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Reading Maud Oakes: An Essay on Ethnography, Psychoanalysis, and Family History

Authors
  • Woolsey, Addison Nealon
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
Source
eScholarship - University of California
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Maud Oakes (1903-1990) was an American painter, anthropologist, and a student of Carl Jung. This thesis offers a close reading of two of her ethnographic texts based on fieldwork conducted in Todos Santos Cuchumat�n, Guatemala between 1945 and 1947. It then considers Maud’s legacy in Todos Santos in light of the extensive ethnographic canon that has developed in the town from the 1940s to the present day. Finally, I turn to her break with anthropology in the 1950s and subsequent research and writing on analytic psychology. Maud’s unique position in mid-twentieth century American culture points to convergences and divergences between intellectual currents that are often analyzed through an artificial disciplinary isolation, thereby obscuring their common ties.

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