|JEAN TILSEN BRUST, 76, an internationally known Socialist activist
and former anthropology instructor, died of an apparent stroke on November
24, 1997, in Minneapolis, MN. Brust once called herself a "Marxist, Leninist,
Trotskyist revolutionary" and was one of the founding members of the Socialist
Workers Party in the 1930s. She left it "when it abandoned internationalism
and turned toward reformism," she once told a reporter. Brust was a Workers
Party candidate for a congressional seat and two years later she ran for
the US Senate.
Born Jean Tilsen on August 31, 1921, in St Paul, MN. Brust was married
to William Z Brust, a one-time gubernatorial candidate, whom she met during
the 1946 packinghouse strike in South St Paul. She was once arrested for
beating a man for crossing a picket line. She earned BA (1965) and MA (1969)
degrees in anthropology from the U of Minnesota and completed coursework
for the PhD. She taught at St Olaf College (1969-72), resigning in 1972
to devote full time to organizing for the Worker's League. She was also
active in the civil rights movement, having conducted 1962 research for
the NAACP entitled "Survey of De Facto Segretation in St Paul Schools."
Brust had three children, Cynthia Jean, M Leo and Steven K. She is
survived by a son and daughter. (Based on an Associated Press obituary,
November 28, 1997, and materials from the archives of the Department of
Anthropology, St Olaf C.)
JAMES B CHRISTENSEN, 76, professor emeritus of anthropology at Wayne
State U, died November 5, 1997, in Southfield, MI, from complications of
emphysema and cancer.
Christensen was born in Centerfield, UT, on December 24, 1921. He attended
Snow College in Ephraim, UT, before entering the Army Air Corps, where
he served as a pilot and flight instructor (1942-46). He studied at the
U of Utah, where he received a BSc (1947) and MA (1948). In 1950-51 he
did anthropological research in Ghana on a Fulbright scholarship, and earned
his PhD in anthropology from Northwestern U (1952) with a dissertation
on Fanti culture.
In 1952 Christensen began his academic career at Wayne State U, where
he later became a full professor and served as Chairman of the Department
of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of Anthropology (after Sociology
and Anthropology split), and Director of the Social Science Program.
Accompanied by his family, Christensen spent 1959-60 doing research
in Morogoro, Tanganyika, on a second Fulbright scholarship. He was also
awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation
(1959). In 1961 he served as a consultant and instructor for the Peace
Corps. In the 1970s and 1980s he did research in various West African countries,
including Ghana and Liberia. He retired in 1986, as professor emeritus.
Christensen was the author of one book and numerous scholarly papers, articles
and reviews on cultural anthropology, and held fellowships and memberships
in many professional organizations.
Christensen married Joyce Besley in 1947 in Salt Lake City, UT, and
they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last March. Traveling was
his passion, and before and after retirement, he visited over 90 countries.
Christensen is survived by his wife and sons, Carl W and Stephen B. Contributions
may be sent to the American Lung Association of American Cancer Society.
TONI FLORES, 55, professor of woman's studies and American studies,
Hobart and William Smith Colleges, died November 3, 1997.
A cheese will break
Flores studied at Bryn Mawr and the U of Pennsylvania. She was a founding
member of the Society for Humanistic Anthropology and poetry editor of
Anthropology and Humanism. Her own words tell how she enacted an anthropological
poetics: "One can't define poetry except by defining it in the doing. It
has something to do with sensuality and the mind. That is, poetry has to
do with the transfer, or perhaps the transformation of physical sensations,
and our delight in them, directly to the mind, without the mediation of
abstraction or 'ideas'."
In 1982 Flores published "Verses to Intractable Things" in Anthropology
and Humanism Quarterly. This extract is prescient:
exactly where it wills,
exactly where it wills
exactly where it wills.
You put your thumbs so,
because you want to save the half
and with firmness of purpose
and human clarity of mind
and the cheese breaks
where it wants to . . .
My own death uncurls inside me
in uterus or heart or gut,
blind worm breaking cells,
wherever it wills.
And still I will praise
that know nothing
of my will
their own mathematics
with a solemn joy.
Shortly after she learned of her ovarian cancer, Flores told the convocation
audience at her college: "Seek silence . . . Live fully in the blazing
world . . . To be alive in this blazing word is a wonderful thing. To be
alive and conscious is a gift beyond price and perhaps beyond comprehension.
Flores was a feminist, an ecologist, a student of Native American traditions
and of poetics. Above all, she was a devoted mother to her 5 children:
Adam and Andre Fratto, Kristen Flores-Fratto and John and Anthony Belliveau-Flores.
