Bernard Saladin D'Anglure

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Bernard Saladin d'Anglure (born May 1936) is a Canadian anthropologist and ethnographer. His work has primarily concerned itself with the Inuit of Northern Canada, especially practices of shamanism and conceptions of gender. As an anthropological theorist, he studied under the structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss, but has become most recognized for his innovative methodology and elaboration of the concept of the "third sex". He speaks French, English and Inuktitut fluently. He is currently Professor Emeritus (Retired) at the Université Laval.[1]

Biographical Information[edit]

D'Anglure was born in France in 1936. At the age of 19, d'Anglure came to Canada through a bursary from the Fondation Nationale des Bourses Zellidja, and travelled throughout Northern Quebec, spending several weeks in the settlement of Quaaqtaq, Nunavik.[2]

Upon his return, he began a master's degree in anthropology at the Université de Montréal, receiving the degree in 1964. D'Anglure completed a Ph.D. in ethnology from the École pratique des hautes études de Paris in 1971. During his graduate work, he travelled to Canada to act as an assistant to noted anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss in Nunavik, Quebec.[1]

Returning to Canada in 1971, he gained a permanent position as professor of Anthropology at the Université Laval as well as the directorship of the Department, which he held until 1974.[3] His work at the Université has remained centred on Nunavik and Baffin Island—particularly the community of Igloolik, Nunavut—and Inuit shamanism.

In 1977, he founded Études Inuit Studies, a bilingual international journal concerning the ethnography, political structures and hard scientific study of the peoples of the Arctic. He is the founder of the biennial Inuit Studies Conference as well as the Inuit and Circumpolar Studies Group, which has contributed significantly to Arctic social sciences in Canada.[1] D'Anglure received the Government of Canada's Northern Science Award in 2001.[4]

He currently holds the office of Professor Emeritus (Retired) at the Université Laval.

Anthropological Work[edit]

Methodological Contributions[edit]

D'Anglure has been a pioneer in the use of visual techniques to collect ethnographic data. Along with Asen Balikci, he was one of the first very first users of audio-video techniques to record ethnographic data among the Inuit, and has produced and consulted for over twenty films, both academic and otherwise. A notable example of the latter is Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (Kunuk, 2001).[5]

He has produced long-length ethnographic material, notably Igloolik Nunavut/Igloolik notre terre,[6] in partnership with Michel Treguer. The film explores traditional Inuit ways of life as they are affected by such changes as prefabricated housing, and the beginnings of the process started by Inuit to create Nunavut.[7]

He has also expanded on some of the work for which he acted as a consultant, publishing Au Pays des Inuit: Un Film, un Peuple, une Légende (2002) as an ethnographic and historical companion to Kunuk's Atanarjuat.

He has collaborated closely with Igloolik Isuma Productions in production, editing, and counselling roles, and has maintained a close relationship with the community of Igloolik, Nunavut: his son, Guillaume Saladin, is one of the founding members of the Inuit circus troupe Artcirq.[8]

Throughout his work as an anthropologist, d'Anglure has been a defender of autonomy and expression among the Inuit, as well as reappropriation of culture and anthropological data. In 1974, he founded the Association Inuksiutiit Katimajiit Inc., a Canadian non-profit society whose primary purpose was to return to the Inuit the research data, such as land use maps and family trees, that he had collected.[9] He helped to translate the first Inuktitut-language novel, Sanaaq, written by Mitiarjuk Nappaaluk and edited in 1983, into French.[10]

Theoretical Contributions[edit]

Saladin d'Anglure has contributed a significant volume of literature on the subject of Inuit culture, particularly regarding gender constructions and cosmogony: he has authored one hundred and sixteen articles, seventeen books, and various other publications on the subject.

Saladin D'Anglure's research on shamanism and gender brought to light a conception of Inuit shamans which was strongly dissociated with the traditionally accepted images of violence. In Être et renaître Inuit: homme, femme ou chamane (2006), he explores the conception of Inuit shaman as "boundary-crossers", who can navigate between the spiritual and material worlds as well as fall under a third conception of gender— separate from either male or female. This idea of shamanism as transcending the duality of gender contends with examinations of Inuit social life in winter conducted by Mauss. While Inuit spousal exchanges which had been declare "sexual communism" by Mauss, Saladin d'Anglure's analysis of shamanic practice argues the creation of a "third sex" as a balancing factor.[2]

Saladin d'Anglure has also written on Inuit intrauterine narratives, which describe individual Inuit's experiences before birth—experiences that are remembered even into past lives and, as such, indicate some relationship with the concept of reincarnation.

Though his analysis has been strongly influenced by the Structuralist school, Saladin d'Anglure has often deviated from the theories of Lévi-Strauss. According to Lévi-Strauss' structuralism, Inuit should have more complex technology than Southern populations while maintaining a simpler kinship system; d'Anglure's data, however, indicated an extremely complex kinship system based on shamanism and reincarnation.[2]

Though he has never declared himself a theorist of the Structuralist school, they maintained a close professional relationship, with Lévi-Strauss writing the preface to Être et renaître Inuit and going so far as to declare it a future classic.[11]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Être et renaître Inuit. Homme, femme, ou chamane (2006)
  • Au Pays des Inuit: Un Film, un Peuple, une Légende (2002)
  • Igloolik Nunavut: Igloolik notre terre, with Michel Truguer (1976)


  1. ^ a b c Université Laval. "Bernard Saladin D'Anglure". Université Laval. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Rioux, Christian. "L'Igloolik de Bernard Saladin d'Anglure: La vie avant soi". Le Devoir. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  3. ^ Tremblay, Marc-Adélard. "L'anthropologie en tant que discipline académique à Laval". Anthropologica. 44 (2): 295–307.
  4. ^ "Northern Science Award". Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
  5. ^ "IsumaTV". IsumaTV. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  6. ^ Saladin d'Anglure, Bernard. "Igloolik Nunavut". IsumaTV. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Igloolik, Our Land". CNRS. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Artcirq". Artcirq. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
  9. ^ "Biographical Data: Bernard Saladin d'Anglure". University of Manitoba. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Le roman Sanaaq: une parole venue du froid". Université Laval. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  11. ^ "Détails d'une rencontre". Librairie Ombre Blanche. Retrieved 19 February 2012.