“Ann wanted to study the whole spectrum of crafts, but out of practicality I urged her to pick one, so she wrote 1,000 pages on blacksmiths as part of a larger research project on crafts and crafts markets.”–Alice Dewey

Readers of museum anthropology might be interested to learn more about U.S. President-elect Barak Obama’s late mother’s work as an anthropologist whose special interest were the handcrafts of Indonesia. It is not available as an open access paper and it is not yet posted in AnthroSource, but the current issue of the AAA’s Anthropology News includes an item in its Knowledge Exchange section titled “Ann Dunham: A Personal Reflection” (November 2008, p 20.). It is an interview by Geoffery White (U Hawai’i) of Alice Dewey (emeritus, U Hawai’i). Professor Dewey served as Dr. Dunham’s disertation advisior and she describes aspects of her studies as an anthropologist and her career in applied work in Indonesia. Dr. Dunham’s dissertation is Peasant Blacksmithing in Indonesia: Surviving and Thriving Agains all Odds (1992). Find it in Open WorldCat here. I am proud that my university library already owned a copy and a bit bummed that someone here has it checked out already.

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