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JULIAN HARES STEWARD January 31, 1 902-February 6, 1972 BY ROBERT A. MANNERS JULIAN HAYNES STEWARD, ANTHROPOLOGIST, was born in Wash- ington, D.C., the son of Thomas G., chief of the Bo arc! of Examiners of the U.S. Patent Office, en c! Grace Garriott, whose brother, Edward! Garriott, was chief forecaster of the U.S. Weather Bureau. In an autobiographical sketch preparer! for the National Academy of Sciences, Stewart! remarkoc! that nothing in his family background! or in his early education accountec! for his later interest in anthropology. On the other hancI, his school en c! neighborhood! in the suburbs of Washington involves! him in close association with the chilciren of writ- ers, senators, representatives, cloctors, en c! "generally per- sons of some distinction" who apparently did contribute to a cleveloping interest in intellectual matters. When he was sixteen, Steward was admitted to the newly establisher! Deep Springs Preparatory School (now Deep Springs College), a school located near Death Valley and clevotec! to the clevelopment of practical skills en c! to the promotion "of the highest well-being." At this time, he sail! This memoir was originally prepared for inclusion in the multivolume American Na- tional Biography to be published by Oxford University Press. 325
326 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS somewhat laconically, "I took this purpose seriously but did not know what to do about it." His time at Deep Springs exposed him to the lifeways of the local Palute and Shoshoni Indians, an experience that lay partly dormant until his freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley, where he discovered academic anthropology in a course given jointly by Alfred Kroeber, Robert Lowie, and Edward Gifford. The following year he transferred to Cornell where, in the ab- sence of an anthropology faculty, he completed his under- graduate training in zoology and geology. Livingston Farrand, then president of Cornell and himself an anthropologist, nurtured Steward's continuing interest in anthropology- temporarily sidetracked by circumstances and urged him to return to Berkeley and its reigning triumvirate for his doctorate in anthropology. In 1928 Steward joined the faculty at the University of Michigan, where he gave the first course in anthropology ever given there. In 1930 he went to the University of Utah, where he taught and conducted considerable archeological research in Puebloid cultures until 1933. Accompanied by his wife, the former Jane Cannon, he spent the next year ~ ~ 934) conducting research in Owens Valley, Death Valley, and northward through Nevada to Idaho and Oregon. In 1935 he left university teaching to take a position as associ- ate anthropologist in the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, remaining there until ~ 946. During one year of his tenure at the BAE, he was loaned to the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the request of its director, John Collier, and assisted in the creation of programs for the reform of the BIA. The product, a radical transforma- tion in the organization and functioning of the BIA, is usu- ally referred to as a New Deal for American Indians. The experience was valuable, for it was there that Steward had a chance to examine the effectiveness of a fairly well-financed
J rULIAN HAYNE S STEWARD 327 program in applied anthropology and to observe at first- hand the practical as well as the theoretical significance of the relation between subcultures and the larger society of which they were a part an issue that occupied a dominant place in his teaching, research, and writing for the remain- der of his life and is the central theme of such major works as Area Research: Theory and Practice, The People of Puerto Rico, and the three-volume Contemporary Change in Traditional So- cieties, as well as a number of shorter pieces dealing with the study of nonisolated, nonself-sufficient cultures or part- cultures. While at the BAE he set up and was the first director of the Institute of Social Anthropology, a branch of the Smith- sonian Institution. During his last years at the BAE, Steward chaired a committee that reorganized the governance of the American Anthropological Association. He was also in- volved in the planning and establishment of the National Science Foundation and was instrumental in persuading Congress to appropriate funds for the creation of the Com- mittee for the Recovery of Archeological Remains, subse- quently the nation's River Basin Archeological Surveys Pro- gram, often referred to as the model and stimulus for salvage archeology in the United States. . ~ In partnership with Wendell Bennett, Steward planned and helped to establish the Viru Valley Project in Peru, a research program whose contributions to theory in arche- ology and especially to the archeology of South America have been of major significance. On the whole, and despite the wealth of Steward's contri- butions recorded during his years at the BAE, it is generally agreed that his most concretely impressive achievement dur- ing his tenure was the organization, staffing (over 100 sci- entists were involved), and editorship of the six-volume Hand- book of South American Indians. Despite its imperfections, it
