Author: David Price

Professor of Anthropology, Saint Martin’s University, Lacey Washington. Cultural anthropologist using the Freedom of Information Act and archives to examine anthropologists interactions with military and intelligence agencies.

Listmania: A Few Thoughts on One Page From a 6,500 Cubic Feet Collection

Listmania: A Few Thoughts on One Page From a 6,500 Cubic Feet Collection

For much of my work, archival records provide important context for interpreting the documents I receive under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  This context takes different forms in different circumstances.  These archival documents provide information on the personal or daily lives of individuals of interest, on interactions with other anthropologists, on the larger social context shaping research, or sometimes archives hold parallel unredacted documents complimenting those appearing in FOIA document releases. Like any detective work, by far most of {+}

Anthropologists in the Archives: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed

Anthropologists in the Archives: A Brief Guide for the Perplexed

All anthropologists should consider using archives in their work.  When I was in my 20s and working as a contract archaeologist on cultural resource management projects, I used state archives to get information on the land we worked on, and when doing ethnographic fieldwork in Egypt in 1989-90, I combed collections at the Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the Institut d’Égypte. And while tens of thousands of pages of Freedom of Information Act documents {+}

FOIA Document: 1980 CIA Recruitment Pitch Claims No Ethical Issues for CIA Anthropologists

FOIA Document: 1980 CIA Recruitment Pitch Claims No Ethical Issues for CIA Anthropologists

While working through document collections in dozens of university and governmental archives, online FOIA document repositories, and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, I have amassed a collection of letters from anthropologists and other scholars corresponding with the CIA. Sometimes scholars write asking for reports, maps, or other documents they hope can be released into the public domain, in other instances anthropologists write sharing information relating to their work or that of colleagues, or they write inquiring about employment {+}

On Using Archives and Freedom of Information Act for Anthropological Research

On Using Archives and Freedom of Information Act for Anthropological Research

At some point during the last quarter century I wandered away from doing ethnographic fieldwork and pursued archival and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) anthropological research. There were no clear reasons for the shift. I suppose that in hindsight this change of focus appears linked with being a new professor, with then young children who could not easily return to Middle East field research, while stumbling upon a broad research project I could undertake largely by mail. With time, I {+}