Kehoe, Alice Beck 1934-

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KEHOE, Alice Beck 1934-

PERSONAL: Born September 18, 1934, in New York, NY; daughter of Roman (a lawyer) and Lena (a homemaker; maiden name, Rosenstock) Beck; married Thomas F. Kehoe, September 18, 1956 (divorced); children: Daniel, David, Cormac. Ethnicity: "Ashkenazi." Education: Barnard College, B.A., 1956; Harvard University, Ph.D., 1964. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—3014 North Shepard Ave., Milwaukee WI 53211-3436.

CAREER: Museum of the Plains Indian, Browning MT, assistant summer curator, 1956-58; University of Saskatchewan—Regina Campus, lecturer in anthropology, 1964-65; University of Nebraska, Lincoln, assistant professor of anthropology, 1965-68; Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, associate professor, 1968-80, professor of anthropology, 1980-99; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, adjunct professor of anthropology, 2000—. Visiting lecturer, Institüt für Ethnologie, University of Tübingen, 1979.

MEMBER: American Anthropological Association (fellow; member of board of directors, 1979-82, 1988-89), Central States Anthropological Society (president 1989-90; program chair, 1987-88), Society for American Archaeology (public relations committee member, 1985-87, chair, 1987-90; member of public education task force), Archaeological Institute of America (president of Milwaukee chapter, 1985-87, 1989-91), American Ethnological Society, American Society for Ethnohistory, Wisconsin Archaeological Survey, Saskatchewan Association of Professional Archaeologists, Saskatchewan Archeological Society, Association of Senior Anthropologists (president, 2003-04).

AWARDS, HONORS: Choice Outstanding Academic Book designation, 2001, for Shamans and Religion.


Hunters of the Buried Years, School Aids and Textbook Co., 1962.

François' House: An Early Fur Trade Post on theSaskatchewan River, Saskatchewan Ministry of Culture and Youth (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada), 1978.

North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account, Prentice-Hall (Upper Saddle River, NJ), 1981, 3rd edition, 2004.

The Ghost Dance: Ethnohistory and Revitalization, Holt, Rinehart & Winston (New York, NY), 1989.

Humans: An Introduction to Four-Field Anthropology (textbook), Routledge (New York, NY), 1998.

The Land of Prehistory: A Critical History of AmericanArchaeology, Routledge (New York, NY), 1998.

(Editor, with Mary Beth Emmerichs) Assembling thePast: Studies in the Professionalization of Archaeology, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 1999.

Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking, Waveland Press (Prospect Heights, IL), 2000.

America before the European Invasions, Longman/Pearson Education (New York, NY), 2002.

Also editor of conference proceedings and academic papers. Contributor of essay "Transcribing Insima, a Blackfoot 'Old Lady'" to Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose, Broadview Press, 2002.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A book on Kensington Rune Stone, for Waveland Press, expected 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Educator and anthropologist Alice Beck Kehoe is a knowledgeable and fervent scientist who openly critiques past archaeological and anthropological practices that have involved the native peoples of North America.

Designed to be accessible to the beginning student or generalist, Kehoe's Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking explores the use of the term "shaman" in depth and debates the validity of using the term to describe individuals—whether priests, healers, witches, witchdoctors, diviners, adepts, or performance artists—from diverse cultures. Jon Marshall, in his review for the Australian Journal of Anthropology, noted that the book contains much that is "worth reading," citing in particular Kehoe's "treatment of 'New Age Shamanism,' recent experience of which makes me more sympathetic to her allegations of racism." However, Marshall went on to note that the author's "rush to racism, means that the book does not function that well as an introduction to critical thinking."

In Assembling the Past: Studies in the Professionalization of Archaeology, coeditors Kehoe and Mary Beth Emmerichs take as their main focus the manner in which professionalization has been established in the field of archaeology. As the field developed during the twentieth century, amateurs—people without advanced degrees, a class that included many women—and those with more radical viewpoints, were replaced as field exploration became increasingly structured due to the demands of university backers. Patty Jo Watson, reviewing the book in American Antiquity, noted that while "topical coverage is somewhat uneven," overall the book is "very informative" and "all the chapters are worth reading and pondering for anyone concerned with the history and societal context of Euroamerican archaeology."

Kehoe told CA: "My primary motivations for writing have been, one: to make known the research I have conducted, and two: to convey to students an understanding of an anthropological perspective on humans and human societies. My preparation and experience in anthropology, particularly my experience working on Indian reservations, becoming familiar with non-Western ways of thought, influence my work. These experiences inspired me to write on American Indian histories—including histories before European contact, as revealed by archaeology—and to critique the practice of American archaeology."



American Antiquity, October, 2000, Bruce G. Trigger, review of The Land of Prehistory: A Critical Historyof American Archaeology, p. 776; January, 2002, Patty Jo Watson, review of Assembling the Past: Studies in the Professionalization of Archaeology, p. 173.

Antiquity, June, 2000, N. James, review of Assembling the Past, p. 435.

Australian Journal of Anthropology, December, 2003, Jon Marshall, review of Shamans and Religion: An Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking, p. 425.

Isis, June, 2002, Andrew L. Christenson, review of Assembling the Past, p. 356.

New York Review of Books, June 12, 2003, review of America before the European Invasions, p. 53.