328 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS remains a monument to Stewarcl's sustainer! efforts to iclen- tify links between what he saw as culture types en c! the evolutionary schema towarc! which his research hac! clearly incTinec! him an evolutionary design that eschewoc! the form of unilinear stages emphasizec! in the earlier work of Lewis Henry Morgan as well as the upciatec! en c! amenclec! evolutionary design proposer! by Leslie White. Stewart! caller! his schema multilinear evolution, an approach that pair! special attention to the varieties of ecological, technologi- cal, en c! historical circumstances exposer! by expanding gio- bal research. It is "essentially a methoclology baser! on the assumption that significant regularities in culture change occur, en c! it is concernec! with the determination of cul- tural laws." Although Stewart! was always iclentifiec! as a cultural an- thropologist, his publications in archeology constituted about half of his output in the perioc! from the 1920s to about 1940. This may help explain, in part, his persistent fascina- tion with evolutionary formulations extending over Tong periods of time. He maintainer! that the line between the subclisciplines of archeology en c! cultural anthropology was largely artificial, referring to the data of archeology as ethnohistory on (or in) the ground. Since he believer! that archeology was more than potshercis en c! monuments, test pits and stratigraphy, he urged Gordon Willey, against Willey's wishes, to deal intensively with settlement patterns in the Viru Valley Project, which Stewart! helpec! launch. He prevailec! on Willey by insisting that intensive stucly of settlement patterns in the valley wouIc! show "when en c! how these patterns changer! through time en c! what the changes implied" (Willey, p. 216~. Willey's work set a pat- tern for archeological research that grew virtually to domi- nate the fielc! in later years. Stewart! hac! himself signaler! the importance of such analysis in "Ecological Aspects of
J rULIAN HAYNE S STEWARD 329 Southwestern Society" (1937), a research thesis that, until publication of Willey's Viru Valley work, largely hac! been unnoticed. Throughout his professional life Stewart! carrier! on his search for cross-culturally valic! regularities. In effect, he saw his anthropological mission as a search for causes. An c! while he was appropriately cautious about spelling out laws or ineluctable causes, he was not immune from the criti- cism of those who clismissec! the search for cultural regu- larities, citing diffusion as an argument against Stewarcl's evolutionary propositions. He responclec! to these objections by cirawing attention to the force of cultural ecological fac- tors in determining when, where, how, en c! if diffusion of cultural items or artifacts conic! take place, thus making diffusion an aspect of cultural evolution, a clepenclent rather than an inclepenclent variable. Stewart! presser! on with his search for what may be referrer! to as micicIle-range gener- alizations or, more ciaringly, analysis en c! inference with pre- clictive potential. In short, Stewart! "minimally hoper! that anthropologists wouIc! accept the position that culture is an orclerly domain in which causality operates, en c! fits] operation is accessible through scientific method. Given the complexity of our sub- ject matter, this may have been a naive expectation, but to Stewart! these were the unstatec! premises which uncleriay the rest of his theories" (Murphy, p. 10~. In 1946 Steward accepted a professorship at Columbia University, entering at a time when the influence of Boas still clominatec! the program en c! when the small clepart- ment (six full-time en c! several adjunct staff members) was cleTugec! by an influx of 120 graduate students, overwhelm- ingly G.I. Bill recipients. Stewart! remainec! at Columbia until 1952, when he left to take a position as University Professor at the University of Illinois.
330 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS During his years at Columbia, Stewart! supervisec! some thirty-five cloctoral dissertations en c! servec! on the commit- tees of several clozen others. In all, he influencec! a large number of students, many of whom later came to occupy senior professorships in universities arounc! the country. While at Columbia Stewart! planner! en c! supervisec! the preparation, fieldwork, en c! write-up activities of five graclu- ate students in the execution of the cliscipline's first at- tempt to stucly the culture of an entire area. He chose the island! of Puerto Rico. The student team preparer! for the enterprise with a semester seminar on the history, economy, polity, social structure en c! clepenclency constraints, en c! opportunities in Puerto Rico from just before initial con- tact with the Spanish conquerors in 1492 through the pe- rioc! of American control en c! into the late 1940s. The fielcI- work was concluctec! from the enc! of 1947 to August 1949. It was