Abraham Rosman was born in New York City in 1930. He earned his BA in anthropology from City College (1959) and PhD in anthropology from Yale (1962). His dissertation "Social Structure and Acculturation among the Kanuri of Northern Nigeria" was based on fieldwork conducted in 1956-1957. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University in 1962. He was a full professor at Barnard College from 1972 until his retirement in 1998.
Paula G. Rubel was born in The Bronx, New York in 1933. She earned her BA in psychology from Hunter College (1953) and her PhD in anthropology from Columbia University (1963). Her dissertation was based on fieldwork among an immigrant community of Russian Kalmyk Mongols in New Jersey. She was part of the faculty of Barnard College from 1965 until her retirement in 1989, becoming a full professor in 1974.
Rosman and Rubel were married 1971. They worked together throughout their careers, focusing their research on comparative studies and structural analysis of ritual exchange, kinship relations, power, social hierarchies, religion, and material culture. They studied kinship and exchange along the Pacific Northwest Coast, among pastoral groups in Iran and Afghanistan, and in New Guinea and New Ireland. They also studied ethnographic objects, tribal art, and the social world of museums, collectors, and dealers. Their partnership was collaborative, alternating first authorship with each publication. They were the authors of numerous monographs including Feasting with Mine Enemy: Rank and Exchange among Northwest Coast Societies (1971), Your Own Pigs You May Not Eat: A Comparative Study of New Guinea Societies (1978), The Tapestry of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (1981), and Collecting Tribal Art: How Northwest Coast Masks and Eastern Island Lizard Men Became Art (2012).
Rubel died in 2018 and Rosman died in 2020. Their final book, Aliens on Our Shores: An Anthropological History of New Ireland Papua New Guinea 1616-1914, was published posthumously in 2021.
Sharp, Lesley A. "Paula G. Rubel (1922-2018)." American Anthropologist. 121.2 (2019): 540-542.
Sharp, Lesley A. and Maxine Weisgrau. "Abraham Rosman (1930-2020)." American Anthropologist. 123.1 (2020): 205-207.
Marries Bernice Lieberman
BA in anthropology from City College
PhD in anthropology from Yale University
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Barnard college, Columbia University
Divorces Bernice Rosman
Marries Paula G. Rubel
Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College, Columbia University
Paula G. Rubel
Born Paula Glicksman in The Bronx, New York
BA in pyschology from Hunter College
PhD in anthropology from Columbia University
Lecturer, Barnard College, Columbia University
Assistant Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University
Divorces Hewitt Rubel
Marries Abraham Rosman
Professor, Barnard College, Columbia University
President, Association of Senior Anthropologists