Potted Biographies

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.SU.OZ.AU)
Tue, 22 Nov 1994 11:27:40 +1000

Appended is a collection of potted autobiographies of some of the
more vocal anthro-l participants. It was originally compiled to
help defuse antagonistic debate by helping to remind list members
that there are *people* at the other ends of the Net.

The list can be accessed from the WWW at

If you want to add an entry, send me mail. (It's certainly not
exclusive, but I don't want to add *everyone* on the list; it's really
aimed at giving new members some background on the regular posters.)

In alphabetical order --


Graber, Bob

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.


Hill, Matthew

Born into a conventional middle class Seattle family, I got into Anthro
because it was raining outside and have been here ever since. B.A.,
Washington in the epi-boasian era, 1 year at Utah. M.A., Washington
State. At Utah I was both exposed convincingly to White and discovered
that I am no ethnographer, thus became a Cultural Anthropologist, sub
species archaeologist. At Southern Illinois, in the Taylor era, I
meso-americanized until I realized I couldn't critically keep up with
the literature and decided to be the MacNeish of West Africa, I planned
the equivalent of the Tehuacan Project for the Fouta Djallon, but for
personal and geo-political reasons, did Ph.D. research in Sierra
Leone. After a salvage survey in Cote d'Ivoire I turned north and in
70s and 80s had three seasons in The Gambia. In between, local historic
archaeology to provide student opportunities.

Neuro-muscular problems have kept me out of the field since the mid
80s, and a good thing too because it means that with a little luck I
will retire with everything written up. Then, I move to British
Columbia, carry on with Gambian ethnohistory and study vernacular
architecture. Waterloo was a stop-gap (thanks Mike S. for offer at
Purdue but Indiana seemed too much like Illinois) and next month I get
my 25 year Seiko. 3 kids (2 off the rack, 1 custom) range 15-30.
Hobbies: Food (creation- consumption), Creative fermentation,
Architecture, Internet. Red SAAB

Matthew Hill Anthropology Dept. U. Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada


Hays-Gilpin, Kelley

I was born in 1960 in a Detroit suburb, daughter of a research chemist
and a teacher. Dad was an avocational archaeologist who collected
historic pueblo pottery (purchased from the potters, didn't dig 'em
up). I grew up as one of those obnoxious children that volunteers
bring with them to archaeological projects--I got the opportunity to
learn field methods quite young, but also burned out on digging quite
young and perhaps that's why I do ceramic analysis and method and
theory stuff now. I moved to Arizona in 1983, finally finished my PhD
in 1992, married an Oklahoman, also an archaeologist, no offspring or
pets. I drive a red Chevy 4x4 pickup truck with dents in it from
running into tree stumps and parking lot guardrails. I enjoy gardening
and reading fiction of the sort by mostly English women writers,
especially Jane Austen, Barbara Pym, and Angela Thirkell--the sorts of
novels in which nothing much happens but there are a lot of


Lieber, Mike

Mike Lieber, Associate prof. at University of Illinois at Chicago (but
worked at U. of Washington, Nevada, Oregon, College of Micronesia, and
Bryn Mawr). Am Jewish, though I learned most of what I know about it
from my father, who did n't practice ritual, but had a huge library and
read incessantly. I also learne d my love of competitive argumentation
from him, as he trained me from an early age in a kind of partnership.
When I became an anthropologist, his life was complete, 'cause now we
could argue from better defined positions. I grew up with music and
have played as an amateur and a professional since age 11, starting
with accordion, then trombone (for trad jazz), then strings--guitar,
banjo, andolin, autoharp, harp, dulcimer, langelik, balalaika, bandura,
and string bass and bass guitar. I've continued playing all these
years, mainly in bands but some solo work--clubs, bars, radio, TV, one
film, but only one record, and theater. These days, I play bass in a
bluegrass band. I'm married with two sons--14 and 11, both musicians,
baseball players, and thoroughly delightful human beings. I coach
Little League baseball (and have coached some football) and have just
completed a parents' manual for coaching really young kids. I'm an
enthusiastic cyclist, commuting 7.5 miles to work on a bike except on
the worst days. I do bicycle repair and build bikes as a hobby,
usually for neighborhood kids and friends a who can't afford a real
repair person.


