DISCUSSION WORDS FROM 1970 / 1969.

Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor of Anthropology
California State University, Chico / Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office]; 530-898-6192 [Dept.]; FAX: 530-898-6143
e-mail: curbanowicz@csuchico.edu / home page: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban  

[This page printed from http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/1970CurrentDirections.html

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© [All Rights Reserved.] This was originally published in 1970 in Current Direction in Anthropology: A Special Issue [Bulletins of the American Anthropological Association, Vol. 3, No. 3, Part 2, September 1970], edited by Ann Fischer, (Washington, D.C., American Anthropological Association, pages 55-56.

Historical footnote: Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1942, I graduated high school in 1960 and after attending New York University in 1960-1961, I enlisted in the United States Air Force (1961-1965), was Honorably Discharged, and eventually received the B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology in 1967 from Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University). I began Graduate Work in Anthropology at the University of Oregon in September 1967 and received the M.A. in Anthropology in 1969. In July 1970 I went (with my wife) to do fieldwork in the Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga and was awarded the Ph.D. in 1972. For a complete résumé, please see http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/resume.html). I taught in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota for 1972-1973 and joined the faculty of California State University, Chico, in August 1973 and have been happily here ever since!

The "Introduction" in Current Direction in Anthropology had the following: "These papers are the product of an effort to meet certain needs of the membership of the American Anthropological Association at the annual meeting in New Orleans, November [20-24], 1969 (page iv)." At those 1969 meetings I presented a paper entitled "A Selective View of Lévi-Strauss's Intellectual Antecedents" at the "Symposium On Structuralism And Semiotics" organized by Bob Scholte (Pennsylvania) with Yvan Simonis (Montreal) as Discussant. While conducting research for the paper, I wrote Lévi-Strauss with some questions and he graciously responded in time for me to incorporate his responses into my paper. The abstract for the 1969 paper, with additions added below in appropriate [ ]'s, was as follows:

"Claude Lévi-Strauss [1908 -> ] has attempted to bring anthropology back to its philosophical roots, and, as such, not only are the sources of his general anthropological theorizing important but the philosophical background and general cultural milieu of 19th and 20th century Europe must be taken into consideration. In order to gain new perspective a selective view of the intellectual antecedents of Lévi-Strauss is presented, including those individuals explicit in his writings: Mauss (1872-1950), Durkheim (1858-1917), and Boas (1858-1942), as well as those who may only be implicit: Manhnheim (1893-1947), Koyré (1892-1964), Wittgenstein (1889-1951), and Dilthey (1833-1911). "Anthropologie," the seventh and ultimate science in the grand hierarchy of Comte (1798-1857) has been examined to determine its influence on the anthropology of Lévi-Strauss. It is suggested that what Lévi-Strauss is recently writing about actually involves what may be called the "anthropology of knowledge." This is to be distinguished from the "sociology of knowledge" which, concerned with the relation between thought and the context of the social situation, may not deal with a universal process of thought. Some similar approaches to a study of man[kind] which may be inherent in the works of H.G. Barnett [1906-1985] as well as Noam Chomsky [born 1928] are also examined." (From: Preliminary Program and Abstracts" 68th Annual Meeting (American Anthropological Association), Vol. 2, No. 3. page 107.

The November 1969 paper dealing with Lévi-Strauss is available at A Selective View of the Intellectual Antecedents of Claude Lévi-Strauss. Other papers presented on Saturday, November 22, 1969 at the Symposium were: "Dualism in the Work of Lévi-Strauss" by Joan R. Rayfield (York); "Lévi-Strauss and the Evolution of Mind" by Robin Fox (Rutgers); "Structuralism and Hermeneutics" by Bob Scholte; "Structuralism and Semiotics" by Thomas A. Sebeok (Indiana); "The Ideological Bases of Lévi-Strauss's Structuralism" by Hugo G. Nutini (Pittsburgh),; "Heuristics and Structural Anthropology" by Ira Buchler (Texas); and "Structuralism and Field-Work" by Pierre Maranda (British Columbia). (From: Program of the 68th Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association, page 25.)

Incidentally, in placing various papers on the WWW some many years after they were written I attempt to show my students that life is, in fact, cumulative and ideas develop out of previous ideas; I also follow the 1963 words of Sir Karl Popper [1902-1994]: "we can learn from our mistakes [stress added]" (Conjectures And Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963, page vii). Several versions of some of my earlier papers have already been placed on the WWW for student use (from 1965 to 2001, all referenced below); in placing them on the WWW, I was often reminded of the words of stanza 51 from the 1859 (first) edition translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám of Naishápúr by Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883)

"The Moving Finger writes; and having Writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."

