announces an international competition for outstanding papers in
the social sciences and humanities.
The competition is open to all graduate students working on topics relating to the contemporary
Middle East and North Africa or on historical topics in that region since the beginning of Islam.
Theoretically informed and/or comparative studies incorporating the Middle East and other regions of
the world are encouraged. There are no citizenship requirements and submissions will be accepted in
either English or French.
This competition is part of the Joint Committee's continuing interest in encouraging younger scholars
and in developing new and critical lines of scholarly inquiry in Middle East studies. The Joint
Committee will be responsible for review and will award a prize or prizes totaling $1,000 for the best
paper(s) received. Papers must not exceed 35 double-spaced, typewritten pages, including footnotes
and bibliography. Papers should not present "state-of-the-art" surveys, descriptive reviews, or non
theoretical surveys of recent literature. Unrevised dissertation proposals should not be submitted.
Writers must clearly establish the contribution of their topics to their own fields and to Middle East
studies in general.
The deadline for receipt of papers is July 15, 1995. Students should have completed at least one year
of graduate school and, along with their papers, should submit evidence of current full-time enrollment
or advancement to candidacy in a university doctoral program. Applicants should also include a cover
letter noting the number of years they have been enrolled at the graduate level. The winner(s) will be
announced by November 1995. Entries should be mailed to:
Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East,
Graduate Student Paper Competition,
Social Science Research Council,
605 Third Avenue,
New York, NY 10158
Return to CONTENTS
III. JOURNALS, NEWSLETTERS, SERIES
New Series and Newsletter on Central and Inner Asia from the University of
The Central and Inner Asian Seminar (CIAS) at the University of Toronto has, as a major objective,
the publication and distribution of research presented at the annual conference or the seminar series in
the form of working papers. The first volume in Toronto Studies in Central and Inner Asia has
appeared under the title Nomadic Diplomacy, Destruction and Religion from the Pacific to the
Adriatic (1994), containing papers by Thomas T. Allsen, Anatoly M. Khazanov, and James R.
Sweeney. Further information on this new series may be obtained from: Joint Centre for Asia Pacific
Studies, University of Toronto, Room 109, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A1
The CIAS also prepares and distributes an annual newsletter which can be obtained from the
organizers c/o the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M5S 1A5. Names and addresses of those interested in the activities of the Seminar will be
placed on the mailing list of the CIAS.
The Mongolia Society has announced publication of the first issue of Mongolia Survey (Number One,
Spring 1995), the successor to The Mongolia Society Newsletter, new series (1985-1994). For further
information on Mongolia Survey, The Mongolia Society and/or its other publications contact: The
Mongolia Society, 322 Goodbody Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405 [tel.: 812 855
4078; fax: 812 855 7500; e-mail: MONSOC@Indiana.edu].
Problems of Post-Communism
Problems of Post-Communism is the successor to Problems of Communism, which ceased publication
in mid-1992. The academic magazine is based at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian
Studies at George Washington University. The editors are accepting manuscripts for review. For
further information contact: Problems of Post-Communism, 2310 H Street NW, Suite 601J,
Washington, DC 20052 [tel.: 202 994-3962; e-mail: email@example.com].
Return to CONTENTS
IV. RECENT BOOKS PUBLISHED BY AOS MEMBERS
Lecker, Michael: Muslims, Jews and Pagans: Studies on Early Islamic Medina, (Leiden: E. J. Brill,
Wallenfels, Ronald: Hellenistic Seal Impressions in the Yale Babylonian Collection. I. Cuneiform
Tablets, Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka Endberichte 19, (Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von
Return to CONTENTS
V. POSITIONS AVAILABLE
University of Chicago
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Turkish History and Culture
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago seeks
applications and nominations for a junior (tenure track) in Turkish History and Culture, 18th-20th
centuries, appointment to begin Fall 1996. The ideal applicant will have demonstrated ability for
significant scholarship in the late Ottoman and Republican periods. Send letter of application, current
C.V., and names and addresses of three referees to:
Cornell H. Fleischer, Chair,
Turkish History and Culture Search Committee,
Center for Middle Eastern Studies,
The University of Chicago,
5828 S. University Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60637,
FAX (312) 702--2587 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Application deadline: October 16, 1995. The University of Chicago is an AA/EOE.
Assyriology Search -- UCLA
The Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles
announces a tenure-track position in Assyriology and Near Eastern Civilizations at the assistant
professor level, effective July 1, 1996, pending budgetary approval. Candidates should hold a Ph.D.
degree, display a high level of competence in both Akkadian and Sumerian, and demonstrate the
ability to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Mesopotamian history, religion, and literature.
Participation in a wide variety of interdisciplinary courses in ancient near eastern civilizations
including ancient Israel and Egypt is expected.
Applications containing a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, and the names of three referees
should be directed to the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, UCLA,
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1511. Deadline for applications is November 15, 1995. The University of
California is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.
