Thomas Beidelman

Thomas O. Beidelman

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

D. Phil., 1961, Oxford, M.A. 1963,Oxford, M.A. 1956, B.A. 1953, Illinois.

Office Address: Rufus D. Smith Hall 25 Waverly Place New York, NY 10003


Phone: 212-998-8567

Fax: 212-995-4014

Areas of Research/Interest

Social anthropology, Africa, religion and symbolism, witchcraft and magic, history of colonialism, Christian missionaries, African literature, urban neighborhood and landscape preservation movements, history of British and European anthropology and sociology.

Selected Publications

The Cool Knife; Metaphors of Gender, Sexuality and Moral Education in Kaguru Initiation Ritual. Smithsonian Instititute Press, Washington. 1997.

The Moral Imagination in Kaguru Modes of Thought
. Smithsonian Institution [reprinted]. 1993.

Colonial Evangelism: A Socio-historical study of an East African Mission at the Grassroots. Indiana University Press. 1982.

The Kaguru. Holt-Rinehart. 1971.

Current News/Projects
Updated June 2011

This year I completed a book on colonial rule in a district of Tanzania, East Africa.  It is with a university press and I hope to spend the coming months editing the volume for publication.  I published an article on comparing secrecy in Ancient Greece and the Kaguru of East Africa, as well as numerous book reviews.  I continue to work on studies of the strategies of book reviewing in anthropology, on colonial courts in Tanzania, on the politics of historical landmarking in New York City, and on the use of Homeric studies for teaching introductory social anthropology.

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