McCreery, John

Who? Me. Born in 1944 in Savannah, Georgia. Grew up in Virginia, near
Yorktown where the last major battle of the American Revolution was
fought. Am old enough to have been to a segregated high school and to
have a fifth grade home teacher who (after we'd said the Lord's Prayer
and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and sung the Star Spangled
Banner) made us sing Dixie. Grew up and turned my back on my parents'
(Lutheran) religion. Did philosophy as an undergraduate (Michigan
State) and a Ph.D. in anthropology (Cornell, 1973). Did fieldwork in
Taiwan, wrote a dissertation called "The Symbolism of Popular Taoist
Magic," taught four years at Middlebury College in Vermont. Didn't make
tenure. Spent another year in Taiwan, then three years in New Haven,
CT, where Ruth (my wife) was doing a Ph.D. in Japanese literature at
Yale. Spent first two years househusbanding and taking care of daughter
Katie (who's now 17, going on 18, and deciding where to go to college).
The third year I found a job in the Yale Computer Science Department's
Artificial Intelligence Program and learned about computers. Then Ruth
got a grant that to brought us to Japan. A friend's introduction got me
an editor's job in a small translation cum corporate communications
company. A mutual interest in personal computers led to my meeting my
predecessor at Hakuhodo, Inc. (Japan's 2nd largest advertising agency),
where I started working as a copywriter and am now International
Creative Director. In the last couple of years, I've revived my
academic interests. I've got a paper ("Negotiating with Demons: The
Uses of Language in a Taoist Exorcism" ) accepted by American
Ethnologist that is scheduled to appear some time in 1995 and am
teaching a graduate seminar on "The Making and Meaning of Advertising"
at Sophia University in Tokyo. Ruth, Katie and I share space with four
Persian cats.


Mizrach, Steve

Yes, he is Jewish. Reform, to be exact, verging on Deconstructionist. Born
in Miami in 1970, he has lived in Florida for most of his life, except for
a brief detour to the DC/Baltimore area for five years (at JHU.) He is
indeed a real-life graduate student at the "goyisha party school," known as
U of F, concentrating on getting his Master's in cultural anthropology.

On the net, he prefers to go by Seeker1, because he can. (And mostly
because this is the custom of most of the cyberhangouts he's visited.) In
general, when it comes to the net, he prefers the fringes (where conspiracy
theorists, UFOlogists, mad scientists, hackers, and other deviants hang
out) to the center.

Favorite music: techno/acid house/rave; also, progressive/alternative/New
Wave (if those things mean anything anymore), punk, ska, World Beat;
favorite author: sci fi writer Philip K. Dick; favorite TV show, The X
Files; favorite BBS: MindVox and the WELL; favorite 'zine: Crash Collusion
and Mondo 2000.

Favorite areas of interest (I couldn't leave this out): cyberculture,
consciousness studies, postmodernity, religious studies, visual
anthropology and (hyper)media studies, sociology of knowledge,
futurism/sci-tech studies, memetics, Haitian Voudoun, Mayan and Hopi
eschatology, "modern primitives."

Cannot resist here making a plug for my favorite cyberpunks, Re:WIRED
(Workshop for the Invention and Research of Electronic Discourse). Re:WIRED
maintains a WorldWideWeb node, the ParaSite, whose URL is
http://www.clas.ufl.edu/CLAS/Departments/Rewired/Re-WIRED.html. I have a
home page there which has lots of neat text files and stuff. This home page
also explains why I use the handle "Seeker1," for those of you who wonder.