When Toni, John and Anthony visited us on Retreat Island in 1994, she wrote:
Falling into sleep in the captain's bed, facing out to sea
and the rocks and the faint line where the sun had set,
Anthony murmured, "I can feel my heart beating. The stars
are going in and out with my heart beats."
And he fell asleep.
Child, where were you then? Did the stars sing to you
as they danced in and out between your dreams
and the edge of the still expanding universe,
or did you and they hold ethereal hands and dissolve
into the long silence that underlies all breath, all story,
all song? When we finish our reading for the night I kiss you,
do I hand you over to mother silence, into whose lap I myself
long and fear to go, and do you wait for me there?
Thanks, Toni, for being a muse to your children, to us and to the community
that is within anthropology. To honor her, donations may be sent to the
Toni Flores Fund, Alumni House, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva,
NY 14456. (Robin and Jillian Ridington)
WILLIAM A "BILL" LESSA, 89, professor emeritus of anthropology at the
U of California at Los Angeles and a major contributor both to Micronesian
studies and the anthropology of religion, died in Los Angeles on October
14, 1997, after a long illness. A native of Newark, NJ, Lessa was born
on March 3, 1908. He received his AB from Harvard (1928). After serving
as a researcher at the Constitution Clinic at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical
Center (1929-30) and as a research associate at the U of Hawaii (1930-33),
where he developed a lifelong fascination with the cultures of the Pacific,
he enrolled in the U of Chicago's graduate program in anthropology. He
received an MA in 1941.
Like so many members of his generation, Lessa's graduate education
was interrupted by World War II, during which he served with distinction
as a captain and later a major in American Military Government in Italy.
After the war, he returned to Chicago and, on submitting a dissertation
based on his wartime experiences, completed his PhD (1947). That fall,
he joined the faculty at UCLA as an instructor but shortly thereafter took
a leave of absence to do intensive fieldwork on Ulithi Atoll, in the Western
Carolines, a place he would return to on several occasions in later years
for further research. He eventually rose to the rank of professor, retiring
in 1969 after a distinguished teaching career in the course of which he
served as mentor and good friend to dozens of UCLA anthropology graduate
students, myself included. Trained initially as a physical anthropologist,
Lessa's first major publication, An Appraisal of Constitutional Typologies
(1943), probably did more than any single publication to discredit Sheldon's
then popular notion that body types ("mesomorphs," "endomorphs") determine
personality structure. But his exposure at Chicago to the ideas of Radcliffe-Brown
et al caused him to shift his focus to cultural anthropology, with an emphasis
on magicoreligious belief systems. In this latter vein, in 1958, together
with Evon Vogt, he edited the first of what would eventually become 4 editions
of Reader in Comparative Religion (4th ed, 1979), still widely considered
the standard work in the field.
Lessa also became intensely interested in folklore and published Tales
from Ulithi Atoll (1961), a magisterial work that is often held to be a
model of the genre. A few years earlier, he published "Oedipus-Type Tales
in Oceania" (1956), which definitively demonstrated that the Oedipus story
is not universal, as the Freudians had long held, but has a limited geographic
distribution. His comprehensive ethnography Ulithi: A Micronesian Design
for Living, a mainstay of the old Holt, Rinehart and Winston Case Studies
series, has been read and appreciated by generations of anthropology students,
as well as professionals in the field. Bill Lessa, who never married, is
survived by brother Alfred Lessa and niece Rose Natale. (C Scott Littleton)
H JANE PHILIPS, 87, died June 21, 1997, in a retirement community in
Hamilton, OH, where she lived for 5 years. Philips taught anthropology
at Howard U for 20 years before retiring in the mid-1980s.
Philips, who lived in Washington from the 1950s until 1991, was born
in Alexandria, Egypt. She was a graduate of Wilson College (Pennsylvania)
and received a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia U. During World
War II she did resettlement work in Kenya with the International Refugee
Organization and also worked in Greek war relief efforts in Athens. Her
work with refugees did not end with the war. She sponsored her own resettlement
project, bringing an entire family from Egypt to the US.
Before joining the Howard faculty, Philips taught at Hunter College
and the U of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health. Her anthropological
work took her to the 4 corners of the world. She lived and worked in Africa,
Southeast Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Central and South America. In
Africa, she spent two years with the Nubian peoples before their lives
were forever changed by the new Egyptian Aswan High Dam. In her mid-70s
she made a trip down the Amazon River. She was also a member of the Society
of Woman Geographers.
