Robert A. Hackenberg 1928 – 2007
Robert Allan Hackenberg, was internationally known for research and practice in the American Southwest, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, as well as his contributions to theory, method, and graduate training. He was primary graduate advisor to 60 some professional anthropologists. Robert was an active and influential member of SfAA throughout his distinguished career. He was nominated for its presidency in 1975; was honored, along with his wife Beverly, as the 1999 co-recipient of the Malinowski Award; and served as associate editor of Human Organization from 1970 through 1976 and 1999 through 2004. He and Beverly were the driving force behind the creation of the Del Jones Student Travel Award.
Hackenberg, known as Bob or Rob to his many friends, received his B.A. in psychology in 1950 and his M.A. in sociology and anthropology in 1951 from the University of Minnesota, where he studied under William Kelly and Robert Spencer. He worked full-time at a record shop, specializing in jazz and blues, which remained a lifelong passion. He went to Cornell for his doctorate because of its Southeast Asia program, where he served as Lauriston Sharp’s teaching assistant. His initial advisor was Morris Opler, but he later switched to Allan Holmberg.
In 1953, he accepted William Kelly’s invitation to join him at the University of Arizona as assistant director of the Bureau of Ethnic Research (now the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology [BARA]) and director of the Pima-Papago Field Program. Kelly financed his dissertation, Indian Administration and Social Change at Gila River Reservation, Arizona, for which he was awarded the Ph.D. in 1961.