Melville Jean Herskovits

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Herskovits, Melville Jean


Born Sept. 10, 1895, in Bellefontaine, Ohio; died Feb. 25, 1963, in Evanston, 111. American anthropologist.

Herskovits’ chief works deal with the general anthropology and cultures of the African peoples and the Negroes of America. Beginning in 1930, Herskovits conducted anthropological studies of areas along the Guinean coast of Africa and in Latin America. He studied the problems of acculturation and the economy and culture of primitive societies, emphasizing the independent value of the cultures of all the peoples (the theory of cultural relativism).


Acculturation: The Study of Culture Contact. New York, 1938.
Economic Anthropology. New York, 1952.
Cultural Anthropology. New York, 1955.


Artanovskii, S. N. “‘Kul’turnyi’ reliativizm v amerikanskoi etnografii.” In Sovremennaia amerikanskaia etnografiia. Moscow, 1963.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bibliographer of Africana in the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies, Northwestern University, Esmeralda Kale; film scholar and author, Professor Awam Amkpa, and Professor of Theatre and Media Studies at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis, Niyi Coker will facilitate the 9th IREP happening at Freedom Park, Lagos Island, and Nigerian Film Corporation, Ikoyi.
TURNER, as evinced from his papers at the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University and from interviews with his son and wife, used recordings, interviews, impressions, and even a set of artifacts purchased in Bahia (music instruments, orixa statues, and Candomble garments) in his teaching and lecturing at universities, secondary schools, and community organizations.
This process of digital repatriation received the support of the Archives of Traditional Music at the University of Indiana, Bloomington where the collection of Turner's recordings is housed; the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University and especially of the Anacostia Community Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, which houses the majority of the photographs and artifacts collected by Turner in his research.
Even those who may not be privileged or have direct access to the early literary works of Frantz Boas and Melville J. Herskovits, can now enter and navigate their worlds of African culture and intellectual heritage, thanks to this new film project.
This also became an integral chapter in Gunnar Myrdal's American Dilemma: The Negro and Modern Democracy (1944), and thus I am aware of only a few other texts which have revisited the monumental cultural contributions of Herskovits, with the exception of Africanism in American Culture (1990) edited by Joseph Holloway dedicated to the memory of Melville J. Herskovits, and a second text, The African Heritage of American English (1993) with co-editor Winifred K.
This month on snippets of the film "Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness," which chronicles the life and career of the late Melville J. Herskovits, a pioneering American anthropologist of African studies, will be featured.
Habitues of the aforementioned theoretical debates (often traced back to the exchanges between Melville J. Herskovits and E.
DuBois, the anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits raised serious doubts about Frazier's work.
The scholar with whom the term "cultural relativism" is perhaps most identified is Melville J. Herskovits; see his "Cultural Relativism and Cultural Values," and "Further Comments on Cultural Relativism," in Frances Herskovits (ed.) Cultural Relativism: Perspectives in Cultural Pluralism (New York: Random House, 1972), pp.
Melville J. Herskovits, The Myth of the Negro Past (New York, 1941), and The New World Negro (Bloomington, 1966); E.
IN 1930, when the anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits wrote his article "The Negro in the New World: The Statement of a Problem," he apparently heralded a new paradigm in the study of the African diaspora in the New World.