Philips was a gifted teacher. She was fascinated with every aspect
of life, working in all areas of anthropology. She also had an extensive
background in art history and religion. She communicated her fascination
in such a way that students could not help but be equally intrigued. Philips's
knowledge of the world community was so extensive that when she retired
from Howard, we had to go back to our bookcases and bring out our encyclopedias
again, as our living source of information had left.
Philips's generosity was unparalleled. She was an important contributor
to the lives and welfare of many people from a multiciplity of backgrounds.
She gave unstintingly of her time and emotional support, helping people
to weather personal crises. She contributed financially to individuals
without destroying their dignity and self-worth by packaging donations
as payment for services she said she needed for herself or as scholarships
for students in need. Her spiritual goodness at one time or another helped
countless people. Philips is deeply missed by those who knew her. She is
survived by brothers Reverend William H and Reverend David W Philips. (Arvilla
Payne-Jackson, with assistance from Philips's two brothers and Rena Gropper)
PHILIP L RAVENHILL, 52, chief curator of the Smithsonian's National
Museum of African Art (NMAA) for 10 years, died October 13, 1997, at his
home in Washington, DC. He suffered a heart attack.
Ravenhill joined the NMAA in 1987. An anthropologist with a special
interest in the visual arts, he developed and oversaw numerous exhibitions
of both classical and modern African art. Throughout the years he played
a pivotal role in selecting and recommending works for the museum to acquire.
More than two dozen classical works recently donated to the museum in honor
of its 10th anniversary on the National Mall are currently featured in
an exhibition that Ravenhill organized, "Gifts to the National Collection
of African Art."
Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Ravenhill was a senior research fellow
at the International African Institute in London and project director of
the West African Museums Project in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. He was a member
of the steering committee of the West African Museums Programme and of
the editorial boards of African Arts and Museum Anthropology.
At the National Museum of African Art, Ravenhill curated many exhibitions
including the highly acclaimed permanent installation "The Art of the Personal
Object," which examined the interpretation of form, style, visual meaning
and cultural creativity in African utilitarian objects; "Kalabari Ancestral
Screens: Levels of Meaning" and "Echoes of the Kalabari: Sculpture by Sokari
Douglas Camp" (with Roslyn Walker); "Dreaming the Other World: Figurative
Art of the Baule of Cote d'Ivoire"; "Recent Acquisitions: New Dimensions"
(with Sylvia Williams); "Grace Kwami Sculpture: An Artist's Book by Atta
Kwami"; "Three Explorations: Yoruba, Temne and Baga" (with Andrea Nicolls
and Roslyn Walker) and "Sokari Douglas Camp: Three Sculptures." In 1992,
he oversaw reinstallation of the museum's permanent gallery of classical
African art, renamed at that time by him "Images of Power and Identity."
Among Ravenhill's publications were "Dreams and Reverie: Baule Images
of Other-World Mates in the Twentieth Century" and "The Art of the Personal
Object," as well as many exhibition brochures. At the time of his death,
he was completing work on a book about the museum's collection of classical
art. He also worked on numerous film projects, including "Dialogue avec
le sacre: les arts traditionnels de Cote d'Ivoire," "The Hands of the Potter,"
"Togu Na and Checko: Change and Continuity in the Art of Mali" and "The
Art of West-African Strip-Woven Cloth."
Born in Bath, England, Ravenhill received his BA in philosophy from
Nyack College (NY, 1968), and MA and PhD in anthropology from the New School
for Social Research (1970, 1976).
Ravenhill is survived by children Geoffrey, Brendan and Amanda, former
wife Judith Timyan and his friend and companion Massumeh Farhad. (Courtesy
of the NMAA, Smithsonian Institution)
T DALE STEWART, 96, physical anthropologist, died October 27 in Bethesda,
MD. Born June 10, 1901 in Delta, PA, Stewart began a career association
with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, in 1924 as an aide
to physical anthropologist Ales Hrdlícka. He took premedicine courses
at George Washington U (AB, 1927). After studying medicine at the Johns
Hopkins U (MD, 1931), he returned to the Smithsonian, succeeding Hrdlícka
in 1942 as curator of the Division of Physical Anthropology. He served
as head curator in 1961 and museum director (1962-66). Stewart formally
retired from the Smithsonian in 1971 but continued professional activity
for another two decades.
Stewart taught at Washington U Medical School (1943), in Mexico City
(1945), and at the George Washington U School of Medicine (1958-67). In
1954 and 1955, he assisted the US Army Quartermaster Corps in Japan in
the identification of human remains recovered from the Korean conflict.
