The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  120


The Department of Anthropology was established in 1929 with Carl E. Guthe and J. H. Steward. They were housed in a room in the Museum of Anthropology reserved for research visitors. This was the departmental office until 1954, when the department moved to the basement of Angell Hall. The office remains there to this day, but departmental members have also had offices in Mason Hall, the Special Projects Building, and the Literature, Science and the Arts Building.

In 1940, Leslie A. White, Misha Titiev, and Carl E. Guthe offered some sixteen courses, with an undergraduate major and an M.A. program. Guthe resigned from the University in 1943, and the following year J. B. Griffin and V. H. Jones were added, though without College titles. During the next five years, following the appointment of L. A. White as Chairman, the staff was enlarged by R. K. Beardsley and F. P. Thieme on full time; from the Museum of Anthropology, by A. C. Spaulding, Kamer Aga-Oglu, and E. F. Greenman; K. Pike from Linguistics, and Horace Miner from Sociology. A Ph.D. program was established in 1948, the second in the Midwest, following the University of Chicago. This expansion was stimulated by the increase in student population following World War II, the growing awareness of the importance of understanding different areas of the world, and by the interest and support of Dean Heyward Keniston. By 1955 the staff had expanded to fifteen, and over 75 courses were available to undergraduate and graduate students. In 1965 there were 24 staff members, and by 1970 the department's size stabilized at between 30 and 35 members.

Professor Misha Titiev joined the department in 1936 after two years' activity as director of planning the archeological museum at Williamsburg, Virginia. Professor Titiev's field of specialization centered on American native cultural anthropology, a focus of interest which developed a strong and lasting association with the Hopi communities in Arizona. His interest extended to the Araucanian Indians in Chile, also to Indian cultures in Peru. Under auspices of a Page  121Fulbright fellowship he spent a year at the National University at Canberra, Australia, where he assisted in the establishment of a Department of Anthropology. In 1951 Titiev spent a year as Field Director of the University of Michigan Japanese Center in Okayama, Japan. The direction and conduct of a viable and distinguished Honors degree program in anthropology was in his charge from 1960 until his retirement in 1970.

Student enrollment has risen substantially over the years. In the 1946 fall term there were 10 graduate students and some 640 course enrollments; in the fall term of 1955 there were about 30 graduate students and almost 1,000 course enrollments; in 1964-65 there were 62 graduate students, an average of 1,780 course enrollments and 42 undergraduate majors in anthropology. By 1974-75 there were some 200 graduate students, 130 undergraduate majors and 4,760 course enrollments.

The doctoral program has been highly successful during its almost 30 years. Close to 150 Ph.D.s have been earned in anthropology. Archaeology and ethnology have trained most, followed by physical anthropology with about 15 percent and ethnobotany, a specialized subfield, with four recipients. For the first half of the period most of the theses in archaeology had as their geographical area North America from the Canadian Arctic to Georgia and from the Atlantic coast to the Southwest. They were primarily devoted to the building of cultural sequences and the identification of prehistoric societies. During the second half, archaeological thesis topics tended to be more theoretically oriented, and based on field work in Latin America, Europe, and the Near East. Early theses in ethnology explored various facets of the behavior and beliefs of contemporary American Indian societies. With the greater availability of research funds in the last twenty years, all of the continents as well as the insular Pacific and Caribbean are now listed as areas of field work. Meanwhile thesis orientation has shifted largely towards theoretical problems of anthropological interest. In physical anthropology, theses have been concerned with such problems as dental variation, the presence of strontium in human bone, human mating preferences, sickle cell anemia, and the age of bone. The theses in ethnobotany have dealt with the Page  122interaction between native societies and the plant world in Quebec, the Great Lakes and Southwest, and Hawaii.

The Department of Anthropology has had a series of joint appointments in other departments, institutes, and centers; these reflect the interests of the several staff members over the 35-year period. In the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, they include History of Art, Botany, Geology and Mineralogy, Linguistics, Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Zoology. In Sociology this association eventually developed into a concentration program in Social Anthropology under Horace Miner. A concentration program in Anthropology and Zoology is under E. Goldschmidt. Medical School departments of Anatomy and Human Genetics have had several joint appointments or interacting programs with Anthropology. In the School of Music there is a joint program in Ethnomusicology, and in the Highway Safety Research Institute a physical anthropologist has a major appointment. The staff of the Literary College has had a strong role in several centers of area studies established after World War II. Anthropology staff were active in the founding of the Centers for Afroamerican and African Studies, Human Growth and Development, Japanese Studies, and Near East and North African Studies. They have also been connected with the Centers for Chinese Studies, Research on Economic Development, Russian and East European Studies, and South and Southeast Asian Studies.

Leslie A. White was appointed an Assistant Professor in 1930 and was associated with the department until his retirement in 1969. F. P. Thieme served as Chairman for 1957-58, then becoming Provost of the University of Washington, Seattle. J. A. Spuhler was first Acting Chairman for a year and then served as Chairman until 1967 when he resigned to accept an endowed professorship at the University of New Mexico. Spuhler, like Thieme, was a physical anthropologist. W. D. Schorger, a social anthropologist, was Chairman from 1967 to 1970. He had been acting head during 1965-66 and was followed as Chairman by E. R. Wolf who served but one year, and resigned to accept a Distinguished Professorship at City University of New York. R. K. Beardsley was Acting Chairman in 1971-72. He, like Wolf, was a social anthropologist. Beardsley was also Director of the Center Page  123for Japanese Studies from 1961-63 and was active in its administrative and fund-raising affairs. Schorger was Director of the Center for Near East and North African Studies from 1961-71 and again since 1974. J. B. Griffin became Chairman in 1972, leaving office in 1975 because of retirement.