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Matilda Coxe Stevenson: Pioneering Anthropologistby Darlis A. Miller
Synopses & Reviews
A woman in a mans world among the Pueblos of the Southwest
The first woman anthropologist to work in the Southwest, Matilda Coxe Stevenson (18491915) helped define the contours of anthropological research at the turn of the twentieth century. In this first book-length biography of Stevenson, Darlis A. Miller challenges older interpretations of her subjects life and work as she traces one womans quest for professional recognition in the face of social constraints.
Stevenson worked for more than a quarter century with the Bureau of American Ethnology and was the only professional woman to hold a full-time position there. Despite the obstacles posed by gender bias, she earned recognition for her pioneering ethnographies of the Zia and Zuni Indians.
Miller also examines Stevensons field techniques in the context of the anthropology of her day, as well as the personal traits that contributed to her professional success but caused some colleagues to focus more on her personality than her accomplishments.
As Miller shows, Stevensons work fostered a better understanding of Pueblo cultures and helped to undermine racial stereotypes. This book gives her due recognition, lending compelling insight into a remarkable career while offering new views of the earliest field studies of Puebloan peoples.
Book News Annotation:
The first woman anthropologist to work in the US southwest, Stevenson (1849-1915) was also the only professional women woman employed as a staff scientist in the Bureau of American Ethnology. Miller (emerita history, New Mexico State U.) describes how she struggled against prejudice within a male-dominated profession as she devoted her life to studying the Zuni Indians and published two important ethnographies among her many works. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A woman in a man's world among the Pueblos of the Southwest
About the Author
Darlis A. Miller is the author of numerous books on the Southwest, including Soldiers and Settlers, Captain Jack Crawford, and Above a Common Soldier, about Frank and Mary Clarke. She is Professor Emerita in the History Department at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.
Louis A. Hieb is former Director for the Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico. He coedited Travels and Researches in Native North America, 1882-1883 and has written several articles on the Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni.
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