Three from the margins of anthropology: Hurston, Bohannan and Powdermaker
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractI argue for the importance of 3 marginalized works by women anthropologists: Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston; Return to Laughter by Laura Bohannan; and Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist by Hortense Powdermaker. It is not generally recognized that these works prefigured recent experimental anthropology and provided innovative possibilities for the discipline. Their marginalization was the result of many factors: I focus mainly on the refusal of anthropology (until very recently) to give due credit to its non-scientific side, and the consistent devaluation of women's work within anthropology. I analyze and compare the texts, concentrating on narrative style, use of dialogue, use of authoritative voice, treatment of racism, the author's view of herself and her text, and the text's placement in or between the genres of autobiography, anthropology and fiction. I conclude the anthropological canon should be redefined to include works such as these.
Degree ProgramGraduate College