This work led to the classic 1957 monograph (with Thomas McKern) Skeletal
Age Changes in Young American Males. Additional research-related travel
included work in East Africa, China, Guatemala, Iraq and Peru.
Stewart published over 200 articles and books, focusing mostly on interpretation
of human skeletal remains but including topics in archaeology, forensic
anthropology, history of anthropology, paleoanthropology (especially issues
related to Shanidar Neanderthals), human and primate comparative anatomy,
paleopathology, dental anthropology, general human skeletal biology and
physical anthropology. His major works include The People of America (1970),
Essentials of Forensic Anthropology (1979), the 1952 edition of Hrdlícka's
Practical Anthropometry and Personal Identification in Mass Disasters (1970).
In 1992, at the age of 91 years, Stewart published a Smithsonian monograph
on his 1938-40 archaeological work at the Virginia site of Patawomeke.
Stewart is well known for his many problem-oriented articles, attention
to detail, clarity of expression, meticulous scholarship and professional
dedication. He was also an accomplished portrait artist who played the
piano, loved to entertain and recount his world travels and always found
time for students and friends.
For two decades beginning in 1942, Stewart served as the regular consultant
in forensic anthropology for the FBI. In this capacity he reported on many
cases and regularly testified in murder trials as an expert witness. Stewart
was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the U of Cuzco (1949). He
received the Wenner-Gren Foundation's Viking Medal in Physical Anthropology
(1953) and the Smithsonian's Joseph Henry Medal (1976). In 1962, he was
elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He became an honorary member
of the American Orthopaedic Association (1963) and the American Academy
of Forensic Sciences (1974). Stewart served as president of the Anthropological
Society of Washington, vice president of the Washington Academy of Sciences,
president of the American Institute of Human Paleontology, member of the
Committee on Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society,
editor (1952-48) of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and president
(1950-52) and treasurer-secretary (1960-64) of the American Association
of Physical Anthropologists. In 1993, he received the Charles R Darwin
Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAPA.
Stewart was preceded in death by first wife Julia Cable Wright Stewart
(1951) and second wife Rita Frame Dewey Stewart (1996). He is survived
by his daughter from his first marriage, Cornelia Stewart Gill, three grandchildren
and 7 great-grandchildren.
JOHN ADAIR, 84, a cultural anthropologist who pioneered in visual and
medial anthropology and worked more than 50 years with the Navajo nation,
died December 14, 1997, in San Francisco, CA. Born in Memphis, TN, Adair
studied at the U of Wisconsin and at Columbia U with Ruth Benedict, and
completed his PhD at the U of New Mexico. He served in the armed forces
during World War II. Before moving to San Francisco, Adair was associated
as a teacher and researcher with Cornell U and the National Institutes
of Mental Health. Between 1964 and 1978 he was a professor of anthropology
at San Francisco State U.
Adair's photographs, films and texts from 1938 through the mid-1970s
are definitive references on Navajo health, silversmithing and culture.
Among his seminal works are the film Navaho Silversmithing (1939) and books
The Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths (currently in its 11th printing) and
Through Navajo Eyes (1972). Several of his research projects were located
in Pine Springs, a Navajo community in northeastern Arizona. His film A
Weave of Time documents 4 generations of a local family whom he knew while
living in the community. Adair was recognized by residents of Pine Springs
as a rarity among non-Navajos, for his ability to converse in their language.
Along with Margaret Mead, Adair was one of the founders of the Society
of Applied Anthropology. He was also a cofounder of the Navajo Arts and
Crafts Guild, which placed artistic and economic control of their work
in the hands of Navajo artists.
Adair made a concerted effort both to allow the communities he studied
heritage access to his materials and to give them control over how the
materials are used. To this end, his archives are housed at the Wheelwright
Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, NM. Adair is predeceased by
his wife Carolyn (Casey) and son Peter. He is survived by daughters Margo
and Nancy Adair. (Excerpted from the December 21, 1997, San Francisco Examiner
obituary by Eric Brazil)
GORDON W HEWES, 80, an anthropologist whose professional interests encompassed
all subdisciplines, died in Boulder, CO, November 22, 1997. Born in San
Francisco on October 29, 1917, Hewes received an AB degree from the U of
California, Berkeley (1938) with a major in anthropology and minor in economics.
His PhD in anthropology was from the same institution (1947).
Hewes's doctoral research was on indigenous fishing on the North American
west coast. He demonstrated the role of fishing among precontact native
American populations and showed what effects this prior use had on the
postcontact fishing industry. Hewes's work forms the baseline data used
in recent fishery studies in the same region.
