Noted Anthropologist to Visit UWG

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Noted anthropologist, scholar and pioneer in the women’s rights movement, Dr. Louise Lamphere visits the University of West Georgia on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.   

Her public lecture, “Weaving Women’s Lives: Three Generations in a Navajo Family," is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Anthropology Department and the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Anthropology Endowment. 

Lamphere’s talk is based on her 2007 book of the same title, which depicts the vibrancy and strength of Navajo culture as it changes over time. She explores how Navajo women adopt new practices and ideas while retaining distinct Navajo beliefs. Her work illustrates how diverse American communities adapt in unique ways to economic and cultural change.  

Lamphere is a distinguished professor of anthropology, emeritus at the University of New Mexico and past president of the American Anthropological Association. 

With more than 30 years of research on Navajo communities, Lamphere is an internationally recognized cultural anthropologist.  

In academia, she has fought for women.  

In 1974, after she was denied tenure at Brown University, she initiated a class action lawsuit alleging that the school – and specifically the anthropology department – discriminated against women in the awarding of tenure. 

At the time of the lawsuit, women faculty at Brown numbered only 25, according to the university’s Web site.  

She won the lawsuit.  

The case resulted in a consent decree that spelled out timetables for hiring women faculty. It also gave guidelines for hiring and promoting all faculty. The court vacated the consent decree in 1992. By then, Brown had increased its number of tenured women faculty five-fold, according to the Brown University Web site. 

In 2008, after a long and distinguished career, Lamphere returned to Brown with a $1 million gift in hand to establish a visiting assistant professorship in gender studies. The Louise Lamphere Visiting Assistant Professorship in Gender Studies will provide two-year postdoctoral teaching opportunities at Brown for promising young scholars. 

The American Anthropological Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Anthropology gave Lamphere its Squeaky Wheel Award in 1998 for her efforts championing women in anthropology. 

For more information contact the Anthropology Department at 678-839-6455 or Dr. Lisa Gezon at 678-839-6457.