Ph.D. 1979, Northwestern, M.S. 1983, Illinois, M.A. 1973, Northwestern, B.A. 1972, Brown.
Office Address: Rufus D. Smith Hall 25 Waverly Place New York, NY 10003
Areas of Research/Interest
Sociocultural anthropology, food production, rural development, family and kinship, history of anthropology Europeanist ethnography and history, French society and culture
Parallaxes Transatlantiques: Vers une anthropologie réciproque, Éditions CNRS, 2012 (co-edited with A. Raulin)
"Faux-amis in the countryside: deciphering the familiar", IN Parallaxes Transatlantiqiues, 2012, 261-283 (in French)
"Which heritage? Nature, culture and identity in French rural tourism", French Historical Studies 25, 2002
"Anthropology in France", Annual Review of Anthropology 30, 2001
Farming visions: Agriculture in French culture, French Politics, Culture, and Society 18, 2000
Natural histories: The rise and fall of French rural studies, French Historical Studies 19, 1995
Shaping Modern Times in Rural France: The transformation and reproduction of an Aveyronnais community. Princeton University Press, 1991.
Good to think: The 'peasant' in contemporary France, Anthropological Quarterly 60, 1987
Mixing paradigms on mixed farming: anthropological and economic views of specialization in Illinois agriculture, IN Chibnik (ed): Farm Work and Fieldwork: Anthropological Perspectives on American Agriculture. Cornell University Press, 1987
Paysans, Femmes et Citoyens: Luttes pour le pouvoir dans un village Lorrain, Actes Sud, 1980 (with Claude Karnoouh and Hugues Lamarche)
Masculine space, feminine space: essay on difference, Etudes Rurales 74, 1979 (in French)
Women's place: a critical review of anthropology theory, Comparative Studies in Society and History 20, 1978
Female forms of power and the myth of male dominance: a model of female/male interaction in peasant society, American Ethnologist 2, 1975
Current News / Projects
Updated January 2013
This past year (2012) saw publication of Parallaxes Transatlantiques: Vers une anthropologie réciproque by Éditions CNRS. This collected volume, co-edited with Anne Raulin (Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense) is the (almost) culmination of a long and quite exciting collaborative project.
After many years of comparing notes about the particular challenges and pleasures we had experienced as foreign ethnographers of familiar places (France in my case, US in Anne’s), we brought a small group of American anthropologists specializing in France together with several French anthropologists having fieldwork experience in the US to explore some of these issues more systematically. Within this group, we stand in reciprocal relationships with each other as both native subjects and foreign experts, hold nationalities carrying roughly equivalent amounts of geo-political power and academic legitimacy, and conduct research in settings that are readily accessible and familiar to our audiences. In those ways, our ethnographic positions are quite odd with respect to classical anthropology, but perhaps bound to become increasingly common in the 21st century. Over a number of years, the group met several times to discuss our fieldwork experience in and ethnographic analyses about each other’s societies, yielding in turn many novel (and empirically well-grounded) insights about the production of anthropological knowledge. Parallaxes Transatlantiques comprises ten essays based on original ethnographic research; as a set, they offer intriguing glimpses of both American and French society, as well as a taste of the enticing potentials for a 21st century reciprocal anthropology, based in other places and on other dialogues.
We hope to bring this phase of our project to a close with the publication of an English-language version of this collection.
In my teaching too, I continue to be interested in the ways that new or unconventional styles of anthropology can reproduce, build upon or productively depart from classical modes. My course on the History of Anthropology is largely driven by this interest, as is my course on Family and Kinship. I also enjoy the opportunity to regularly teach the Anthropology of Europe: it gives me a chance to closely read new ethnographies, as well as providing the challenge of introducing undergraduates to anthropological ways of thinking about a part of the world that most of them know by other routes. Finally, my interest in the anthropology of food has developed from decades of work with farmers and farming in France and the U.S. My teaching in that area focuses on engaging undergraduates to use anthropological tools and data to think critically about some of the conditions (e.g. food abundance) underlying contemporary food movements, and about familiar claims and counterclaims regarding food production, choice and access.