Hewes maintained a professional interest in archaeology. He directed
archaeological surveys in the central San Joaquin Valley (1939) and the
field school in archaeology sponsored by the U of North Dakota (1947-48).
In 1950 he served as president of the Southern California Archaeological
Survey Association, and with sponsorship of the Smithsonian Institution
he directed U of Colorado excavations at Wadi Halfa, Sudan, in 1962 and
During World War II, Hewes served in the US Army, where he was attached
to the Office of Strategic Services, in Washington, DC. During this time
he renewed his interests in Japanese and Chinese languages and cultures.
This interest in the Orient led to his study of comparative civilizations,
an outgrowth of A L Kroeber's concern with cultural ecumenae. Hewes became
an active member of the International Society for the Comparative Study
After the war, Hewes taught at the U of North Dakota (1946-49) and
the U of Southern California (1949-1951). In 1951 he joined the faculty
of the U of Colorado and became a professor emeritus in 1988. During his
years at Colorado, his interest in human morphology led him to study human
postural habits worldwide, resulting in "The Anthropology of Posture" (Scientific
American 196:122-132). He maintained a macaque on campus and would demonstrate
in various classroom performances the way in which she would switch from
a quadrupedal to bipedal stance. He theorized that this shift was the result
of climate and diet and that the evolution of language as derived from
gestures may be closely tied to bipedal evolution. Hewes reopened the doors
to the study of language origins, evolution of higher cognitive functions
and acceptance of the validity of observations of nonhuman primates in
both laboratory and field situations.
Hewes was proficient in topics in physical anthropology, archaeology
and ethnology/ethology. Authoring over 200 publications, the most recent
of which includes "A History of the Study of Language Origins and the Gestural
Primacy Hypothesis" (1996 Handbook of Human Symbolic Evolution), the republication
in 1991 of his 1973 "Primate Communication and the Gestural Origin of Language"
(Current Anthropology) and the "Daily Life Component in Civilization Analysis"
(Comparative Civilizations Review, 1995).
Hewes is survived by his wife Minna Winestine Hewes, who shared fully
in his fieldwork. Contributions in his honor may be made to: The Gorilla
Foundation, P O Box 620-530, Woodside, CA 94062; or to Friends of Washoe,
Central Washington U, Ellensburg, WA 98926. (Dorothy Kaschube and Barbara
HANS HOFFMANN, 68, died suddenly at home in Vestal, NY, March 8, 1997,
of a ruptured aneurysm of the aorta. Hoffmann was born in 1929 in Koblenz,
Germany, and moved with his family to White Plains, NY, 10 years later.
He majored in mathematics at Cornell U and studied anthropology and Chinese
literature as minors. At Yale, he earned his anthropology PhD with his
dissertation "Assessment of Cultural Homogeneity among the James Bay Cree"
(1957). His dissertation research used thematic apperception test protocols
and life histories to study the psychological aspects of acculturation
of the people of Attawapiskat. He taught briefly at the Universities of
Oklahoma and Arkansas before going to SUNY Binghamton, where he remained
until his death. His early fieldwork also included studies of the Great
Whale River Eskimo and the Shipibo of both the upper Amazon and the Ucayali
Though interested in the subject of psychology, Hoffmann held an even
greater interest in the application of mathematics, and particularly symbolic
logic, to anthropology. He wrote numerous articles on mathematical anthropology,
including a review of the field in the Biennial Review of Anthropology
(1970). In later years, he transformed his lifelong love of boating into
an interest in maritime anthropology, emphasizing the application of mathematics
to technical aspects of boat design and navigation. Since 1980, Hoffmann
spent many summers in the Chesapeake Bay region, studying the waterways
and the boats designed to fish them in the 19th century. He also purchased
and sailed a Pacific-style multihull boat to broaden his knowledge of traditional
Pacific voyaging. His maritime anthropology research resulted in his teaching
5 courses on the subject, and he thus singlehandedly made Binghamton U's
maritime anthropology training the most extensive available at an inland
US university, and perhaps the most technologically oriented anywhere in
Hoffmann's personal interests and love of anthropology were inseparable.
He was an avid outdoorsman who combined his bicycling, hiking, cross-country
skiing and gliding with his professional work. For example, his bicycling
and hiking of the Erie Canal resulted in the introduction of a section
on canals into his Technology and Material Culture course, and his long
experience as a glider pilot led to his 1989 article "Gliding in L3: Decisions,
Decisions," which used symbolic logic to describe decision-making processes
of glider pilots. Hoffmann was an indefatigable researcher, possessed of
an active mind that was always moving in new directions, and it was his
students who were always the first and most significant beneficiaries of
his work. As a result of his many interests, his students were treated
to such diverse courses as Viking Traders and Raiders, Peoples of the Northern
Forest and Art in Culture, all taught with a decidedly scientific orientation.
