people and their ideas

Mon, 18 Apr 1994 10:05:08 CST

To respond to D. Yee's call for mini-autobiographies from frequent

Bob Graber

I was born in 1950 in Lansing, Michigan, and grew up in northern
Indiana. My father was a physician (obstetrics/gynecology), my mother a
schoolteacher. We were Mennonites. Though we were not among the highly
culturally-conservative ones, I was impressed by the church's claims to
ultimate significance and by the church/"world" dichotomy. Within
months after leaving home at age 19, however, I became a devout
agnostic. I was attracted to anthropology by the popular books by
Desmond Morris and Robert Ardrey. I got my bachelor's at Indiana
University in 1973, my masters ('76) and doctorate ('79) at University
of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Victor Barnouw, who had been a student of Ruth
Benedict, was my adviser. My dissertation was a comparative study of
the schisms that have made Mennonites such a culturally variable group
of sects. I published several papers in psychoanalytic anthropology,
but have grown more and more preoccupied with quantitative theorizing
about cultural evolution. My book in press is *A Scientific Model of
Social and Cultural Evolution* (Thomas Jefferson University Press 1994)
and I am writing an introduction to general anthropology for Harcourt
Brace. I have a wonderful wife and two great daughters 13 and 11.
I play classical guitar, golf, and chess (in order of declining
proficiency), and drive a red '72 Mustang (fastback) which still looks
good if you don't look too closely. I taught for two years at Millsaps
College in Jackson, MS, before coming to Northeast Missouri State. I
enjoy teaching anthropology as an integrative, "eye-opening" experience
for students. I have enjoyed--and benefitted from--ANTHRO-L.