Southeast Asia Studies Seminar Program
The MacMillan Center at Yale University
Feb 13, 2013

"Raymond Kennedy: Unanswered and Ignored Questions of Early Cold War Ethnography"
David H. Price
Saint Martin's University

On April 27, 1950, Yale professor of sociology, Raymond Kennedy, and Time-Life correspondent Robert Doyle were murdered while traveling in rural West Java. Kennedy had been conducting village surveys and undertaking ethnographic research making rapid assessments of cultural changes in different regions of the Indonesian countryside, assessments that in part focusing on political developments impacting the nation since its recent independence. Kennedy's fieldwork and murder are considered in a larger context examining how post-war ethnographic research often had direct and indirect links to Cold War political forces. Price draws on published accounts, records released under the Freedom of Information Act by the CIA and National Archives, and various archival sources to consider a series of questions surrounding Kennedy's death, his wartime work in the OSS, links to post-war intelligence agencies, the political context of his final fieldwork project, and examines archival documents establishing a CIA-linked ethnographic presence in Indonesia in the months following Kennedy's murder.

See also: Yale Southeast Asia Studies History: Raymond Kennedy

David H. Price is a Professor of Anthropology at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Washington. He has conducted cultural anthropological and archaeological fieldwork and research in the United States and Palestine, Egypt and Yemen. He is writing a three volume series of books using documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and archival sources to examine American anthropologists' interactions with intelligence agencies: Threatening Anthropology (2004, Duke), examines McCarthyism's effects on anthropologists; Anthropological Intelligence: The Use and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War. (2008, Duke) documents anthropological contributions to the Second World War, and he is completing a third volume documenting anthropologists interactions with the CIA and Pentagon during the Cold War. His most recent book is Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State (2011, CounterPunch Books).


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