O'Brien, John

Born 1941 in East Liverpool, Ohio in a working class family established
in the pottery and ceramics industry along the banks of the Ohio River, 30
miles from Pittsburgh. Graduated from highschool with the `perfect - C'
average in 1959 . . . then off to Athens, Ohio and Ohio University. My step-
father died in October of '59 of a cerebral hemorrage, and after two years
of emotional floating at O.U (major in psych and minor in theatre) it was
off to DC to take a job with the Navy Dept. under the Kennedy Administration.
Two years, one marriage, a contract stint as a programmer with NASA at
Cape Canaveral and one assasination later - it was time to go back to finish
a BA, which was done at la Universidad de las Americas in Mexico. Thus, after
exposure to a totally different culture with a rich but destroyed heritage . .
.led to a love of anthropology.
When the marriage caved in during the upheavels and drug culture of the
late 60's, after graduation in '65 and after my ex-wife taking off to live
in Zihuateneho and smoke dope, it was on to NYC for a stint in Advertising and
Marketing research with Y&R . . . a scholarship with Uta Hagen's studio and
a few years of off-off broadway work along with earning a better living than
I now do.
In 1970 it was MA time, and a year's field work in Mexico based in
the U. of A. and working with Nahuatl speakers in Guerrero. '71 saw a broken
neck a remarriage and a move to Santa Barbara after the accident. Late '71
saw admittance to the Europeanist program at U. Mass and an eventual MA as
an ethnologist - commuting six months each year to Santa Barbara where my
wife was doing an MA in technical theatre.
'74 was a divorce at the end of the MA program, and '76 was admitted to
UCLA's doctoral program in Anthro plus a remarriage. '76 & '77 saw a
remarriage- a stint at Berkeley with Gene Hammel and George DeVos as a visiting
scholar, a reserch grant that took me to the Gaeltacht in Ireland and Montreal
in Quebec for pilot field work . . . as well as a complete financial collapse
as the economy went through the Carter inflation. The UCLA degree never got
finished, . . . so it was the joint Ph. D. program at Kent State and the
University of Akron in the mid '80's that finally say the degree finished in
'91. After that it was an immediate post-doc with David Heise at Indiana
University to study the sociology/anthropology of emotions (funded by NIMH)
. . . which NIMH killed the funding for totally in 1993.
In the interim, there are ten years of teaching experience and about
twenty of research and consulting . . . as well as the current unemployment
at the end of this stint as a visiting assistant professor with the Anthro.
Dept. here.
My interests of course tend to run to general systems, futures, cognitive
and symbolic studies, social problems and social anthropology - with a
massive dose of theory thrown in and theory development.
My daughter is now 16, live with her grandmother in LA. My ex from '76
is a folklore archivist in Middlebury, Vermont . . . and my dog is a seven
year old yellow lab . . . my car an '82 Subaru - my other car a '56 volkswagen
- and both on their last legs.
What I do is study the feasibility of linking culture as a mental system
and culture as a social system . . . thus, my background is broad - generalist
and spans both sociology and anthropology. I'm published, one book in the
works as soon as I can pull together the income to take the pressure off so
that I can finish the final revision for the published (already committed) and
no job . . . not surprising at age 52 just coming onto the job market in
a period of anti-intellectualism and downsizing . . . but a real pain in
*** none-the-less.
My specialization is model building, technique of replicating
qualitative perceptions with empirically measurable data from emic
sources . . . and using that data to predict probable social behaviors . . .
a far cry from the qualitative field work I was trained to do, but
still dealing with the identification of emic meaning and still highly
qualitative in both concept and application.
My guess is that I will draw social security before getting a full-time
academic appointment, especially with the way departments evaluate background
and hire these days - and especially with the strange priorities that have
begun to develop.
My research is neither post-modern nor positivist, rather it leads to
a synthesis that transcends both . . . based on a suggestion made by Bateson:
if the problem can't be solved at one level, analyze it a level higher.


Salovesh, Mike

I was born in Chicago in 1931, and was mostly raised there (with the
years from 3rd to 6th grade spent in Milwaukee.) Anthropologically
speaking, all my degrees are from the U of Chicago (A.B., Social
Sciences, 56; Ph.B., Liberal Arts, 56; A.M., Anthro, 59; Ph. D., 71)
but I also attended UCal Berkely (1957-58) and a linguistics insti-
tute (Linguistic Society of America, NOT the Summer Institute of
Linguistics) at U Michigan, Ann Arbor, summer 57. I taught at the
Chicago City Colleges (61-65), U of Minnesota (65-67), and Purdue
(67-70) before coming to Northern Illinois in 1970. I thought I was
only going to be here four years at most. Hah!

Research: dialect geography, Chiapas, Mexico, 58-59; same town, now
as social anthropologist (working on politics and soc org), 60-61 and
many field trips later. Since 1982, I've been working on politics in
Central America (particularly Guatemala and Nicaragua). Other work
was on the social world of CB radio, intergroup relations, folk music
and folk musicians, and the politics of academia.

