Chapter 19

Lauriston Sharp: Innovator of Applied Anthropology Programs
Thomas Weaver

Lauriston Sharp (1907–1993) studied anthropology in the 1930s, carrying out research among North American Indian groups and Australian aborigines and completing his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1937. During World War II he served as Assistant Chief of the Division of Southeast Asian Affairs in the State Department. His major contribution to applied anthropology was the development of innovative programs at Cornell University that examined the impact of change and modernization on tribal and peasant societies and provided a training ground for many applied anthropologists and social scientists in the 1950s and 1960s. Sharp was also involved in the development of the Southeast Asia Program and the Center for International Studies at Cornell and served as a consultant to various government agencies. His 1989 Malinowski Award address was not published, and there is no known copy.