>> Mike Salovesh
Danny Yee
>> People
Date:         Mon, 28 Feb 2000 03:40:30 -0600
From:         Mike Salovesh <t20mxs1@CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Connections . . .

"P. Shafer" wrote: > > Hey Mike, > > Do you know who wrote the indented paragraphs. I can't seem to locate the > message they were from. I think all of your message was very well put! > Another one for the save files!

Dear Pauline:

Let me requote:

> The justification went something like the next two paragraphs, which amount to a composite of > the views expressed by the Chicago anthro faculty: > > Anthropology's uniqueness is found in the willingness to see the world from a > multiplicity of viewpoints. Anyone who wants a good, well-rounded undergraduate > education could hardly do better than to study anthropology. Someone who wants > to make real contributions to anthropology, however, can't afford the luxury > of concentrating on anthropology as an undergraduate. > > Serious, professional-level anthropology would be cramped and constipated if it > were left in the hands of people who have never put their focus on some other > way of understanding the world. By its very nature, anthropology is about > connections reaching beyond the bounds of anthropology itself. Without those > connections, without firm foundations elsewhere, we'd be in the position of > trying to build bridges without having any notion of where we're trying to go > on the other side.

The words are mine. I'm pleased with the way they summarize a world view I believe in strongly.

I can't claim the ideas. They really are a composite of what I heard as the joint voice of the Chicago faculty during my first years of studying anthro.

As far as I know, the gist of the ideas I summarize here appeared in print only once. Bruce MacLachlan, one of my friends and fellow students, wrote more or less the same thing for publication in a column on teaching anthropology (edited by Bob Ehrlich) that used to appear in the __Fellow Nesletter__ of the AAA. Like me, Bruce attributed the ideas to our shared mentors. I think Bruce's statement was published in 1959 or 1960. My memory of Bruce's column is reinforced by the fact that I cited and recommended it in the __Teachers Manual__ I wrote for Yehudi Cohen's __Man in Adaptation__ in 1967 or so.

FYI: The __Fellow Newsletter__ was the predecessor of today's __Anthropology News__. In those days, only Fellows of the AAA had the right to vote in Association affairs; usually, one prerequisite to becoming a fellow was an earned Ph.D. in anthropology. (That was changed, sometime around 1967 or so, in two ways: those who did not hold the Ph.D. but who either had made significant contributions to the field -- whatever that was supposed to mean -- or had been employed as anthropologists for at least five years could be nominated for election to Fellowship. At the same time, the AAA created a new class of membership: voting members. Anybody who paid dues to the AAA would be regarded as a voting member unless they made a specific request NOT to be so recognized. That last provision was to accomodate anthropologists in other countries who did not want to be identified with U.S. institutions or policies.)

Since you asked about one old U of C ideal, I think you'll be interested in another. It was published as part of the department's presentation of its program in the U of C's old, old catalog of graduate studies. One part of the statement of that ideal has stuck with me ever since. It said something about the program having been designed to serve the ends of preparing well-rounded anthropologists who would help advance the development of the profession. Then came the words I treasure:

"The requirements and rules of this department are the means we have chosen to serve those ends. If they come in conflict with the objectives of our program, it is the rules, not the objectives, that must bend."

Those words, in their original phrasing, came from Robert Redfield.

I've tried to keep them in mind throughout my professional career. (And I've had a helluva lot of trouble for doing so, as you can well imagine.)

-- mike salovesh <salovesh@niu.edu> PEACE !!!