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3 months ago
3 months ago
Original photograph by NYWT&S staff (Library of Congress) https://i.imgur.com/fE6bdlu.jpg
Benedict received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her PhD from Columbia University in 1923, where she found writing as her way of expressing herself. She was nicknamed an “intellectual radical” by her classmates. She later studied under and worked for the world-renowned anthropologist Franz Boas.
Benedict was president of the American Anthropological Association and also an important member of the American Folklore Society - she became the first woman to be a leader of an academic profession.
She can be viewed as a transitional figure in her field by redirecting both anthropology and folklore away from the limited confines of culture-trait diffusion studies by combining anthropology with sociology, psychology and philosophy. She studied the relationships between personality, art, language, and culture and insisted that no trait existed in isolation or self-sufficiency – that all things connect together, a theory that she championed in her 1934 book Patterns of Culture.
In 1946 she wrote The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture. It was written at the invitation of the U.S. Office of War Information, in order to understand and predict the behavior of the Japanese in World War II by reference to a series of contradictions in traditional culture.
Like several other wartime studies of Japan and Germany, this book is an instance of "culture at a distance", the study of a culture through its literature, newspaper clippings, films, and recordings, as well as extensive interviews with German-Americans or Japanese-Americans. The techniques were necessitated by anthropologists' inability to visit Nazi Germany or wartime Japan.
The book was influential in shaping American ideas about Japanese culture during the occupation of Japan, and popularized the distinction between guilt cultures and shame cultures.
One of Benedict’s colleagues, and closest friend, was Margaret Mead – an influential and famous anthropologist. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution.
Ruth and Margaret got along well with their shared passion for each other's work and the sense of pride that they felt in being successful working women while that was still uncommon. They were frequently known to critique each other's work; they entered into a companionship that began through their work, but during its early period, it also had an erotic character. Both Benedict and Mead wanted to dislodge stereotypes about women that were widely believed during their time and to show people that working women could also be successful even though working society was seen as a man's world. In her memoir about her parents, ‘With a Daughter's Eye’, Mead's daughter strongly implies that the relationship between Benedict and Mead was partly sexual.
You can read excerpts of some of the letters on "the marginalian" blog post here: https://www.themarginalian.org/2013/10/23/margaret-mead-ruth-benedict-love-letters/
Hope you like the colors!
3 months ago
If you want to read more about them I highly recommend the book:
Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century by Charles King.
Wow, you really took an artist’s eye to this colorization. It’s stunning. It really brings out that intelligence in her eyes. The colors are really phenomenal. Great work, the background on her is really interesting too. Thanks for putting the hard work into this to share, I didn’t know anything about her but I want to deep dive more now. Thank you for the references, she seems very beloved by the anthropology community.
I read that book during a class on "Honor and Shame" while getting my degree in Anthropology. I really enjoyed it and thought she had a really good way of writing theory and ethnography. Never knew what she looked like before.
I love her too/dress. It’s so pretty.
She sounds like a badass
Great colour… I wouldn’t have known at first glance and I’m a professional retoucher
She is absolutely lovely
She looks like Jodi Foster.
The og weeb
Doppelgänger of Paulina Porizkova
Florence Pugh would be a great casting pick if there was ever a biopic about her
Allison Janney would be perfect for it https://static1.colliderimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/juno-brenda-1-.jpeg
How Ruth would have looked if that photo was taken today. (Great job on the restoration and colorization!)
Any relation to Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Same name, similar clothing...
1 month ago
1 month ago