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James Faris papers

Creator:
Faris, James C.  Search this
Extent:
7.67 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Field notes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Place:
Nuba Mountains (Sudan)
Date:
1960-2014, undated
Summary:
James Faris (1936 – present) is an American cultural anthropologist and epistemologist who received his PhD from Cambridge University in 1966. He conducted fieldwork in the fishing settlement of Cat Harbour, Newfoundland, among the Nuba of Southeastern Kordofan in the Sudan, and among the Navajo in the American Southwest. His research specializations include cognitive anthropology, art and aesthetics, ritual, social organization and reproduction, anthropological linguistics, and visual anthropology and critical theory and representation.

The James Faris Papers, 1960-2014, primarily document his fieldwork with the Nuba peoples of Southeastern Sudan. His papers also include materials related to representation of the Nuba peoples and various controversies in visual anthropology and documentary film that related to Leni Riefenstahl and her filmmaking among the Nuba. During the 1960s Faris was drawn into activism against the Vietnam War while at the University of Connecticut and his papers contain ephemeral materials on radical anthropology and racism from that period. The collection consists of field notes, correspondence, photographs, sound recordings, films (including scripts and transcriptions), videos, book and papers drafts, and news and magazine clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The James Faris papers, 1960-2014, undated, primarily document his field research with the Nuba people in South Sudan. It also includes materials related to Leni Riefenstahl and her work with the Nuba, material regarding racism and activism at the University of Connecticut, and writings and notes. The collection consists of field notes, sound recordings, films, videos, film transcriptions and scripts, correspondence, photographs, book and paper drafts, and clippings.

Faris worked with the Nuba people in Sudan from 1966-1969 and again in the 1970s. His materials document their body art and cultural practices before the Nuba were converted to Islam in the 1980s. Over 800 photographic slides record their agriculture, rituals, dance, and personal art in addition to Faris' extensive field notes.
Arrangement:
The James Faris papers are arranged in 4 series: Series 1. Sudan, 1966-2008, undated; Series 2. Materials pertaining to Leni Riefenstahl, 1971-2008; Series 3. University of Connecticut, 1969-1992, undated; Series 4. Writings, conference files, and other materials, 1960-2014, undated.
Biographical note:
Chronology

1936 November 1 -- Born in Durango, Colorado

1958 -- B.S. in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico

1959-1960 -- Archaeological field research, New Mexico (6 months)

1962-1964, 1972 -- Ethnological field research, Newfoundland (17 months)

1965 -- Lecturer, University of Maryland (overseas)

1966 -- Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

1966 -- Assistant Professor, McGill University

1966-1969 -- Lecturer, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

1966-1969, 1977, 1979, 1980 -- Ethnological field research, Kordofan , Sudan (20 months)

1969-1978 -- Associate Professor, University of Connecticut

1978-1979 -- Visiting Professor, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

1978-1995 -- Professor, University of Connecticut

1983-1988 -- Ethnological field research, New Mexico/Arizona (18 months)

1990-1993 -- Ethnological field research, Greater Southwest (8 months)

1995 July 1-Present -- Emeritus Professor, University of Connecticut

James Chester Faris is an ethnographic anthropologist whose research specializations include social anthropology, social organization and production, cognitive studies, aesthetics and art, population, materialist perspectives, anthropological critique, textuality, anthropological linguistics, and photographic analysis and critique. He completed field research in Newfoundland, Sudan, New Mexico, Arizona, and the Greater Southwest.

Faris was trained at Cambridge as an anthropologist and spent the majority of his academic career teaching at the University of Connecticut. He also spent time as a lecturer and visiting professor at the University of Khartoum in Sudan. In this time he conducted his field research on the Southeast Nuba of Southern Kordofan Province.

Faris became an Emeritus Professor at the University of Connecticut in 1995 and currently lives in New Mexico.
Separated Materials:
Film, video, and related sound materials have been transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives (HSFA/NAFC), accession number 2017-004, but are described in this finding aid in Series 1.5 (Films and related materials).
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by James Faris in 2016.
Restrictions:
The James Faris papers are open for research.

Access to the James Faris papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Nuba (African people)  Search this
Documentary films  Search this
Genre/Form:
Field notes
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
James Faris papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2016-36
See more items in:
James Faris papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2016-36
Online Media:

Dirt, women and men : a study in the Nuba mountains, Sudan / by Ian Hodder

Author:
Hodder, Ian  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Architecture, Nuba  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
1982
Topic:
Material culture  Search this
Nuba settlement patterns  Search this
Pottery, Nuba  Search this
Nuba gourd containers  Search this
Decoration and ornament, Nuba  Search this
Nuba designs  Search this
Call number:
GN659.K4 H62
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_595449

From the mountains to the plains : the integration of the Lafofa Nuba into Sudanese society / Leif O. Manger

Author:
Manger, Leif O  Search this
Nordiska Afrikainstitutet  Search this
Physical description:
173 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Nuba Mountains (Sudan)
Sudan
Date:
1994
Topic:
Ethnic relations  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_474782

Archaeological reconnaissance in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan / Helen Taylkor and Michal Bieniada

Author:
Taylor, Helen  Search this
Bieniada, Michal  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Sudan
Nuba Mountains (Sudan)
Date:
2007
Topic:
Archaeology--Nuba Mountains  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
DT154.1 .S833
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1014322

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