Return to CONTENTS
The J. Paul Getty Trust
The J. Paul Getty Trust has made a number of recent announcements that may be of interest to AOS
- 1. The Trust has launched a pilot project to explore intellectual property rights and other
issues related to digital images and information.
- 2. Users of the Internet can now access art-historical information from bibliographic and
research databases of The Getty Art History Information Program (AHIP) on World Wide
Web (address http://www.ahip.getty.edu/ahip/home.html).
Return to CONTENTS
- 3. A multimedia database of folk art will test new standards developed by the Getty Art
History Information Program (AHIP) for accessing images and text on computer networks.
For further information contact The J. Paul Getty Trust. 401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900, Santa
Monica, CA 90401-1455 [tel.: 310 395-0388; telefax: 310 451-8750].
VII. AOS ETHICS GUIDELINES
Panel Discussion on a Proposed Code of Professional Behavior for the
AOS: Summary Statement
Prepared by Elizabeth C. Stone
The Discussion centered on the following draft document which was circulated at the meeting:
- 1. No member of the American Oriental Society should acquire any object, tablet,
manuscript or architectural fragment that there is reason to believe has been illegally
excavated and/or exported since 1970.
- 2. No member of the American Oriental Society should identify, authenticate or evaluate
material that there is reason to believe has been illegally excavated and/or exported since
- 3. Since no materials should be published or exhibited without permission from the legal
owner, no member of the American Oriental Society should report, publish or exhibit material
that there is reason to believe has been illegally exported and/or excavated, whether or not the
medium is a publication or professional meeting of the American Oriental Society since 1970.
The discussion was initiated with a brief introduction presented on behalf of the panel as a whole by
Elizabeth Stone. This introduction began by noting that a large number of other academic societies
were either in the process of developing a similar code, or had already done so. Many of those societies
had developed proposals which cover all aspects of behavior, from excavations, to publication, to the
treatment of illegally excavated and/or exported antiquities. Since the AOS is not primarily made up
of archaeologists, our discussion focussed only on the last point
We began by noting that the illegal antiquities trade not only divorces texts and objects from their
original contexts, but also leads to widespread destruction of objects, since only the best objects, the
complete tablets and, often, only illustrated manuscripts survive the process of illegal export. The
panel did, however, acknowledge that manuscripts, while they may be illegally exported, are not
usually the result of clandestine excavations and might merit some different consideration.
The issue of publication and exhibition of illegally obtained antiquities is the most difficult of the three
issues (acquisition, authentication and publication). However, since publication or exhibition has the
effect of authenticating the object in question and thus increasing its market value, while also
sanctioning the behavior of the people or institutions involved in its acquisition, such actions are as
damaging to the cultural heritage of the countries of origin as active buying and authentication.
This introduction ended by arguing that if professionals do not take the issue of the illegal antiquities
trade seriously, we cannot expect the wider public to do so. Our aim is to follow in the path of those
advocating the protection of endangered species, who have not only managed to persuade the
government to raid pet stores that specialize in exotic fauna, but have also made it a matter of censure
to own such animals. Indeed many of those who once collected endangered species are now working
to protect their native habitats. We hope that the illegal trade of antiquities will become as socially
sanctioned as the collection of endangered species.
The issue was then opened for discussion. Although all who responded expressed basic support for the
measure, some issues were raised, most of which related to the research interests of particular
individuals. The issues of authentication and acquisition were less troublesome than that of
publication. This was especially true for some whose field consists largely of materials which have
been illegally exported.
Most of the issues which were raised concerning either publication or purchase were, we felt, covered
by the suggested phraseology "there is reason to believe" used in the proposed code.
It was understood that it can be difficult to determine whether a particular text or artifact had been
exported before or after the 1970 UNESCO convention, which is generally taken as the point after
which the illegal antiquities trade is no longer tolerated. It was also understood that for those working
with materials which are quite recent, different countries define antiquities differently, such that an
object some 50 years old might be prohibited from being exported from one country, but not from
It was also noted that no sanctions were attached to this code. It is merely intended to serve as a
statement of principles for the AOS, to guide the members of the organization and the editorial
decisions of the JAOS.
Some suggestions offered by the floor were gladly accepted by the panel. These included the
replacement of "No member of the American Oriental Society should" with "The American Oriental
Society does not condone." We also accepted the suggestion that instead of separating acquisition,
authentication and publication into three paragraphs, that a single paragraph would suffice.
As a result of these deliberations, we forwarded the following revised guidelines to the Executive
Committee for consideration: In order to discourage the illegal trade in antiquities which leads to the
destruction of archaeological sites and their associated artifacts the American Oriental Society has
adopted the following guidelines for professional ethics:
- 1. The American Oriental Society does not condone the acquisition, evaluation, publication
or exhibition of artifacts including tablets, manuscripts and architectural fragments -- that there
is reason to believe have been illegally excavated and/or exported from their country of origin
- 2. The policies of the editorial and program committees of the American Oriental
Society will reflect these guidelines.
