Alan Harwood is a Professor Emeritus at University of Massachusetts, Boston in the Anthropology Department. Trained in social anthropology he has studied illness and healing in Tanzania and communities in New York City and Boston. Harwood was the founding editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly (new series, 1986-1991) and series editor of Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology (1999-2004) The bulk of this collection is composed of Alan Harwood's 1962-1964 ethnographic research among the Safwa in Tanzania (then known as Tanganyika); his research on health beliefs and medical practices of residents in a low-income area of the Bronx, New York (1967-1970); and his research in Boston, Massachusetts on different ethnic groups' conceptions of health (1994-1995). Also among his papers are materials from his involvement in the Centers for Disease Control and American Anthropological Association (AAA) Workgroup on "The Use of Race & Ethnicity as Scientific Categories" at the 1994 AAA meeting.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the collection is composed of Alan Harwood's ethnographic research among the Safwa in Tanzania (then known as Tanganyika); his research on health beliefs and medical practices of residents in a low-income area of the Bronx, New York; and his research in Boston, Massachusetts on different ethnic groups' conceptions of health. The few photographs in the collection are aerial views of Isyesye, where he conducted his Safwa research, and images from Utengule taken by White Fathers and dating from the 1940s. The collection also contains Harwood's linguistic recordings of Kimalila and of Kisafwa and Kinyiha spoken in various dialects. In addition, the collection contains sound recordings of Safwa ceremonies and an audio letter from Harold Conklin, Mario Bick, Georgeda Buchbinder Bick, and Michiko Takaki. Also among his papers are his correspondence as the editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly and of Ethnicity and Medical Care; materials from his involvement in the Centers for Disease Control and American Anthropological Association (AAA) Workgroup on "The Use of Race & Ethnicity as Scientific Categories" at the 1994 AAA meeting; and letters of recommendation (restricted until 2056) that Harwood wrote for students and colleagues. In addition, the collection contains Harwood's course notes as an undergraduate student at Harvard and as a graduate student at University of Michigan and Columbia University. The collection also contains Harwood's research notes on North Luzon as Conklin's student research assistant at Columbia University. Harwood's correspondence is spread throughout the collection and filed by project. Among his notable correspondents are Harold Conklin and Joseph Greenberg. Their letters can be found with the Safwa materials.
Arranged into 8 series: (1) Safwa Research, 1961-1970; (2) Bronx Research, 1957-1986; (3) Boston Research, 1993-1996; (4) Professional Activities, 1975-2001; (5) Student Files, 1953-1962; (6) Microfilm; (7) Photographs, circa 1940s & 1963; (8) Sound Recordings, 1962-1964
Alan Harwood was born on March 20, 1935 in Tarrytown, New York. He earned his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, in Social Relations from Harvard University in 1957 and attended the London School of Economics on a one year fellowship the following year. When he returned to the United States, he began his graduate studies in anthropology at the University of Michigan, earning his M.A. in 1960. He went on to Columbia University for his doctorate, which he was awarded in 1967.
Under a pre-doctoral fellowship funded by the Social Science Research Council, Harwood conducted ethnographic research on the Safwa of the southwestern region of Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania). From September 1962 to 1964, Harwood carried out his research mainly in the village of Isyesye, near Mbeya, Southern Highlands Region. At the time, witchcraft accusations were common, and it thus became the subject of his dissertation, Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Social Categories among the Safwa, later published in 1970.
In 1967, Harwood was hired by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center (formerly called the Neighborhood Medical Care Demonstration) in Bronx, New York. From 1967 to 1970, he directed a study on the health, illness, and medical beliefs and practices of residents in a low-income area of the south Bronx. One of the articles produced from this research was Harwood's "The Hot-Cold Theory of Disease: Implications for Treatment of Puerto Rican Patients" (1971). Harwood also looked at spiritism among the Puerto Rican community, which led to his publication, Rx: Spiritist as Needed: A Study of a Puerto Rican Community Mental Health Resource (1977).
From 1994 to 1995, Harwood was the co-principal investigator of a study conducted under the Tufts New England Medical Center on conceptions of health and well-being among 4 ethnic groups in Boston: African Americans, Mandarin-speaking Chinese Americans, Irish Americans, and Puerto Ricans. Harwood led the group studying Irish Americans.
In addition to his research, Harwood was the founding editor of Medical Anthropology Quarterly (new series, 1986-1991) and series editor of Cambridge Studies in Medical Anthropology (1999-2004) and of Studies in Medical Anthropology (2004-2006). He also edited Ethnicity and Medical Care (1981), a book geared towards health professionals.
In 1971, Harwood spent a year in New Zealand as a visiting senior lecturer at the University of Auckland. From 1972 to 2002, he was a professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. During his tenure, he also served as adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology (1993-2002) and as associate dean for Undergraduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences (1998-2001). In addition, he was a lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School (1992-present).
In 1982, Harwood was honored with the Wellcome Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland for Research in Anthropology as Applied to Medical Problems. He is also a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and of the Society for Applied Anthropology.
Materials that identify the participants in Harwood's Bronx and Boston studies are restricted until 2056.