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New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project Papers
MSS 0436  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Historical Background
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Contents of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0436
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 archives box)
    Date (inclusive): 1959-1994
    Abstract: Papers related to the New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project, led by James B. Watson. Also included are papers written for an American Anthropological Association conference session looking back at the study and its impact on the discipline. Papers range in date from 1959-1994, and include reports, meeting minutes, working papers, and conference papers.

    Historical Background

    The Committee on New Guinea Studies (CONGS), formed in the United States in 1956, consisted of anthropologists from six Pacific Coast universities. Concerned with the rapid disappearance of native populations untouched by Western influence, the group planned a long term study of populations in interior New Guinea. Beginning in early 1959, a cooperative study began in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Led by James Watson and supported by the National Science Foundation, the project examined the languages, cultures, psychological traits, racial characteristics, and ecological adaptations of the native populations in Gadsup, Tairora, Auyana, and Awa. Along with Watson, researchers included Howard McKaughan, Brian du Toit, Madeleine Leininger, Robert Littlewood, K.J. Pataki, and Robert Welsch.

    Preferred Citation

    New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project Papers, MSS 436. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2013.

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    Papers related to the Micro-Evolution Study in New Guinea, led my James B. Watson, as well as its impact on the discipline of anthropology. The collection has been arranged in two series: 1) PROJECT PAPERS and 2) CONFERENCE MATERIAL.
    The series PROJECT PAPERS includes copies of documents related to the Micro-Evolution Study. These papers include meeting notes, a grant proposal to extend the study, memos documenting the project, and project reports written by James Watson.
    The second series, CONFERENCE MATERIAL, contains papers, notes, and planning documents for a session at the 1994 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. The session - Sartor Resartus: The New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project, 1959-1983 and After - examined the Micro-Evolution Project's impact on research methods, interests, and anthropology in general. Speakers included David Boyd, David Cole, Brian Du Toit, Paula Brown Glick, Terence Hays, Madeleine Leininger, Robert Littlewood, Howard McKaughan, Donald Tuzin, Robert Welsch, and George Westermark. Many of the presenters were participants in the project. The series contains planning documents and notes from the session, as well as many of the participant's papers - both early drafts and finished works.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gadsup (Papua New Guinea people)
    Eastern Highlands Province (Papua New Guinea)
    Auyana (Papua New Guinea people)
    Tairora (Papua New Guinea people)
    Ethnology -- Papua New Guinea -- Eastern Highlands Province -- Archives
    Awa (Papua New Guinea people)
    New Guinea Micro-Evolution Project
    McKaughan, Howard, 1922-
    Du Toit, Brian M., 1935-
    Welsch, Robert Louis, 1950-
    Pataki-Schweizer, K. J.
    Littlewood, R. A. (Robert A.), 1930-
    Leininger, Madeleine M.
    Committee of New Guinea Studies