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Leavitt (Stephen) Fieldnotes and Recordings
MSS 0027  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: English
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Stephen Leavitt Fieldnotes and Recordings
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0027
    Physical Description: 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 Guinea.


    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.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1993.

    Preferred Citation

    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 people.

    Publication Rights

    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.
    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.
    The TRANSCRIPTIONS OF RECORDINGS series is contains copies of Leavitt's transcriptions of selected recorded interviews with informants.
    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