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Julian Steward and the Great Basin

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Copyright: 1999
Trim: 6 x 9
Pages: 312 pp.
Illustrations: 13 illus.


Julian Steward and the Great Basin

The Making of an Anthropologist

Edited by Richard O. Clemmer, L. Daniel Myers, and Mary Elizabeth Rudden

Anthropology / Archaeology

Julian Steward and the Great Basin is a critical assessment of Steward’s work, the factors that influenced him, and his deep effect on American anthropology. Steward (1902–1972) was one of the foremost American exponents of cultural ecology, the idea that societies evolve in adaptation to their human and natural environments. He was also central in shaping basic anthropological constructs such as "hunter-gatherer" and "adaptation." But his fieldwork took place almost entirely in the Great Basin.

In one sense, the phases of Steward’s career epitomize the successive schools of anthropological theory and practice. Each chapter explores a different aspect of his work ranging from early efforts at documenting trait distributions to his later role in the development of social transformation theory, area studies, and applied anthropology.

Julian Steward and the Great Basin also corrects long-standing misperceptions that originated with Steward about lifeways of the Indians living between the Great Plains and California. It charts new directions for research, demanding a more exacting study of environmental conditions, material adaptations, and organizational responses, as well as an appreciation of the ideological and humanistic dimensions of Basin Life.

Richard O. Clemmer is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Denver. He is the author of Roads in the Sky: The Hopi Indians in a Century of Change.

L. Daniel Myers is a consulting anthropologist with Epochs Past in Dunkirk, Maryland.

Mary Elizabeth Rudden is a free-lance data analyst and documentary researcher.


Virginia Kerns, College of William and Mary; Joel Janetski, Brigham Young University; Brooke Arkush, Weber State University; Catherine Fowler, University of Nevada, Reno; Deward Walker, University of Colorado, Boulder; James Goss, Texas Tech University; Elmer Rusco, University of Nevada, Reno; Steven Crum, University of California, Davis; Richard Clemmer, University of Denver; L. Daniel Myers, Epochs Past, Dunkirk, MD; Alice Kehoe, Marquette University; Sheree Ronaasen, University of Queensland; Ned Blackhawk, School of American Research; Thomas Patterson, Temple University; Antonio Lauria-Percelli, The New School of Social Research

Table of Contents:

A Note on Orthography
Introduction ~ Richard O. Clemmer and L. Daniel Myers

1. Learning the Land ~ Virginia Kerns
2. Julian Steward and Utah Archaeology ~ Joel C. Janetski
3. Numic Pronghorn Exploitation: A Reassessment of Stewardian-Derived Models of Big-Game Hunting in the Great Basin ~ Brooke S. Arkush
4. In the Field in Death Valley: Julian Steward's Panamint Shoshone Fieldwork ~ Catherine S. Fowler, Molly Dufont, Mary K. Rusco, and Pauline Esteves
5. A Revisionist View of Julian Steward and the Great Basin Paradigm from the North ~ Deward E. Walker Jr.
6. The Yamparika—Shoshones, Comanches, or Utes—or Does It Matter? ~ James A. Goss
7. Julian Steward, the Western Shoshones, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs: A Failure to Communicate ~ Elmer R. Rusco
8. Julian Steward's Vision of the Great Basin: A Critique and Response ~ Steven J. Crum
9. A Frame for Culture: Observations on the Culture-Element Distribution of the Snake River Shoshone ~ L. Daniel Myers
10. Steward's Gap: Why Steward Did Not Use His Theory of Culture Change to Explain Shoshoni Culture Change ~ Richard O. Clemmer
11. Where Were Wovoka and Wuzzie George? ~ Alice B. Kehoe
12. Rethinking Cultural Ecology, Multilinear Evolution, and Expert Witnesses: Julian Steward and the Indian Claims Commission Proceedings ~ Sheree Ronaasen, Richard O. Clemmer, and Mary Elizabeth Rudden
13. Julian Steward and the Politics of Representation ~ Ned Blackhawk
14. Julian Steward and the Construction of Area-Studies Research in the United States ~ Thomas C. Patterson and Antonio Lauria-Perricelli


Praise and Reviews:

“[A] project most welcome to anthropologists. Important contribution…to theories of societal development and to our knowledge of the American Indian. The quality of reproduction is excellent throughout. Certainly no university library should be without a set.”
—Glanville Publishers, Inc.

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