First Revised Draft of the AOS Ethics Guidelines
15 May 1995
I. A panel session at the 205th American Oriental Society meetings was convened on 20 March
1995 in Salt Lake City to discuss the "Proposed Code of Ethics for the AOS" drafted by Elizabeth
C. Stone and published in the Newsletter of the American Oriental Society 18 (November 1994)
The Board of the Society decided to appoint a committee to further the work begun by the panel.
That committee was made up of the elected Program Section chairs (William G. Boltz [East
Asia], Michael R. Drompp [Inner Asia], Stephanie W. Jamison [South and Southeast Asia],
Martha T. Roth [Ancient Near East], and Everett K. Rowson [Islamic Near East]), and the
editor-in-chief of the Journal [South and Southeast Asia]), and one Journal section editor
(Maynard P. Maidman [Ancient Near East]). The Guidelines Committee was asked to:
- (1) draft a revised set of guidelines, based on the discussion and comments raised at the
- (2) publish this "first revised guidelines" in the Spring 1995 Newsletter, accompanied by a
summary statement by the panel members (Jerrold R. Cooper, Elizabeth C. Stone, Karen
L. Wilson), and request comments from the membership;
- (3) prepare a "second revised guidelines" which will be included with the autumn mailings
for the 1996 meeting;
- (4) present the "second revised guidelines" in a panel session at the 1996 meetings in
- (5) prepare a "third revised guidelines" for circulation and vote by mail ballot;
The approved Guidelines will be included in the Society's Annual Meeting Call for the Papers and
in the Journal's Guidelines for Submission of Manuscripts.
- (6) announce the results of the mail vote at the 1997 meetings.
II. The published mission statement of the American Oriental Society reads as follows:
III. The UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import,
Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property was adopted by the UNESCO General
Conference at a session in Paris, 14 November 1970. The United States implemented the
UNESCO Convention on 12 January 1983, when President Ronald Reagan signed the Convention
of Cultural Property Implementation Act (P.L. 97-446). In the words of the United States
- 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 1970 Convention rose from a growing international concern that the high demand for cultural
objects in the art market had generated rampant pillaging, particularly in countries with few
resources to protect their cultural heritage. Pillaging has robbed these objects of their
provenance, often resulting in mutilation and often destroying forever vital traces of their place in
the history of mankind.
The 1970 Convention seeks to protect "cultural property," including archaeological and
ethnological materials, defined as:
Archaeological material must be: (1) of cultural significance; and (2) at least 250 years old; and
(3) normally discovered as a result of scientific excavation, clandestine or accidental digging, or
exploration on land or under water.
Ethnological material is: (1) the product of a tribal or nonindustrial society and (2) important to
the cultural heritage of a people because of its distinctive characteristics, comparative rarity, or
its contribution to the knowledge of the origins, development, or history of that people.
The US law accomplishes two provisions of the UNESCO Convention. It prohibits importation
of "any article of cultural property documented as belonging to the inventory of a museum or
religious or secular public monument or similar institution that has been stolen from such an
institution, "and recommends action on a case-by-case basis to "protect through the imposition of
U.S. import restrictions, archaeological or ethnological materials that are part of a country's
cultural patrimony and in danger from pillage."
IV. The AOS, through its members' presentations at the Annual Meetings and publications in the
Journal, is in a position to support the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1983 US
Implementation Act. To that end, the American Oriental Society Guidelines for Professional
Ethics declares that:
THE AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY DOES NOT CONDONE THE ACQUISITION,
AUTHENTICATION, EVALUATION, PUBLICATION, OR EXHIBITION OF
ARTIFACTS ILLEGALLY EXCAVATED OR ILLICITLY EXPORTED.
The above statement, when/if ratified, will be included in the Annual Meeting Call for Papers and
in the Journal's Guidelines for Submission of Manuscripts.
Respectfully submitted by the Guidelines Committee,
William G. Boltz Maynard P. Maidman
Michael R. Drompp Martha T. Roth (chair)
Edwin Gerow Everett K. Rowson
Stephanie W. Jamison
Comments, questions, suggestions should be sent to:
Professor Martha T. Roth, AOS Guidelines, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, 1155 E.
58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
Return to CONTENTS
VIII. NEWSLETTER ADDRESS
All items for the Newsletter of the American Oriental Society should be sent to:
Ruth I. Meserve, Editor
Newsletter of the American Oriental Society
Department of Central Eurasian Studies
Goodbody Hall 157
Bloomington, IN 47405
Materials for inclusion in the Newsletter may also be submitted by e-mail to the Office of the
Secretary. The Secretary will forward these to the Newsletter Editor.
Return to top of document