American Anthropologist, Sociologist, Folklorist and Feminist. She studied Native American tribes, such as the Tewa and Hopi, in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. She helped found the New School. She was associate editor for The Journal of American Folklore (1918-1941), president of the American Folklore Society (1919-1920), president of the American Ethnological Society (1923-1925), and was elected the first female president of the American Anthropological Association (1941) before her death. She earned her bachelor's degree from Barnard College in 1896. She received her master's degree in 1897, and a Ph.D. (1899) from Columbia University. Every other year, the American Ethnological Society awards the Elsie Clews Parsons Prize for the best graduate student essay, in her honor. On September 1, 1900, in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, she married Herbert Parsons. She became interested in anthropology in 1910. She believed that folklore was a key to understanding a culture and that anthropology could be a vehicle for social change. Her work of "Pueblo Indian Culture" is considered a classic.
Bio by: Jon Saunders