Please note the following: "The first Edition of the translation of Omar Khayyám, which appeared in 1859, differs so much from those which followed, that it has thought better to print it in full, instead of attempting to record the differences." W. Aldis Wright, n.d. [1932?], The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám And the Salámán And Absál of Jámí Rendered Into English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald (NY: A.L. Burt Company), page 119.


The published 1970 discussion in Current Direction in Anthropology began with words by Henry Selby, followed by William Davenport (UC, Santa Cruz), Felicitas Goodman (Ohio State University), Henry Selby, then:

Urbanowicz: I'd like to raise another problem in the general area of structural analysis, particularly as it applies to French structuralism. It is in my mind particularly because I took part in the Lévi-Strauss symposium yesterday, and Sebeok also raised the issue. It has to do with translation. "Anthropology" means different things in French and English, as does the term "social anthropology." French social anthropology is not ethnography. That's one problem that hinders discuussion. The other problem has to do with the actual translations of, say, Lévi-Strauss which are dubious. First of all there is the problem of editing--what the writer said, or wanted to communicate, and what the editors permit him to communicate may be two different things, and are in fact. Tristes Tropiques [1955] is an excellent example of what can go wrong in a hackneyed translation.

Selby: Well, as for the part that foreign language training has in graduate curriculum Ed [Edwin A. Cook, UC, Davis] is going to address the problem. And let's not get into the highly personal polemics that develop over the Lévi-Strauss translations.

Urbanowicz: But I would like to emphasize the importance of reading materials in the original. Equally one should attempt to read it in the context of contemporary thought--thought, that is, of the time when it was written. Take Fustel de Coulanges [1830-1889], for example. Do you read him in the original French, or do you read him in the English translation of 1930, which encodes the interpretation of men of the thirties? Clearly the former is preferable. Marvin Harris' Rise of Anthropological Theory is the view of anthropology of 1968, just as Lowie's History of Ethnological Theory [1937] was a view of the thirties. Schweitzer points this out in the quest for the historical Jesus, that every view of Jesus Christ is mediated by the writer who tries to write about the man. So, back to the sources, or back to the original field work.

The printed discussion continued with words by Ann Fischer followed by Henry Selby.

(From: Current Direction in Anthropology: A Special Issue [Bulletins of the American Anthropological Association, Vol. 3, No. 3, Part 2], edited by Ann Fischer, 1970, (Washington, D.C., American Anthropological Association, pages 55-56.)


For other web-available papers with a view to history, please see the following:

2001a http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/WordsOnAnnie'sBox.html (Essay on Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution, by Randal Keynes [2001]).

2001b http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/VestigesReview.html (Book review of Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, by James A. Secord [2000, University of Chicago Press] for Dr. Alan Rauch, Book Review Editor, Configurations, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0165.)

2000 Teaching As Theatre: Some Classroom Ideas, Specifically Those Concerning Charles R. Darwin (1809-1882) for the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA (November 15-19).

1993 Charles R. Darwin: Happy 116th Anniversary! (For the 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C., November 17-21.)

1992 Four-Field Commentary. Anthropology Newsletter [American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.], Vol. 33, No. 9: 3.

1990 Perspectives on Science Fiction and Science Fact. (For the CSU, Chico Anthropology Forum, March 8).

1983 Christian Missionaries in The Polynesian Kingdom of Tonga: Late 18th & Early 19th Century Activities. (For the Symposium entitled "Missions and Missionaries in the Pacific: An Overview" for the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, San Francisco, California, December 28.)

1980 Women In The Pacific: Some Polynesian Examples. (For The "Asia and Pacific" Section of the 28th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Ethnohistory, San Francisco, California, October 23-25.)

1977 Evolution of Technological Civilizations: What is Evolution,Technology, and Civilization? (For the Symposium on "The Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence at NASA/Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California, February 24-25.)

1972 Tongan Social Structure: Data From An Ethnographic Reconstruction. For the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association,Toronto, Canada, December 2, 1972).

1971 Tongan Culture: From The 20th Century to the 19th Century. For the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New York, New York, November 17, 1971).

1970 Mother Nature, Father Culture. (For the 28th Annual Meeting of the Oregon Academy of Science, Eugene, February 28).

1969 A Selective View of the Intellectual Antecedents of Claude Lévi-Strauss. (For the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 20-23, 1969.]

1968 Comments on Bronislaw Malinowski (For ANTH 507 Graduate Seminar at the University of Oregon, October 29).

1967 The Classical Maya. Honors Papers (Bellingham: Western Washington University), Vol. 6: 26-32.

1965 Darwin - 1859: An Important Historical Event. (For SPEECH 100, Western Washington State College, Bellingham, Washington [now Western Washington University], June 30).

A complete résumé may be found at: http://www.csuchico.edu/~curban/resume.html.

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Copyright ©1970 / 2003; all rights reserved by Charles F. Urbanowicz

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