That's a lot of me, but it just ain't all. Before anthro, and some-
times inbetween, I've had what feels like several other lives:
Quaker/conscientious objector who enlisted in the US Army Medical
Corps in the Korean War; junior pharmaceutical chemist (Armour Labs)
and quality control food chemist (Wilson & Co.); junior accountant
and customer service rep, Texaco Regional Credit Card Office; piano
player and folk singer for money (but too diffident to call myself a
one-time pro musician); traffic director for a small auto parts fac-
tory; traveling salesman; bookstore part-owner; manager, tire and
muffler store; day laborer; Post Office worker (loading sacked mail
on and off Railway Post Offices); part of the gang that founded the
Second City back in the 50's; victim of an FBI Cointelpro operation
in 68-70; other stuff. The first job I ever held (at 14) was as an
operating room orderly, Michael Reese Hospital, which was a helluva
way for a boy to learn about female anatomy. (That was 1945, and a
14 year old could get a work permit in the summer because all the
able-bodied men were off to war, one way or another. OR orderly was
just not thought of as a job a woman could do, for some reason.)


Steiner, Marge

Born in 1952 in New York City and grew up in suburbam Long Island in a
conservative and materialistic family. From almost the outset, I felt like an
"other," feeling disenfranchised in that family and also because of my
disability. It is therefore not surprising that "the other" had an attraction
for me, and I gravitated to anthropology and also folklore. This latter, in
which I got my Ph.d. was something that I also developed an interest in through
the folksong revival. I got all three degrees from Indiana University--my B.a.
in 1975, my M.a. in 1977, and my ph.d. in 1988, although my freshman and
sophomore years were spent at Kirkland College, then the sister school to
Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York. My dissertation was an ethnography of
singing of a border community in Norethern Ireland in which I wrote about how
both Catholics and Protestants in the community use singing as a means of
conflict management. I hope to do more work on expressive culture and violent
conflict. My current research is on patterns of linguistic and cultural
code-switching among traditional singers in New Brunswick, Canada, singers who
are bilingual and bi-cultural.

when I'm not doing anthropology--research, trying to find a job, etc.;--I
am occasionally active in Diversity Theater, a troupe of disabled and
non-disabled actors who do material pertaining to disability issues. I have
also served on the Bloomington Area Arts council, including one year as
secretary. I polay guitar, tin whistle, and sing, which is what I love to do
most of all musically. I swim, do yoga, enjoy good food, and, especially hugs
from good friends.


Thornton, Robert

b. 1949 in Denver Colorado to a father who had returned wounded from
the War and so had begun to study psychology to figure out Why, and a
mother who was more certain about Things and who studied biochemistry.
My birth caused my mother to drop her studies and my father to redouble
his, thus I grew up with lab rats (live) as they spilled over from my
father's psychology Ph.D. and lab rats (dead and pickled) as they
spilled over from my mother's teaching bio-labs in after-school
afternoons waiting to go home. Home was Denver til I was 5, then Iowa
til i was 12, then Delhi, India til 14, back to Iowa, then to
California in the late sixties to People's Park demos and draft
resistance while studying at Stanford U. and hanging out in Berkeley,
and SF. Fled to Uganda in 1970 to visit my parents who were Peace
Corps administrators there, taught science to Ugandan High School Girls
for two years, then back to Stanford to finish degree, and on to
Chicago to study for the Ph.d. Field work in Tanzania, mid-seventies,
and first job in Cape Town SA in 1979. STill here, dangerously
hypereducated with broad interests including staying alive, computers
and programming, south AFrican politics, landscape and langauges, most
aspects of anthro., gardening, keeping my old car running since I can't
afford a new one, food and cooking, an d other things that I have
forgotten at this moment. I dislike cats, find dogs mildly amusing
but don't have one, and, surprisingly, am neither for nor against
laboratory rats.


Tourigny, Francois

I am running after my Master in Urban Anthropology, but I like good
food, great wine and beer. I like taking photo of the wilderness, so
climbing, treking, cannoing and camping is part of my life. I love
cats (I belong to Barbouille and Orphee), dogs and horses.
Anthropology is one of my greatest interest, but I like also marine
life, specially marine mammels)


Yee, Danny

Born 1969. Eurasian (father 2nd generation Chinese), but socialised as
'Australian' (whatever that means) and technically Jewish (mother's
mother's mother was a practising Jew)! Makes a bare living as a
part-time computer network administrator; devotes the rest of his time
to a wide range of subjects of which anthropology is only the most
prominent. Would like to do a PhD in anthropology one day. Writes
book reviews and would like work as a freelance copy-editor. Likes
cats and climbing mountains.