Herbert S. Lewis
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Herbert S. Lewis (born May 8, 1934) is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he had taught since 1963. He has conducted extensive field research. In Ethiopia, Lewis studied the both the history of the Oromo (Galla) Kingdom of Jimma Abba Jifar and the lives of contemporary Oromos from 1958-60 and 1965-66. Many of his ethnographic photographs are visible in the University of Wisconsin's Digital Library. (See the link to Africa Focus below). His work in Ethiopia was concerned above all with political leadership and community organization as well as ethnohistory and culture history.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Lewis studied ethnicity, class, and culture change in Israel, focusing on those Jews who immigrated from Yemen and Morocco. His 2005 publication, Oneida Lives (see below), presents a large selection of personal accounts by Wisconsin Oneidas that offer deeply personal and wide-ranging perspectives on the lives of men and women of various ages between 1885 and the beginning of World War II. (These accounts were collected by the Oneidas themselves through a WPA grant to the University of Wisconsin.)
HIs forthcoming book, In Defense of Anthropology: An Investigation of the Critique of Anthropology, presents a series of articles (most previously published) that make a sustained argument for the value (and honor) or modern (pre-postmodern) American and British anthropology. (It is due out in October 2013, from Transaction Publishers.)
Lewis' major research interests include: anthropological theory and history, cultural and social change, ethnicity, and political anthropology.
Although born across the Hudson River in New Jersey he grew up in several communities around New York City, spending his high school years in Lynbrook on Long Island.
He was fortunate to also have the chance to work in Manhattan for several summers and to attend graduate school at Columbia University.
- 1955 A.B., Anthropology (Cum Laude) Brandeis University
- 1963 Ph.D., Anthropology Columbia University
- 1956-57 Departmental Fellow and Assistant, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The City College, New York
- 1957-58 Instructor, Department of Public Instruction, American Museum of Natural History
- 1961 Lecturer in Anthropology, Columbia University, School of General Studies)
- 1961-63 Instructor, Departments of Anthropology and Political Science, Northwestern University
- 1963-67 Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin.
- 1967-73 Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin.
- 1973-96 Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin. (Emeritus, May 1996.)
- 1969-70 Visiting Associate Professor, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
- 1978-81 Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin.
- 1989-90 Resident Director, University of Wisconsin, Junior Year Abroad Program at University of Warwick, UK
- 1993-95 Chair and Director, African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin
Currently, Lewis is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Lewis is married and has three children, each with children of their own. HIs wife of 49 years, Marcia Barbash Lewis, died in 2006, but urged him to "get together" with Francie Smith Saposnik, her dear friend--who has three children, each with children of their own. He did.
- A Galla Monarchy:¬ Jimma Abba Jifar, Ethiopia, 1830-1932.¬ University of Wisconsin Press, 1965. (Reissued by Red Sea Press as Jimma Abba Jifar: An Oromo Monarchy. 2001)
- After the Eagles Landed: The Yemenites of Israel. Westview, 1989. (Reissued by Waveland Press, 1994.)
- Oneida Lives: Long-lost Voices of the Wisconsin Oneidas. (Edited with an Introduction) University of Nebraska Press, 2005.)
- In Defense of Anthropology: An Investigation of the Critique of Anthropology. 2013. (Forthcoming, Transaction PUblishers.)
- "The Origins of the Galla and Somali," Journal of African History, 7:27-46, 1966.
- "The Passion of Franz Boas." American Anthropologist, 103 (2):447-467, June 2001. (Reprinted as “Afterword” to a new edition of Franz Boas, Anthropology and Modern Life, 2004, Transaction Publishing.)
- "Boas, Darwin, Science, and Anthropology." Current Anthropology, 42(3): 381-406, June 2001.
- “The Influence of Edward Said and ‘Orientalism’ on Anthropology, or: Can the Anthropologist Speak?.” In Israel Affairs,13 (4): 774-785, 2007. (Also in C. P. Salzman, ed. Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. 2008.
Awards and Honors
- 1955 Research Institute for the Study of Man, Training and Research Fellowship, for fieldwork in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (summer).
- 1956 Research Institute for the Study of Man, Training and Research Fellowship, for fieldwork in Martinique, F.W.I. (summer).
- 1956-57 The City College, New York, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fellowship.
- 1958-60 Ford Foundation, Foreign Area Fellowship for dissertation research in Ethiopia (24 months).
- 1963 Social Science Research Council Travel Grant , to attend Second International Conference of Ethiopian Studies.
- 1965-66 National Science Foundation Research Grant for field research in Ethiopia, (15 months).
- 1965-66 Social Science Research Council Research Grant for field research in Ethiopia, (declined in favor of the NSF grant).
- 1969-70 National Institute of Mental Health, Small Grant for research in Israel, (11 months). 1971-72 University of Wisconsin Graduate School for research on ethnicity in Wisconsin, (with A.¬ Strickon).
- (1975-77 National Science Foundation Research Grant for field research in Israel, (24 months).
- 1975-77 National Institute of Mental Health Research Grant (24 months, declined in favor of the NSF grant).
- 1987 Fulbright-CIES Research Award for field research in Israel, (Summer, 3 months, USIA).
- 1987 Fulbright-CIES Research Award for field research in Israel. (Summer, 3 months, Department of Education-declined).
- 1993 Received the Oromo Studies Association Award
- 1994 Institute for the Study of Economic Culture (Boston University, Peter Berger) Fellow, June–July faculty seminar, "Democracy, Development, and Civil Society."
- 1996 Mellon Resident Research Fellowship at the American Philosophical Society Library (one month) 2001 Brittingham Foundation grant for preparation of "Oneida Lives."
- University of Wisconsin Graduate School Research Grants, 1964, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1978, 1981, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994.
- 2008-2010 President-elect of the Association of Senior Anthropologists
- 2010–Present President of the Association of Senior Anthropologists