cluring this perioc! that Stewart! completec! work on Area Research: Theory and Practice ~ ~ 950) . Publication of the team enterprise, The People of Puerto Rico, was clelayoc! until 1956. It is still reckoner! one of the several significant con- tributions that mark Stewarcl's eminence among anthropolo- gists in the micicIle years of the twentieth century. At the University of Illinois, Steward conceived and ex- ecutec! an even more ambitious research effort to clocu- ment "the processes of change in peasant agricultural sys- tems that have been exposed to outside markets and wage labor" (Murphy, p. 12~. To this end he established a pro- gram called "Studies in Cultural Regularities." With a grant from the Forc! Foundation, Stewart! selectee! eleven field! workers who were assignee! to test the theories clevelopec! in the Cultural Regularities program, one field worker was assigned to Nigeria, one to Mexico, two to Peru, one to Kenya, two to Tanganylka, one each to Burma and Malaya, en c! two to Japan. The fieldwork was carrier! out between
J rULIAN HAYNE S STEWARD 331 1957 en c! 1959, en c! the results, Contemporary Change in Tra- ditionat Societies, were publisher! in three volumes in 1967. The Puerto Rican project en c! the work that grew out of the program in Studies in Cultural Regularities were guiclec! by research principles that market! all but the very earliest of Stewarcl's research activities. He combiner! incluction with clecluction, moving from hunches stimulates! by reacting en c! observation en c! acivancec! by certain "logical inferences" to create a hypothesis. He clic! not see the field! as a place where one went to recorc! as carefully as possible a general description of a culture. Rather he was among the earliest anthropologists to go into the field! guiclec! by a firm set of problems, a set of clecluctive hypotheses to be testec! by examination of documentary en c! archival resources en c! by incluction, by the careful collection of ciata in the fielcI. The cross-cultural comparisons on which his work placer! such great emphasis were a calculates! test en c! attachment of the hypothesis/problem-orientec! fieldwork for which he en c! his students hac! prepared. Stewarcl's significance in the history of anthropology cle- rives from a number of innovative icleas en c! practices, many of which helpec! to determine major clevelopments in re- search methodology. He will be remembered for his "theory of cultural ecology," a theory that Murphy caller! his "great- est contribution to anthropology." Other anthropologists had dealt with the shaping force of environmental factors (Kroeber, Wissler, etch. But it remainec! for Stewart! to em- phasize the importance of culture en c! its effects on the environment, in a sense to relegate the natural habitat to the role of clepenclent variable in determining the lifeways of the group, society, or region. Consequently, Stewart! was most impatient with those anthropologists who user! the terms "environment" en c! "ecology" interchangeably. The theory and method of cultural ecology goes beyond the
332 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS influence of the natural habitat, or it postulates a relation- ship among the resources of a particular environment, the technology (tools en c! knowlecige) available at a particular time to exploit these resources en c! the patterns of work clesignec! to bring the technology to bear upon the resources. "The organization of work, in turn, is hypothesizer! as hav- ing a determinative effect upon other social institutions en c! practices. The key element in the equation is not the environment" (Murphy, p. 22~. Despite his devotion to the search for causes en c! regu- larities in processes of culture change, Stewart! remainec! generally indifferent to the premises en c! promises of ap- pliec! anthropology because he was keenly aware of the clif- fering values, theoretical positions, and conflicting prescrip- tions for social action that criss-crossec! the cliscipline. An c! he was acutely sensitive to the gaps in our unclerstancling of Process in the genesis en c! clecline of specific sociocultural ~ . phenomena. -nay, ne was appropriately cynical about the uses of admonition clivorcec! from the exercise of power. Stewart! is generally creclitec! with introducing a few con- ceptual terms de nova into the anthropological lexicon for example, "multilinear evolution" en c! "levels of sociocultural integration." His name is also associated with the refine- ment en c! popularization of other concepts now wiclely em- ployed in anthropology, such as the "search for regulari- ties," "cultural causality," en c! the significance of "the larger context," i.e., forces en c! influences from outside the locus of research that must be reckoned with as significant deter- minants of local change ancI/or persistence. He persuaclec! most of his colleagues to replace the stulti- fying "culture area" concept with the concept of "culture type." And he participated in a generally successful revolt against the restrictions of historical particularism en c! the perversion of cultural relativism from methodological too!
