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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions
  • Digital Content
  • Restrictions
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Roger M. Keesing Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0427
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Languages: English
    Physical Description: 38.5 Linear feet (46 archives boxes, 21 card file boxes, 11 records cartons, 17 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1962 - 1993
    Abstract: Papers of cultural and linguistic anthropologist Roger M. Keesing, who studied the culture, history and language of the Kwaio people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. The Keesing Papers contain research material generated from his fieldwork with the Kwaio and, to a lesser extent, work in the Himalayan villages of India, overall reflecting his interest in Melanesian languages and cultural conflict caused by colonialism. Materials include correspondence with colleagues, friends, family, and associates; manuscripts of published and unpublished works; ethnographic and linguistic data collected in field notebooks, journals, typescripts, diaries, photographs, and recorded interviews; teaching material; writings of others related to his research interests; and computer analysis of genealogical data from the Kwaio.
    Creator: Keesing, Roger M., 1935-

    Restrictions

    Original sound recordings are restricted. Researchers may refer to transcriptions, or request a listening copy be made in advance.

    Digital Content

    Selected materials from this collection have been digitized and can be viewed through links in the container list, or by clicking the link below.

    Restrictions

    Letters of recommendation in Box 2, Folder 23 are restricted according to state and federal law until 2050. Audiocassette #71 is restricted by the donor until 2050.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2007.

    Preferred Citation

    Roger M. Keesing Papers, MSS 0427. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Biography

    Roger Martin Keesing, anthropologist and linguist, was born in Hawaii on May 16, 1935, the second child of two anthropologists who had immigrated to the United States from New Zealand in 1928.
    Keesing received a B.A. degree in social anthropology from Stanford in 1956. He then spent two years with the U.S. Air Force, taking advantage of a posting to Turkey to conduct fieldwork. Deciding to continue his study of anthropology, he began graduate work at Harvard University, obtaining an M.A. in 1963 and a doctoral degree in 1965. His dissertation, Kwaio Marriage and Society, was based on ethnographic fieldwork with the Kwaio, a native people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. He remained both professionally and personally engaged with the Kwaio throughout his career.
    He joined the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1965, becoming head of the anthropology department in 1971. His interest in the peoples of the Pacific region continued, and he served as Acting Director of the Center for South Pacific Studies at U.C. Santa Cruz, 1972-1974.
    In 1974 Keesing accepted the chair of the anthropology department at the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra. He was there until 1990, when he returned to North America to teach anthropology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
    Keesing did fieldwork in the Solomon Islands in the early 1960s, working on his dissertation. He made regular visits over the next two decades, recording ethnographic and linguistic data that would form the basis for numerous publications on the Oceanic languages of the Solomon Islands. His book, Melanisian Pidgen and the Oceanic Substrate (1988), made an important contribution to creole studies, building on his previous work, a Kwaio Dictionary (1975) and Kwaio Grammar (1985). He also carried out field research in Himalayan villages in India in 1978 and 1980-1981, but his most extensive contributions to anthropology are his studies of the language and customs of the Kwaio people.
    Keesing was able to pose broad theoretical questions and respond to them with detailed research results that reflected the range of his interests: cultural theory, language, social structure, gender relations and the impact of colonial history and development. He published widely, writing more than one hundred articles and ten books. He completely reworked the introductory textbook his father had written, as reflected in the subtitle, Cultural Anthropology: A Contemporary Perspective, which became a successful introductory text.
    Keesing died in Toronto, May 7, 1993.
    [Sources: Jolly. M. Roger Martin Keesing: 1935-1993. Australian Journal of Anthropology, v4, n2 (Spring, 1993), 157-161; Macintyre, M. Roger Martin Keesing (1935-93). Oceania, v65, n3 (March, 1995), 193-194.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Papers of cultural and linguistic anthropologist Roger M. Keesing, who studied the culture, history and language of the Kwaio people of Malaita in the Solomon Islands. The Keesing Papers contain research material generated from his fieldwork with the Kwaio and, to a lesser extent, work in the Himalayan villages of India, overall reflecting his interest in Melanesian languages and cultural conflict caused by colonialism. Materials include correspondence with colleagues, friends, family, and associates; manuscripts of published and unpublished works; ethnographic and linguistic data collected in field notebooks, journals, typescripts, diaries, photographs, and recorded interviews; teaching material; writings of others related to his research interests; and computer analysis of genealogical data from the Kwaio.
    Arranged in thirteen series: 1) MISCELLANEOUS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) WRITINGS BY KEESING, 4) WRITINGS BY OTHERS, 5) SOLOMON ISLANDS - FIELD RESEARCH, 6) SOLOMON ISLANDS - PHOTOGRAPHS, 7) SOLOMON ISLANDS - SOUND RECORDINGS, 8) SUBJECT FILES, 9) CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS, 10) TEACHING MATERIAL, 11) COMPUTER ANALYSIS, 12) INDIA - FIELD RESEARCH, and 13) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Akin, David, 1955- -- Correspondence
    Fifi'i, Jonathan, 1921-
    Keesing, Roger M., 1935- -- Archives
    Strathern, Andrew -- Correspondence
    Anthropology -- Study and teaching
    Kwaio (Melanesian people) -- Social life and customs
    Kwaio language
    Solomon Islands