Developments in Anthro Brands: Titan ‘AE’


American Ethnologist is becoming ‘AE’ and has yet another new cover and publication format commencing the new editorship of Donald Donham. Donham writes:

…we {Donham and former editor Virginia Dominguez} reflected on the title of the journal. Neither of us particularly liked Ethnologist. Its gesture toward comparison remains compelling, but it has, for all that a distinctly 19th-century ring… Changing the name of the journal was clearly out of the question, but these musings led me and the Board of the American Ethnological Society to redesign the cover. As readers of this issue see, American Ethnologist has become more boldy and simply AE. Visually, this reflects, I suspect, how readers usually refer to the journal…

Casting off a stodgy image through abbreviation (cf. ‘KFC’), this represents a further mutation, perhaps a natural evolution, in anthropology’s on-going rebranding. Thoughts? Personally, I like the new ‘ae’ logo, and think it would look pretty spiffy in rhinestones on the side of some faux fancy sunglasses (e.g.) – which everyone will of course really need in Long Beach at the SCA meeting.



10 thoughts on “Developments in Anthro Brands: Titan ‘AE’

  1. Your logo analysis is spot on. I could envision a oversize necklace pendant too.

    I think that Don Donham is going to do a great job, but I wish that he (and Virginia Dominguez) had not taken this stance on the word ethnologist, which for me is a badge of honor and a link to several distinguished, progressive scholarly traditions. I’d rather the journal have served as a forum for thinking through the different meanings that ethnology can take in international context. The term means different things in different national contexts and it thus provides a chance for AE to overcome the America-centrism that Donham (and Dominguez) also are trying to evade. As a modest example, Asian Folklore Studies recently changed its name to Asian Ethnology as a way of connecting more broadly to, for instance, European inflections of the word.

  2. In Tokyo “AE” means Account Executive, i.e., the “suits” whose task it is to charm clients, sell advertising, and manage the projects they sell.

  3. “Yet another new cover”? The whole sans-serif, lower-case schtick was only just becoming retro-cool after 20 years of being absurdly outdated. I say make those sunglasses with brown half-tinting and Paris Hilton big big big!

  4. I was about to flame you for dissing my hometown of Long Beach, but changed my mind when I saw the Paris pic. Perfect for those rides in my vintage leather-seated convertible down the coast to Irvine!

    I’m actually thinking about redoing the cover of AA in the next year or two, so it’s interesting to see the reactions to AE’s new cover, and CA’s too… I hadn’t thought about what kind of apparel tie-in possibilities I should consider. I know what a thankless task journal editing can be, and think that Don and the AE Ed Board are doing a great job.

  5. I’m not surprised that Dominguez is implicated in the title change. When she gave her Morgan Lectures at University of Rochester a number of years ago, she started off rejecting even “anthropology” and declared herself more aligned to Cultural Studies. Her term as AAA president will be interesting, I’m sure….

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