Interview with Art Gallaher, Jr., October 15, 2008

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:18 - Family background

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Partial Transcript: Uh, okay, I wanted to actually begin at the beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his childhood background in Camargo, Oklahoma in the 1930s. He talks about moving around due to his father's work at a steel company during World War II. He talks about moving to California, then back to Oklahoma.

Keywords: Background; California; Camargo (Okla.); Family; Gardena (Calif.); Oklahoma; Rural life; WW2; WWII; Western Oklahoma; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Childhood; Education; Families.; High school; World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Camargo (Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 36.019148, -99.291154
00:05:48 - World War II--Military service

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Partial Transcript: Okay, I, I volunteered, uh, to, uh, to go into the Coast Guard at that point.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his experience in the military during World War II. He talks about joining the Coast Guard right after high school. He describes the various vessels that he served aboard during his tenure in the North Atlantic and the Pacific. He introduces the idea that he first learned about anthropology through his service.

Keywords: Coast Guard; Military service; Pacific theater; Submarine chasers; United States Coast Guard; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); North Atlantic Region.; World War, 1939-1945

00:12:48 - World War II--Introduction to anthropology

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Partial Transcript: So, uh, Guadalcanal, at the time that you were there, was after it had been--

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher continues describing how he learned about anthropology in detail. He talks about meeting a second lieutenant who introduced him to anthropology while on duty in Guadalcanal. Gallaher describes going with this second lieutenant to do fieldwork with the indigenous people of Guadalcanal. He also describes reading Ruth Benedict's "Patterns of Culture" through the officer's recommendation.

Keywords: Coast Guard; Configurationism; Ethnography; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands)--Ethnic relations.; Indigenous peoples; Military service; Patterns of Culture; South Pacific; United States Coast Guard; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Anthropologists.; Anthropology.; Applied anthropology.; Benedict, Ruth; Benedict, Ruth, 1887-1948.; Benedict, Ruth, 1887-1948. Patterns of culture. Japanese; Ethnology.; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); World War, 1939-1945

GPS: Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Map Coordinates: -9.581662, 160.147133
00:18:24 - World War II--Shore leave in Berkeley

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Partial Transcript: Well, when I got, uh, uh, as soon as we got back to into the States--

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his continued growth in anthropology on shore leave in California. He talks about going to the Berkeley library to find more books about anthropology. He then checked out Ralph Linton's "Study of Man" to read on the ship upon his return to sea. He also describes Linton's influence on him from reading "Study of Man."

Keywords: Berkeley; Coast Guard; Libraries; Military service; Okinawa; The Study of Man; United States Coast Guard; University of California; University of California-Berkeley; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War II; World War Two

Subjects: Anthropologists' writings.; Anthropologists.; Anthropology; Anthropology--Research.; Berkeley (Calif.); Ethnology.; Linton, Ralph, 1893-1953

00:22:29 - University of Oklahoma--Undergraduate experience

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Partial Transcript: So, I went to the University of Oklahoma, but I entered the University--

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his early experiences at the University of Oklahoma as a petroleum and geology major, up to the time he decided to switch to studying anthropology.

Keywords: Historical geology; Oklahoma; Petroleum and geology; Undergraduates; University; University experiences; University of Oklahoma

Subjects: Anthropology students; Anthropology.; Education, Higher

GPS: University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 35.205743, -97.445534
00:24:25 - University of Oklahoma--Anthropology department

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Partial Transcript: University of Oklahoma had a department of four people.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes the anthropology department at the University of Oklahoma, and what each member studied. Gallaher describes his own research and interests during the remainder of his undergraduate and master's program, studying black Seminoles in Oklahoma.

Keywords: Anthropology departments; Archaeology; Ethnic attitudes; Graduate schools; Linguistics; Minority relations; Oklahoma; Social stratification.; Undergraduates; University of Oklahoma

Subjects: Anthropologists.; Anthropology.; Bell, Robert E.; Black Seminoles; Cultures & communities. Native peoples; Garvin, Paul L.; Schmitt, Karl; Schmitt, Karl, 1915-1952; Seminole Indians.

GPS: University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 35.205743, -97.445534
00:30:36 - University of Oklahoma--Experience with sociology

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Partial Transcript: They said, "Now," uh, "you seem to be interested in race relations--"

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his experience working with the sociology department and his relationship with sociology while becoming an anthropologist at the University of Oklahoma. He also describes his time working with a sociologist named Lou Killian in researching disaster reactions while they did fieldwork in disaster zones. He also notes taking classes taught by Muzafer Sherif, and his influence.

Keywords: Lou Killian; Oklahoma; Philosophy; Race; Race relations; Robber's Cave Experiment; Sherif Effect; Social psychology; Sociology; Sociology departments; University of Oklahoma

Subjects: Bennett, John W. (John William), 1915-2005; Cultures & communities. Community studies; Robbers Cave State Park (Okla.); Sherif, Muzafer, 1906-1988.

GPS: University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 35.205743, -97.445534
00:40:56 - University of Oklahoma--Non-anthropology influences

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Partial Transcript: What are some of the, the, uh--when you think of the ideas, um, that you're referring to now, what were some of the ideas, some of the people, some of the readings that you might've--

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher notes the influences of courses and readings done in other fields on his thinking. He talks about his concerns regarding the state of academia, particularly philosophy and anthropology.

