Emma Reh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Emma Reh
Reh c. 1935
Reh c. 1935
Born1896 (1896)
Died1982 (aged 85–86)
OccupationJournalist
LanguageEnglish
NationalityAmerican
SubjectArchaeology, food consumption
SpouseTom Stevenson (-1931)

Emma Reh Stevenson (1896–1982) was an American journalist who worked as a reporter for the Science Service, reporting on archeological excavations in Mexico, as well as the social and political situation in that country; and a writer for the Soil Conservation Service and the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, commenting about food consumption and distribution problems.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Reh graduated from George Washington University in 1917 and began work for the Science Service in 1924. Although she officially retired in 1926 after her marriage to Tom Stevenson, Reh continued as a frequent contributor well into the 1930s. (Reh's close friends and colleagues included staff writers Frank Thorne, Emily Davis, and Marjorie MacDill Breit.)[2]

Reh in Oaxaca, Mexico, 1930s [3]

In the summer of 1926, Reh moved to Mexico and returned to publishing under her maiden name. There, she "served as a regular Science Service correspondent, submitting articles and photographs mainly related to archeology, ...such...as the excavation of Tenayuca, preservation of prehistoric Indian sites in Mexico, analysis of Indian pottery, city planning in prehistoric Indian cities, the excavation of San Juan Teotihuacan, relics from the Inca Cemetery at Copiapo, the Seri Indians, public art education in Mexico, bricks in prehistoric American buildings, and the discovery of Santa Elena in Poco-Uinic." In 1935, Reh returned to the U.S. and secured a position with the Soil Conservation Service. Her later work "addressed food consumption and related patterns or problems in various communities, including the Navaho."[2]

During her career, Reh perceived that "her status as woman had both aided and hindered her." She acknowledged that access to some information was due to "the chivalry of men" while, other times, she had to convince people that “a girl could handle (woman, excuse me)” certain situations. She said of science, "Science is like religion in Latin America. It enables a lady to travel and do all sorts of unheard things and wear the halo at the same time. If I represented a regular paper or news service I would be thrown into the vulgar political reporter class, than whom there is none worse in Mexico, and I suppose other similar countries.” [2]

Reh was also a contributor to Mexican News Features, Christian Science Monitor, and The New York Times, as well as a member of the Yucatán-British Honduras-Chiapas expedition group.[2] In the late 1930s, she worked for the US Soil Conservation Service in New Mexico and the Office of Indian Affairs in Arizona, where she conducted pioneering research on the food habits of indigenous tribes.

She joined FAO in 1946 and stayed with the organization until her retirement in the early 1960s. Reh was the FAO specialist for food consumption surveys, but was also instrumental in training Central American nutritionists. She also participated in the setting up of food programs at Central American schools. Reh saw the poverty as the major cause of malnutrition and was an early protester against medicalized approaches to hunger and malnutrition.[4]

See also[edit]

  • Browman, David L. (2013). Cultural negotiations: The role of women in the founding of Americanist archaeology. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Pernet, Corinne A. (2018). "FAO from the Field and from Below: Emma Reh and the Challenges of Doing Nutrition Work in Central America," International History Review.
  • Reh, Emma (1962). Manual on household food consumption surveys. London: The Whitefriars Press Ltd. ISBN 9789251000809.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Emma Reh (1896-1982)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Tressider, Mary. "Emma Reh [Stevenson] (1896 - 1982)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Emma Reh (1896-1982)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  4. ^ Pernet, Corinne A. (24 October 2018). "FAO from the Field and from Below: Emma Reh and the Challenges of Doing Nutrition Work in Central America". The International History Review. 41 (2): 391–406. doi:10.1080/07075332.2018.1498799. ISSN 0707-5332.