In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Introduction
  • Susan A. Kaplan

On October 6, 2004 Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna, or "Freddy," passed away at her home in Haverford, Pennsylvania at the age of 98. Throughout her life she was an active and productive scholar, fieldworker, teacher, mentor, and friend to many. She reinvented herself as she moved between Bryn Mawr, where she lived, taught, and wrote, and Alaska, where she did field-work. She was a formidable force with high standards for herself and others, and strong opinions she did not hesitate to share. She was an inquisitive human being who spared no effort in her quest to understand and communicate the history of various Arctic and Subarctic peoples. In that mix was a modest person who enjoyed participating in the lives of others, always with a twinkle in her eyes. This issue of Arctic Anthropology, compiled in Freddy's memory, will in all likelihood be one of many the academy produces to honor her and to take a measure of our debt to her. Already, countless northern-focused publications and nearly every issue of Arctic Anthropology reflect our debt to her, as is evident in authors' citations of her work.

My Experiences with Freddy

The very first seminar I took in 1975, when I was a first year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College, was History of Anthropology, taught by Frederica de Laguna. It was a year-long course required of all graduate students in the department. In addition to the challenge of passing the course, we knew that one of our four Ph.D. qualifying exams would focus on the history of anthropology, and, since the graduate student population was small (my entering class consisted of five students), the faculty would write specific exams for each of us. Needless to say, we approached the course with a great deal of anxiety, even before meeting our professor.

We ventured into the Anthropology graduate seminar room in the basement of Dalton Hall and took seats in wooden swivel chairs at a long, solid wood table that dwarfed us. Freddy entered the room, hair pulled back and wearing Southwestern silver jewelry, three-ring binder in hand, and informed the first year graduate students in the class that we were going to discuss the concept of enculturation (Fig. 1). To the relief of everyone—except the first person upon whom she called, who had made the mistake of confusing enculturation with acculturation—she never did call on the rest of us that day.

The relief we felt when we realized she was not going to go around the room vanished when she began discussing the content of the course and her expectations. We found ourselves in the possession of a syllabus that was over 13 pages long. The single-spaced, typed entries included individual articles as well as anthropological texts such as Regna Darnell's Readings in the History of Anthropology (1974), Daniel E. Glyn's One Hundred Years of Anthropology (1950), R. H. Lowie's The History of Ethnological Theory (1937), and Selected Papers from the American Anthropologist, 1888–1920, a collection of readings compiled by Freddy and a group of her students (de Laguna, ed. 1960). The readings began with the works of individuals such as Lord Mombado and his theory of the origins of humans and ended with the works of Franz Boas. Every week specific books and articles were assigned, and we were expected to augment those readings with other texts, some suggested, others that we were challenged to ferret out. We turned in annotated bibliographies weekly, detailing what we had read that week and what we thought significant about each of the works.

The class settled into a weekly pattern. The seminar would begin with Freddy, who sat at the head of the table, three-ring binder full of notes at hand, calling for our annotated bibliographies and returning those we had submitted the previous week. We would page through the work she returned to us looking for her comments. Sometimes we were rewarded with single words or phrases, such as "excellent," or "good comments," but were also called to task, "not up to your best...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1933-8139
Print ISSN
0066-6939
Pages
pp. 1-6
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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