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Linfield to host 8th annual anthropology lecture

David Price, professor of anthropology and sociology at Saint Martin’s University, will present “Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State” on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield College.

The talk will trace some of anthropology’s historical roots, including links to colonial, military and intelligence projects, then focus on a range of post-9/11 developments from Human Terrain to CIA campus centers and CIA-linked funding opportunities, and end with comments about future changes.

Price has developed an ambitious and innovative project examining the uneasy relationship between professional anthropologists and various agencies of the United States government since WWII and the Cold War/McCarthy era. According to Price, even as some prominent anthropologists and the American Anthropological Association were complicit with the government’s threats to academic freedom, government agencies largely neglected anthropological insights and selectively gleaned ethnographic knowledge as part of various military and intelligence efforts.

“These revelations raise disturbing questions about the autonomy of the academy and the role of public intellectuals, particularly in relation to the formulation of military and public policy in the twenty-first century,” Price said.

Price is the author of “Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists” (2004) and “Anthropological Intelligence: The Use and Neglect of American Anthropology During the Second World War” (Duke, 2008).

Price teaches a variety of anthropology classes and has been at Saint Martin’s University since 1994. A graduate of McMinnville High School, he received a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in 1983, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1985 and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1993. He has conducted cultural anthropological and archaeological fieldwork and research in Yemen, Israel, Egypt and the Pacific Northwest.

The lecture is sponsored by the Linfield Department of Sociology and Anthropology. It is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tom Love, Linfield professor of anthropology and environmental studies, at tlove@linfield.edu or 503-883-2504.