His older courses, furthermore, never stayed old, since he spent a great
deal of time and effort in reorganizing them to present the results of
Hoffmann is survived by his wife Elizabeth, children Ingrid, Kathryn
and Christopher, and 6 grandchildren. (Daniel Strouthes; photo courtesy
of the Department of Anthropology, SUNY-Binghamton)
KENNETH KIRKWOOD, 78, Rhodes Professor of Race Relations, U of Oxford,
England, died October 16, 1997. Born in Transvaal in 1919, Kirkwood served
in World War II in Africa and Italy with the South African Engineer Corps,
before turning to social anthropology and politics. He held a post in comparative
politics at the U of Natal and was involved with the South African Insitute
of Race Relations. In 1952 Kirkwood went to London as a fellow of the Institute
of Commonweath Studies, and in 1953 worked with Margery Perham on Lord
Hailey's African Survey. Elected to the new chair of Race Relations in
1954, Kirkwood is credited with building St Anthony's College as a center
for African Studies and for his opposition to racial intolerance. His faith
in moderate political evolution in South Africa clashed with the Marxizing
views of most of those in Oxford then interested in Africa. Kirkwood also
served as chairman of the board of the Faculty of Anthropology and Geography.
He wrote numerous articles and booklets, edited several volumes and was
honored by a festschrift on his retirement in 1986 (A Kirk-Green and J
Stone, eds). (Excerpted from an obituary in the December 1997 Anthropology
CAROL PULLEY MACCORMACK, 63, suffered a massive stroke while showing
a friend through her beloved spring garden and died on May 15, 1997, at
the Hospice Center in Lancaster, PA. Born in California, MacCormack earned
a BA in history (Magna cum laude) from Millersville College and a PhD in
anthropology at Bryn Mawr College (1971).
MacCormack taught at Franklin and Marshall College, where she chaired
the department before taking a position at Cambridge U (1974-79) as lecturer
and fellow, New Hall. In 1979 she was appointed senior lecturer in social
sciences at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she
lectured on anthropology to MDs from many nations. She later combined this
with duties as senior lecturer in anthropology at the School of African
Studies at the U of London. MacCormack retired in 1990 and taught briefly
in New Zealand (Auckland) before taking a McBride Professorship in Anthropology
at Bryn Mawr College for three years. In 1993 she began research in the
anthropology of bereavement, working through the Lancaster hospice, and
combined this with teaching at Franklin and Marshall College as a distinguished
visiting professor of anthropology. She had agreed to direct the women's
studies program at F&M a few days prior to her untimely death.
MacCormack's fieldwork was in Sierra Leone among the Sherbro, where
she focussed on how women achieve power and exercise political leadership
as Paramount chiefs. She later combined this interest with research in
health throughout developing areas of the world (Tanzania, Pakistan, Burma,
Jamaica, India, Gambia) and held consultancies with the World Health Organization,
World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and Agency for International
MacCormack was a prolific writer, contributing over 80 chapters and
articles to international journals and edited volumes, including Canadian
Journal of African Studies (female leaders), Africana Research Bulletin
(leadership), Society for the Social History of Medicine Bulletin (childbirth),
Mims (ethnic minority health), Ethnologische Zeitschrift Zurich (art),
Bulletin of the World Health Organization (malaria control), Journal of
Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (family planning) and The Friend (compassion).
Her contributions to edited volumes are extensive: "Madam Yoko: Ruler of
the Kpa Mende Confederacy," in Rosaldo and Lamphere's Women Culture and
Society (1974); Recipes (with an account of the cultural context of Sherbro
cooking and eating) in Kuper's The Anthropologists Cookbook (1977); "Slaves,
Slave Owners and Slave Dealers: Sherbro Coast and Hinterland," in Robertson
and Klein's Women and Slavery in Africa (1983); and "Human Leopards and
Crocodiles: Political Meanings of Categorical Anomalies," in Brown and
Tuzin's The Ethnography of Cannibalism. Her best-known writings are chapters
in volumes she herself edited: Nature, Culture and Gender (1981) with M
Strathern (reprinted in many languages), Ethnography of Fertility and Birth
(1982), Folk Medicine and Health Culture: Roles in Modern Health Care (1982)
with T Vaskilampi and There Is Another World but It Is This One: A Holistic
MacCormack was an inspiring and demanding teacher. Her many students
have lost a best friend as well as an unflappable and tireless mentor.