J rULIAN HAYNE S STEWARD 333 to an immutable principle of identification. He also fought to keep anthropology within the "sciences," for he saw its mission as the search for explanation rather than the hope- less pursuit of immutable truths. In 1952 Stewart! was awarclec! the Viking Func! Mecial in General Anthropology, a distinction Alfrec! Kroeber hac! preclictec! a couple of years earlier when he referrer! to Stewarcl's outstanding contributions to anthropology en c! aciclec! that he believer! Stewart! to be the "finest teacher in our fielc! in the past 20 years." In 1954 he became one of the earliest scholars outside the h are! sciences to be electec! to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1956-57 Stewart! went to Japan as director of the Kyoto American Studies Seminar. In 1960-61 he was appointed a fellow of the Cen- ter for Advance c! Stucly in Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto. An c! when the University of Illinois establishec! its own Cen- ter for Acivancec! Stucly, Stewart! was one of the four initial appointees (anc! the only social scientist) out of a faculty numbering about 4,000. By way of commemorating Steward's sixtieth birthday, twenty-six of his colleagues en c! former students honoree! him with a Festschrift: Process and Pattern in Culture (1964~. An c! in 1969 a group of graduate students from the Univer- sity of Illinois anthropology department launched a twice- yearly publication, The Steward Anthropological Society Journal. Because Stewart! was cliligent in the use of empirical ciata in his theoretical formulations, a few critics have labeler! his results inductive or empirical generalizations. Although he was uncommonly sensitive at times, he consiclerec! these charges vacuous, remarking that it was self-eviclent that no theory springs fuliblown out of a ciataTess vacuum. Stewart! user! the empirical ciata clerivec! from his own research en c! that of others as a catalyst for the imaginative leap that wouic! offer an explanation that went "beyonc! the facts." In
334 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS short, he sail! he conic! construct theory in the only way possible by affirming the inescapable value of facts but not bincling the scope of explanation exclusively to those facts. NOTES 1. During the war the Office of Naval Research funded a num- ber of projects designated "Studies of Culture at a Distance." These were generally defined as culture and personality studies and did indeed attempt to characterize national cultures by exposing the dominant patterns or the ethos of each country as revealed in the course of interviews with expatriate citizens of these nations then living in the United States. Ruth Benedict, Sula Bennett, Margaret Mead, and others associated with Columbia were participants in these activities, which, unlike Steward's program, did not involve fieldwork. 2. The British anthropologist Max Gluckman used the term "so- cial field" to describe the same phenomenon, notably in a couple of essays, "Malinowski's Sociological Theories," first published in the late 1940s. FURTHER READINGS Stewarcl's papers, inclucling copies of an extensive corre- sponclence (1926-73), are in the University of Illinois Ar- chives. Brief biographical entries may be fount! in Who Was Who (vol. 5), the InternationalDictionary of Anthropology (1991), en c! the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (vol. 18~. A complete bibliography of Stewarcl's work appears as an appendix to his Obituary, Manners, Robert A. en c! lane C. Steward, American Anthropologist (75:886-903~. A substan- tial but slightly less exhaustive bibliography, since it appearec! in 1964, is in Process and Pattern in Culture: Essays in Honor Of Julian Steward, ed. Robert A. Manners, pp. 418-24. Of a number of bibliographical essays honoring Steward, four, in particular, are noteworthy for the personal infor- mation they provide along with striking analytical and criti
J rULIAN HAYNE S STEWARD 335 Cal insights cleating with his work: "Julian Haynes Steward" in Portraits in American Archeology: Remembrance of Some Dis- tinguished Americans, Gordon R. Willey, 1988, pp. 21 8-41, "Julian H. Steward: A Contributor to Fact en c! Theory in Cultural Anthropology" in Process and Pattern in Culture: Es- says in Honor of futian H. Steward, Demitri B. Shimkin, pp. I- 17, "Julian Stewarcl's Writings en c! the Essays: A post hoc Articulation," ibid., pp. 18-25, "Introduction: The Anthro- pological Theories of Julian H. Steward," by Robert Murphy in Evolution and Ecology: Essays on Social Transformation, futian Steward, ecI. Jane C. Stewart! en c! Robert T. Murphy, 1977, pp. I-39. This posthumous publication and Steward's A Theory of Culture Change (1955) together contain some of Stewarcl's more noteworthy essays, cullec! with care by Stewart! him- self in the 1955 publication en c! with respect en c! insight in the 1977 book of selections arranger! by his wife en c! one of his most clistinguishec! students.
336 B I O G RA P H I C A L EMOIRS SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY In addition to the several titles referred to in the body of this piece, at least a few more of Steward's many papers demand inclusion in order to document the significance of his contributions to anthro- pological thought and method. These have been chosen with stud- ied arbitrariness (from a body of more than 200 publications) and are presented in chronological order. 1937 The economic and social basis of primitive bands. In Essays on An- thropology in Honor of Alfred Louis Kroeber, ed. R. H. Lowie, pp. 311- 50. 1938 Ecological aspects of southwestern society. Anthropos 32:87-104. 1941 Basin Plateau Aboriginal Sociopolitical Groups. Bureau of American Eth- nology, Bulletin 120. 1943 Determinism in primitive society? Scientific Monthly 53:491-501. 1947 Acculturation and the Indian problem. America Indigena 3:323-28. 1951 American culture history in the light of South America. Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 3:85-107. 1956 Level of sociocultural integration: an operational concept. South- western Journal of Anthropology 7:374-90. 1969 Cultural evolution. Scientific American 194:69-80. Limitations of applied anthropology: the case of the American In- dian New Deal. Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society 1:1-17.