Scope and Content of Collection
Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla 92093-0175
Title: Stephen Leavitt Fieldnotes and Recordings
Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0027
3.6 Linear feet
4 archives boxes and 11 card file boxes
Date (inclusive): 1984 - 1989
Abstract: Ethnographic fieldnotes and audio cassette recordings (1984-1986) created by Stephen Leavitt, American anthropologist and
researcher in Melanesian culture. Included are fieldnotes, tape recorded interviews, interview transcripts, census materials,
and Arapesh language materials related to the ethnography of the Bumbita Arapesh people of East Sepik Province, Papua New
The collection may only be used with the written permission of Stephen Leavitt. Also, audio recordings in Series 3 are restricted;
researchers must request user copies be produced. For more information contact the Mandeville Special Collections Library.
Stephen Leavitt Fieldnotes and Recordings, MSS 27. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.
Stephen Christopher Leavitt (1959- ), American anthropologist, graduated with a B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1981. He attended
the University of California, San Diego, where he earned his doctorate in anthropology in 1989. His dissertation, entitled
CARGO, CHRIST, AND NOSTALGIA FOR THE DEAD: THEMES OF INTIMACY AND ABANDONMENT IN BUMBITA ARAPESH SOCIAL EXPERIENCE, was based
on fieldwork in Papua New Guinea from 1984-1986, for which he received a Fulbright Research Grant. While in the field, Leavitt
worked closely with Professor Donald F. Tuzin, whose own work centered on the neighboring Ilahita Arapesh. In 1989, Leavitt
received a Rockefeller Fellowship in the Humanities, which supported his residence at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies
at the University of Hawaii. Since then, he has taught at Washington University (St. Louis) and, currently, at Union College
(Schenectady). His work has been published in ETHOS, ETHNOLOGY, SOCIAL SCIENCE AND MEDICINE, and THE JOURNAL OF PSYCHOHISTORY.
Leavitt is married to anthropologist Karen Brison, who also conducted fieldwork in the East Sepik Province with the Gawanga
Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Stephen Leavitt fieldnotes and recordings document ethnographic research conducted among the Bumbita Arapesh people of
East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea, which formed the core of Leavitt's doctoral dissertation in anthropology at UCSD. The
materials are arranged in three series: 1) FIELDNOTES, 2) TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDINGS, and 3) RECORDINGS.
SERIES 1: FIELDNOTES
The FIELDNOTES series contains photocopies of notebooks arranged in chronological order. Several notebooks focus on specific
topics, including children on children, parents on children, and causes of death. Also included are census and genealogical
materials for several villages and files on the Bumbita Arapesh language.
SERIES 2: TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDINGS
The TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDINGS series is contains copies of Leavitt's transcriptions of selected recorded interviews with
SERIES 3: RECORDINGS
The RECORDINGS series contains audio cassette recordings of field interviews and social events conducted in the Bumbita Arapesh
language as well as recorded English translations of some of the sound recordings. The recordings were arranged in a numeric
order by Leavitt. The box numbers in the container list reflect each cassette's location, and the folder numbers designate
Leavitt's numeric order. In addition, an appendix to this guide, supplied by Leavitt, provides added description of the contents
of each recording.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Papua New Guinea -- Social life and customs
Ethnology -- Papua New Guinea -- East Sepik Province
Anthropology -- Melanesia
Anthropology -- Oceania
Leavitt, Stephen C., 1959- -- Archives