She is survived by her husband Jack Mongar, son Paul and 4 grandchildren.
(Jane C Goodale)
JEROME R MINTZ, 67, professor emeritus of anthropology and Jewish studies
at Indiana U, Bloomington, died on November 22, 1997 in Bloomington. Born
March 29, 1930 in Brooklyn, NY, Mintz received a PhD from Indiana U (1961)
and began to teach in the Indiana U Folklore department in 1962, following
a year at Ohio State U. He joined the Indiana department of anthropology
Mintz's work has been internationally recognized for his contributions
in two ethnographic areas: rural Andalusia (Spain) and Hasidic communities
in the US. His research in Andalusia culminated in his book the Anarchists
of Casas Viejas (1982, 1993), as well as in 6 ethnographic films, including
Carnaval De Pueblo (1987), Pepe's Family (1978) and Romeria: Day of the
Virgin (1986). His filmography received several awards, including the Award
for Excellence from the Society for Visual Anthropology (for Romeria, 1986)
and two first prizes in the Modern Language Association Film Festival (for
The Shoemaker and Pepe's Family, 1980). Based on a multifaceted methodology,
Mintz's Andalusian ethnography provides a complex and exhaustive social
scientific analysis of a European rural society, the social, cultural and
economic changes it undergoes and its role in national identity and historical
memory. The Anarchists is embedded in an oral historical approach to political
memory, as represented in local narratives about the spread of anarchism
in rural Andalusia. His most recent book, Carnival, Song, and Society (1997),
is a study of rural carnival as it elaborates on the memory of the anarchist
past and on present social concerns in the same region.
Mintz's work on Hasidim is similarly inspired, from a methodological
viewpoint. While he started with the ethnographic collection of narrative
folklore in his books Legends of the Hasidim (1968) and In Praise of Baal
Shem Tov (1970, coauthored with Dan Ben-Amos), Mintz's study of Hasidic
society culminated in his Hasidic People: A Place in the New World (1992),
which received the National Jewish Book Award in 1993. Here again, one
finds the analysis of a community undergoing major sociocultural changes,
especially with immigration to the US after World War II. The most striking
aspect of Mintz's work is represented in his refined ethnographic skills:
in his written and visual works, one can hear the peasants' striking voice
and words and can visualize the tremendous listening capacity of the observer,
his ability to capture the character and humor of his subjects. For this
reason, Mintz's writing on paper and on screen is extremely moving and
convincing, while it also reveals a relentless sense of humor that those
who were lucky to be his colleagues were able to appreciate on a daily
Jerry Mintz died after a long struggle with leukemia. He is survived
by his wife Betty (Kowalski) Mintz, daughter Aviva Tavel and sons Paul
and Aron. (Joele Bahloul)
DANIEL NUGENT, 42, died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage on October 12,
1997, in Tucson, AZ. One of the most prominent, prolific and professionally
active anthropologists of his academic generation, Nugent authored or edited
4 books and numerous articles. He played an important role promoting interaction
between Mexican scholars and their American counterparts, organizing binational
conferences and numerous collaborative research and writing projects. He
also collaborated with the San Francisco Mime Troupe in the scripting and
production of a play about the EZLN uprising in Chiapas. He was active
as an editor and contributor to journals of critical social theory, including
Critique of Anthropology and The Journal of Historical Sociology, Identities,
Labour, Capital and Society and Monthly Review. He held research and teaching
positions at the U of Texas, Austin, U of California, Riverside and San
Diego, and the U of Arizona, Tucson, where he was an assistant professor
of anthropology at the time of his death.
Nugent took from his undergraduate and graduate studies at the U of
Chicago a conception of anthropology rooted in social theory and commitment
to the integration of theory with ethnography and history. Intellectual
commitment to social theory, especially but not exclusively its Marxist
variants, was central not only to Nugent's anthropological work but to
his life; it was inseparable from his political and cultural radicalism.
He lived his attitudes through his anarchopopulist personal style, a montage
of funky-Western dress and an ironically humorous manner through which
he sought to distance himself from the social pretentions, intellectual
conformism and political timidity of academic life. Not surprisingly, the
style, together with the intellectual and political commitments that underlay
it, tended to polarize his relations with colleagues, while helping to
make him a popular and charismatic teacher. In the field (Namiquipa, Chihuahua),
the same qualities led him to go beyond participant observation to participation
for its own sake: laboring in the fields alongside the families with whom
he lived, working as a mechanic with local men to repair their cars and
pickups, performing with local bands and teaching in the town school (with
his students, he organized a municipal historical archive). The result
was superb ethnography and insightful interpretations of local perspectives
on history, politics and issues such as the meaning of the Mexican revolution
and the current crisis of the Mexican state. These strengths are evident
in Nugent's Spent Cartridges of Revolution: An Anthropological History
of Namiquipa, Chihuahua (1993).
