Thursday, October 7, 2010

Author Paul Shankman discusses "The Trashing of Margaret Mead"

Author Paul Shankman will discuss his new book, "The Trashing of Margaret Mead: Anatomy of a Controversy," Friday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m. in Room 150 of the University of Wyoming Anthropology Building in Laramie.

A University of Colorado professor of anthropology, Shankman has spent years studying the work of Derek Freeman, who has been harshly critical of Mead's work, including her most famous book, 1928's "Coming of Age in Samoa." Mead portrayed an idyllic, non-Western society, free of much sexual restraint and lacking much violence, guilt and anger.

Freeman, an anthropologist, said Mead was wrong and launched a heated public controversy. Shankman first did field work in Samoa in 1966 and has returned periodically since then. He has uncovered new evidence that Freeman's fierce criticism of Mead contained fundamental flaws.

Copies of the book can be purchased at the UW Bookstore, or, following the lecture, in Room 150 of the Anthropology Building.