Clifford Barnett
2012 Bronislaw Malinowski Award Recipient

malinowski_barnett.jpgBorn in Brooklyn, New York at the height of the Great Depression, 1929.

There were a large number of professional musicians on my mother's side of the family, and we always had a grand piano which my mother and I played, but never professionally, though both of us took lessons. During high school and my early college years I taught piano privately and at the Henry Street Music School, where my teacher was the head of the Piano Department. I checked coats at Carnegie Hall during part of my High School years so that I could hear most of the concerts. It soon became evident that there were many pianists far more talented than I and I decided it would not be a career for me.

Married my high school sweetheart, Zelda, just before my 20th birthday and before her 22nd birthday. During our high school, college, and post-graduate years we were part of a very close social and political group of friends. I graduated from the City College of New York and Zelda graduated from Queens College, another city supported college. Both of us were anthropology majors.

Admitted to the Ph.D. program at Cornell University in 1950. A joint Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Teaching assistant to Prof. John Adair, an expert on the Navajo and also trained professionals for work in Developing Countries.

Went to Vicos, Peru , June 1953 to start Ph.D. research. Zelda stayed with her mother and father in New York City until our son, David was born. They joined me in Vicos in October 1953.

Returned to New York in mid 1954 and with no job and no funds for write-up. Moved in with my wife's parents and took a job with the New York City Department of Welfare (we were called "social investigators").

1955-1961 took job with the Washington, D.C. Office the Human Relations Area Files. Contributed to 6 published country monographs, as chief author on 1, co-author on another, and acknowledged as a major contributor to the other 4 monographs .

1956. Our daughter, Margot, was born in Washington, D.C. .

Submitted, Defended and Awarded my Ph.D. on Vicos, 1961.

Additional Personal items:

  • Zelda and I ride a tandem bicycle. We use it as a commute vehicle to work at Stanford, for local errands and have toured with it in the U.S. and France.
  • We are avid dancers to live ragtime and dixieland jazz.
  • I was an active single tennis competitor for many years but have had to give it up.
  • We have two loving children, a son and a daughter, who have enriched our lives.