Nugent's 7-year-old son Carlos asked that this text include a few words
from him: "I really really loved him. . . . Dad. I'll miss you." So will
Nugent's many friends in Namiquipa and elsewhere. So will anthropology.
Nugent's parents, Peggy and Charles Nugent, have established a memorial
fund for a dissertation prize to be given in his name by the Department
of Anthropology, U of Chicago. Donations can be made to the U of Chicago,
marked for "The Daniel Nugent Memorial Fund," and sent to the chair, Department
of Anthropology, U of Chicago, 1126 E 59th St, Chicago, IL 60637 (Terry
ANNETTE B WEINER, 64, died December 7, 1997, at her home in Manhattan,
after a long battle with cancer. Weiner was one of the most prominent contemporary
American cultural anthropologists, having distinguished herself as President
of the AAA (1991-93), President of the Society for Cultural Anthropology
(1987-89) and as Chair of Anthropology (1981-91), Dean of Social Science
(1993-96) and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1993-96)
at New York U. She earlier taught at the U of Texas, Austin.
Born Annette B Cohen in Philadelphia, February 14, 1933, Weiner began
her academic career late, having earlier worked in business, married and
raised a son and daughter, before receiving a BA in anthropology at the
U of Pennsylvania (1968) and PhD at Bryn Mawr C (1974). Her major fieldwork
was in the Trobriand Islands, and it is her rich ethnography and brilliant
analyses of that society that are her most lasting achievements. Her fieldwork
there (1971-72, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1989) led to major reappraisal of Trobriand
culture and to reassessment of Malinowski's pioneer contributions to anthropology.
Weiner also conducted archaeological work in Guatemala (1969-70) and ethnographic
fieldwork in western Samoa (1980).
Weiner published some of the most significant and influential works
in Pacific region anthropology in the postwar era. Women of Value, Men
of Renown: New Perspectives in Trobriand Exchange (1976), The Trobrianders
of Papua New Guinea (1988), Inalienable Possessions: The Paradox of Keeping-While-Giving
(1992) and the symposium volume Cloth and Human Experience (1989), coedited
with Jane Schneider. She also advised the award-winning film "The Trobriand
Islanders of Papua New Guinea" (1990), by David Wason for Granada Television.
She published over 30 articles and numerous reviews, the most important
supplementing her monographs on the Trobriands or modifying her deep concerns
with the value and circulation of goods.
Weiner made significant contributions to ethnography and anthropological
theory in the areas of gender and women's studies, kinship, material culture
and exchange. Her work is characterized by deep originality in recognizing
the gendered and political ramifications of exchange and kinship, rethinking
such classic issues as reciprocity, incest, inalienability and hierarchy.
Her first monograph illuminated women's roles in Trobriand mortuary rituals,
powerfully expanding the earlier picture of Trobriand culture and society
provided by Malinowski. Her second discussed different media and cycles
of exchange with distinctive attributes for producing power, status and
hierarchy. It also raised new questions about the ways magic related to
wealth, power and sexuality. Her final volume made comparative study of
her own findings in the Trobriands and Samoa and other ethnographic materials
from elsewhere in the Pacific. In this she pursued the subtle intimations
originally raised by Mauss, challenging the simple gift/commodity dichotomy
for exchange, arguing that exchange should be understood as expressing
identity and producing forms of hierarchy. Her arguments centered on social
processes in which the capacity to exchange or withhold goods marked varying
forms of power and identity, often centering on changing statuses of men
In the volume coedited with Schneider, Weiner expanded on her study
of reciprocity and re-established cloth and weaving as major material modes
of cultural expression and understanding.
Weiner was strongly committed to anthropology both as an intellectual
discipline and as a practical means to better human appreciation and the
ability to change social life. Her impact on Pacific studies and American
anthropology in general was recognized by the profession when shortly before
her death she was given the AAA's Distinguished Service Award. Weiner is
survived by her husband, anthropologist William Mitchell (U Vermont) and
children Jonathan Winer and Linda Hoffman Matisse, stepchildren Edward
S and Elizabeth D Mitchell and 8 grandchildren.