Scope and Contents
This collection is comprised of the professional papers of James B. Watson, the bulk of which relate to his research and academic work on the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. The series are Research, Writings, Correspondence, Professional Activities, University Files, Biographical Files, Maps, Photographs, and Sound Recordings.
The Research series contains Watson's research on Hopi food classification systems in Arizona, Cayua acculturation in Brazil, social stratification between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking residents of Del Norte, Co., numerous research projects in Papua New Guinea, and gift exchange theories.
The Arizona, Hopi Food Classification Systems subseries consists of his research among the Hopi in Arizona, primarily on their food classication systems. Included are field notes and reports.
The Mato Grosso, Brazil and Cayua Acculturation subseries consists of research materials conducted while Watson was working as an assistant professor in Sao Paulo. Included are field notes, bibliographies, a journal, and a language notebook primarily regarding his research on culture change among the Cayua.
The Del Norte, Colorado Surveys subseries contains material related to research conducted in the summers of 1949 and 1950 as part of a study on social stratification between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking residents of Del Norte. Included are datasets from several community surveys on education, occupations, business, and cultural attitudes, along with research notes and background materials.
The Papua New Guinea subseries consists of research materials on the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Included are field notes, language materials, bibliographies, grant documents and research proposals, genealogy data, long reports and patrol reports, data punch cards, and TAT (thematic apperception test) protocols. There is material from several research projects including the Committee on New Guinea Studies (CONGS), the Kainantu Blood Group Study, and the New Guinea Religions Project. Watson's wife, Virginia Drew Watson, also has research material in this series. Language documentation include lexicons and notes about Agarabi, Auyana, Awa, Tairora, Gadsup, and Tok Pisin.
The subsubseries Micro-evolution Studies Project (MES) consists of related Papua New Guinea research as part of this multi-year project. Material included is correspondence, financial documents, memorandums and planning documents, grant proposals, language files, and work papers.
The Gift Exchange Theories subseries consists of Watson's research on gift exchange theories, primarily as they relate to small autonomous peoples. The material consists of research notes, paper ideas, bibliographies, and grant applications.
The Other Research subseries consists of papers and research that are not easily catagorized. Included are subject files on perception,
notes and critiques of
Marshal Sahlins's Stone Age Economics,
and a research project by Watson studying innovation in high school social studies curriculum.
The Writings series primarily consists of journal articles produced over the duration of his career. Included are research notes, drafts, and some correspondence. A print copy is included where possible. There is significant material related to his book Tairora Culture, including chapter drafts, outlines, and reader comments. The writings by others are primarily annotated copies of articles, rare and small print-run items, or manuscripts by others sent to Watson for comment.
The Correspondence series contains professional and personal correspondence with Watson's colleagues and contemporaries in the field, including J. David Cole, Terence Hays, Paula Brown-Glick, Richard Lieban, Howard P. McKaughan, Harold Nelson, Kerry Pataki-Schweizer, Kenneth E. Read, Sterling Robbins, and Roy Wagner. Topics include his academic career, student dissertations, research grants and fellowships, and research related to Papua New Guinea, and in particular the Micro-evolution Studies project.
The Professional Activities series primarily consists of conference notes, papers, presentations, and symposium documents. Included are materials for the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, the Pacific Sciences Conference, as well as symposiums held at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Some of the files are related to specific symposiums Watson attended or helped to organize, the bulk of which are related to Papua New Guinea. Also included are Watson's lecture notes, and materials related to the United Nations West Irian Development Plan
The University Files series contains material related to Watson's academic career. The bulk of the files are course materials from the classes he taught at the Univesity of Washington, which include lecture notes, syllabi, exams, and student papers. Other materials includes student dissertation files and some of Watson's course work from the University of Chicago.
The Biographical Files series includes numerous editions of his curriculum vitae and bibliographies.
The Maps series contains maps used in Watson's research, which includes Brazil; Del Norte, Co.; and Papua New Guinea. The bulk are maps of Papua New Guinea, and include published maps, annotated maps, hand-drawn maps, patrol reports, and linguistic maps.
The Photographs series contains photographs of Watson's fieldwork and professional career. The bulk of his fieldwork photographs are from Del Norte, Co. and Papua New Guinea. The Del Norte photographs include aerial images along with photographs of residents, houses, and cultural activities. The photographs from Papua New Guinea include images of a taro garden, a woman before and at her marriage ceremony, and images of tools found at an excavation site near the Wahgi Valley.
The sound recordings contain seven identified recordings made in the Papua New Guinea Eastern Highlands, Kainantu District during James and Virginia Watson's first trip, 1954-1955. Also included are 31 recordings of lectures and classes by James Watson and others, two recordings of popular music, and six reels recorded at the Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo in 1966. The remaining 23 uncataloged recordings are unidentified or partially identified.
Please see individual series descriptions in the finding aid for additional information.