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Tuzin (Donald) Papers
MSS 0690  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions
  • Digital Content
  • Scope and Content note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Donald Tuzin Papers
    Creator: Tuzin, Donald F.
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0690
    Physical Description: 20 Linear feet (43 archives boxes, 10 card file boxes, 1 tube, 1 map case folder, and 4 films)
    Date (inclusive): 1956-2007
    Abstract: The papers of Donald Tuzin, Melanesian anthropologist, UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and specialist on the Ilahita Arapesh people of Papua New Guinea. His papers include correspondence, photographs, notebooks and other materials relating to his field research trips to Papua New Guinea in 1969-1971, 1972 and 1985.

    Restrictions

    Original sound recordings are restricted. Most have been digitized, but are not available online. Researchers may request listening copies be provided in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in advance of their visit.

    Digital Content

    Selected slides and sound recordings from this collection have been digitized, but are not available online. Researchers may request viewing and listening copies be provided in the Special Collections & Archives Reading Room in advance of their visit.

    Scope and Content note

    The papers of Donald Tuzin, Melanesian anthropologist, UC San Diego Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and specialist on the Ilahita Arapesh people of Papua New Guinea. His papers include correspondence, photographs, notebooks and other materials relating to field research trips to Papua New Guinea in 1969-1971, 1972 and 1985. Also included are writings by Tuzin, research proposals, teaching materials, sound recordings, films, documentation of the Wenner-Gren Foundation anthropological conferences, and materials relating to his mentor, anthropologist Derek Freeman.
    Arranged in ten series: 1) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS, 2) CORRESPONDENCE, 3) PAPUA NEW GUINEA FIELDWORK RESEARCH, 4) WRITINGS, 5) COLLABORATIONS, 6) DEREK FREEMAN MATERIALS, 7) PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES, 8) TOPICAL NOTES, 9) PHOTOGRAPHS, and 10) AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS.

    Preferred Citation

    Donald Tuzin Papers. MSS 690. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Biography

    Donald Tuzin was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 14, 1945. His father, who was then in the Army, moved the family to an Army base in California and then to Winona, Minnesota. It was there that Don enjoyed, in his words, a "Huck Finn-esque" childhood on the banks of the Mississippi. The family later returned to Chicago, where Tuzin attended Von Steuben High School and also met his future wife Beverly Chodd.
    Tuzin attended Western Reserve University (BA in Anthropology, 1967). It is likely that his initial interest in anthropology was sparked while participating in an archeological dig of Native American Mound Builder sites with Harvard-trained archeologist Olaf Prufer. Tuzin earned his MA from Case Western Reserve in 1968 and went on to post-graduate studies at the University of London. His intent was to study East Africa, but after meeting social anthropologist Phyllis Kaberry, Tuzin turned his attention to the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea.
    In 1969, Tuzin, at the suggestion of anthropologist Anthony Forge, decided to do fieldwork in Ilahita, an Arapesh-speaking village in what was then the East Sepik District of New Guinea. Before going to the field he began to learn the Arapesh language, tutored by anthropologist Reo Fortune. Margaret Mead was an advocate and supporter of Tuzin's work in the region where she had earlier worked with another Arapesh group. Tuzin conducted his first Papua New Guinea field studies from 1969-1971, returning briefly to the field again in 1972. His research was supported by a scholarship in the Department of Anthropology of the Research School of Pacific Studies at Australian National University. It was a ANU that Tuzin forged an important professional relationship with Derek Freeman, who agreed to be Tuzin's doctoral fieldwork advisor.
    After completing his doctoral degree in 1972, Tuzin applied to UC San Diego and was hired as an assistant professor in 1973. Tuzin's anthropological ideology was driven by methodological individualism and comparativism. He was interested in studying many topics of social and psychological anthropology including dreams, food symbolism, kinship, myth, politics, ritual and symbolism, and sexuality. Tuzin authored several books documenting his fieldwork in Papua New Guinea. His first, The Ilahita Arapesh: Dimensions of Unity (1976) sought to explain Ilahita society's dual-organization. His next book, The Voice of the Tambaran (1980), described the rituals of the male cult.
    In 1985 Tuzin returned to Ilahita with his family and three UC San Diego graduate students for eleven months. Tuzin found Ilahita society greatly changed, as a majority of the villagers had recently converted to Christianity. This experience informed Tuzin's major ethnographic work The Cassowary's Revenge: The Life and Death of Masculinity in a New Guinea Society (1997).
    Tuzin was committed to teaching and university life at UC San Diego while becoming one of the world's leading scholarly authorities on Melanesian society and culture. He chaired both the Department of Anthropology as well as the Academic Senate, he served on the Friends of the UC San Diego Library Board of Directors, the Faculty Club Board of Directors and was a member of the University House Task Force. He also served as an Associate Chancellor to UC President Richard Atkinson. In 1982, Tuzin, along with Fitz John Porter Poole, co-founded UC San Diego's Melanesian Archive, a leading repository of unique research materials relating to the ethnographic and anthropological work of scholars of Melanesian cultures. In 2012, in honor of Tuzin's contributions to the Archive, it was re-named the Tuzin Archive for Melanesian Anthropology. Tuzin was collaborating with Pacific historian Peter Hempenstall on a biography of his friend and mentor Derek Freeman when he passed away in 2007.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Arapesh (Papua New Guinean people) -- Social conditions
    Arapesh (Papua New Guinean people) -- Psychology
    Tuzin, Donald F. -- Archives
    Freeman, Derek -- Interviews