Keywords: Alfred-Radcliffe Brown; Boundary maintenance; Coursework; Cultural anthropology; Influences; Interdisciplinary approaches; Logic; Oklahoma; Philosophy; Radcliffe Brown; Social anthropology; University of Oklahoma

Subjects: Anthropology; Anthropology students; Eggan, Fred, 1906-1991; Malinowski, Bronislaw, 1884-1942.

GPS: University of Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
Map Coordinates: 35.205743, -97.445534
00:45:06 - Intellectual influences

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Partial Transcript: So, where--Schmitt was a, um, uh--you had him as a graduate student at OU [University of Oklahoma], right?

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher speaks at length about his intellectual influences in anthropology. He also notes how these influences and mentors helped his research into the black Seminoles. He talks about his research into the black Seminoles.

Keywords: "Survey of Seminole Freedmen"; Ethnography; Influences; Intellectual influences; Linguistics; Oklahoma; Seminole freedmen; Social anthropology; University of Oklahoma

Subjects: Black Seminoles; Cultures & communities. Community studies; Cultures & communities. Native peoples; Ethnology; Garvin, Paul L; Schmitt, Karl, 1915-1952; Seminole County (Okla.); Wewoka (Okla.)

00:51:55 - Community studies

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Partial Transcript: Yes, now I wanted to, I wanted to focus on that, because your, uh, um, later work has--your, your dissertation, at, uh, Arizona, is a classic, from my perspective.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher talks about the development of his ideas as an anthropologist, particularly with the influence of community studies on his work. He describes reading Ned Spicer's "Pascua" and how that influenced him.

Keywords: Comparative values project; Modern Homesteaders; Mutual dependencies; Ned Spicer; Structural functionalism; Tension management; Tension management of dynamics; University of Arizona

Subjects: Cultures & communities. Community studies; Cultures & communities. Native peoples; Eggan, Fred, 1906-1991; Kluckhohn, Clyde, 1905-1960.; Spicer, Edward Holland, 1906-1983

00:59:02 - University of Arizona

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Partial Transcript: But, I went to Arizona knowing a number of things.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes how he chose the University of Arizona over other schools. He talks about what he wanted to research at Arizona. He describes his relationship with Ned Spicer, and Spicer's support of Gallaher re-studying James West's Plainville, USA.

Keywords: Acculturation; Arizona; Eric Hughes; James West; James West (Carl Withers); James West (pseudonym for Carl Withers); James West Plainville; Plainville, U.S.A. (book); Social Science Research Council (SSRC); Social stratification; Structural functionalism; Tension management theory; University of Arizona

Subjects: Anthropologists.; Anthropology research and developments; Anthropology students; Anthropology.; Lewis, Oscar, 1914-1970; Redfield, Robert, 1897-1958; Society for Applied Anthropology; Spicer, Edward Holland, 1906-1983; West, James, 1900-1970; Withers, Carl

GPS: University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.)
Map Coordinates: 32.231823, -110.949970
01:06:38 - James West--Influence of "Plainville, U.S.A."

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Partial Transcript: But the Plainville thing, I thought, was very good, because, in Plainville, there were two, two very definite interests.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his interest in James West's book, "Plainville, U.S.A." He also talks about how this book influenced his ideas. He also notes some other interests at Arizona, such as sociologist Eric Hughes. Gallaher also considers the possible comparisons with West thanks to their similar backgrounds.

Keywords: Case studies; Comparison; Influences; James West; James West (Carl Withers); James West (pseudonym for Carl Withers); Plainville, U.S.A. (book); Social stratification; Theory

Subjects: Anthropologists' writings.; Anthropologists.; Anthropology publishing; Anthropology--Research.; Anthropology.; Applied anthropology.; Cultures & communities. Community studies; West, James, 1900-1970; Withers, Carl

01:12:19 - James West and Gallaher's relationship

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Partial Transcript: What was your--ho--you, you must have had a relationship with, with West.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher describes his relationship with James West. He describes West's support for his re-studying "Plainville, U.S.A."

Keywords: Anthropologists; Influences; James West; James West (Carl Withers); James West (pseudonym for Carl Withers); Plainville, U.S.A. (book); Relationships

Subjects: Anthropologists.; Anthropology.; Applied anthropology.; West, James, 1900-1970; Withers, Carl

01:13:15 - Fieldwork in Plainville

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Partial Transcript: However, he came to Plainville.

Segment Synopsis: Gallaher notes his time doing fieldwork in Plainville. He talks about the reactions to James West's book. He also talks about his interaction with the local Plainvillers during his time. Gallaher describes entering into the community and living among the locals. He talks about creating sociograms and social networks to test information flow.

Keywords: Communities; History of communities; James West; James West (Carl Withers); James West (pseudonym for Carl Withers); Plainville, U.S.A. (book); Sociograms; Sociometry

Subjects: Anthropologists.; Anthropology--Fieldwork.; Anthropology.; Applied anthropology.; West, James, 1900-1970; Withers, Carl