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MacClancy, Jeremy 1953-

MacCLANCY, Jeremy 1953-

PERSONAL: Born October 16, 1953, in London, England; son of John Roderic (a doctor) and Gwendoline (a homemaker; maiden name, Holcombe) MacClancy. Education: Oxford University, M.A., 1976, M.S., 1977, M.Litt. 1978, D.Phil., 1993.

ADDRESSES: Office—School of Social Sciences and Law, Brookes College, Oxford, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, England. Agent—Bill Hamilton, A. M. Heath & Co. Ltd., 79 St. Martin's Ln., London WC2N 4AA, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Oxford University, Oxford, England, tutor, 1986—; Brookes College, Oxford, 1991—, began as lecturer, became professor of anthropology.

MEMBER: Association of Social Anthropologists.

AWARDS, HONORS: Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute.


To Kill a Bird with Two Stones: A History of Vannatu, Vannatu Cultural Centre, 1981.

Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, Chapmans, 1992, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1993.

The Decline of Carlism: History and Anthropology in Northern Spain, 1939-1989, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994, ("Basque" series), University of Nevada Press (Reno, NV), 2000.

(Editor and contributor) Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity ("Ethnic Identity" series), Berg (Herndon, VA), 1996.

(Editor, with Chris McDonaugh) Popularizing Anthropology, Routledge (New York, NY), 1996.

(Editor) Contesting Art: Art, Politics, and Identity in the Modern World ("Ethnic Identity" series), Berg (New York, NY), 1997.

(Editor) Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.

(Editor, with Helen Macbeth) Researching Food Habits: Methods and Problems, (Volume five of the "Anthropology of Food and Nutrition" series), Berghahn Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Contributor to academic journals, including Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

SIDELIGHTS: Jeremy MacClancy once told CA: "Tired by the seemingly endless qualifications of academic prose and excited by the challenge of producing a 'popular' book of anthropology, I, at the suggestion of a friend, began work on an academically respectable, yet not always academically serious, survey of the literature on the anthropology of food. The result, Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, has been published in the United Kingdom and the United States." MacClancy advises on the eating habits of various cultures, including feral children and the Japanese who very carefully eat the deadly blowfish. He studies what different groups consider edible and inedible, and foods that are considered taboo, such as the cow by Hindus. A Publishers Weekly contributor commented, "This altogether entertaining book's message? Eating is wonderful, but people are very silly about it."

Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity is an anthology to which editor MacClancy makes a contribution of four essays. In the opening chapter, he writes that sports "are vehicles of identity, providing people with a sense of difference and a way of classifying themselves and others, whether latitudinally or hierarchically." "Sport," he continues, "may not be just a marker of one's already established social identity but a means by which to create a new social identity for oneself" and "cannot be comprehended without reference to relations to power: who attempts to control how a sport is to be organized and played, and by whom; how it is to be represented; how it is to be interpreted." These are themes that carry through the volume. MacClancy addresses the linking of sport and ethnic identity in his chapter on Basque soccer. Kevin Young wrote in the Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal that the anthology "is informative, readable, and jammed with absorbing examples from all corners of the world on ways in which sport is inscribed with what the editor calls a 'plurality of identities,' both ethnically speaking and beyond."

Popularizing Anthropology, written with Chris McDonaugh, studies the "point" of anthropology and some of the debates of current approaches. It asks for whom the science is conducted and whether it should be approached in a style that is accessible to all, even to those studied. Sociology's Sharon Macdonald wrote that Popularizing Anthropology "tackles an area which is justly deserving of anthropological attention, and does so by providing a range of contrasting perspectives and interesting cases."

The essays of Contesting Art: Art, Politics, and Identity in the Modern World develop "the idea that the arts offer a primary means of access to the values of social groups," wrote William Washabaugh in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. "This book reflects the growing awareness that material objects and processes of artistic reproduction are profoundly tied to social relations and that, therefore, art and discourses about art influence and reflect social life. The range of questions here is astonishing and the controversies endlessly provocative."

Anthropology as a science has evolved since its beginnings in the nineteenth century. While it was then used to study primitive and exotic peoples, it is now applied to the study of many of the ills and controversies of contemporary life, including immigration, drug use, child labor, human rights, and environmentalism. Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines examines these, but also more upbeat subjects, including art, music, and the media. MacClancy's introduction "points to a number of features that characterize the discipline," noted James G. Carrier in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, "including field work, a concern with local manifestations of global processes and forces, and taking seriously local people's lives and concerns." Carrier described the collection as "a presentation and celebration of the discipline aimed at a general, educated readership. It seeks to show that the discipline is much more than pith helmets and grass huts; rather, it is full of people who are working on topics that bear on important matters of public interest and debate."

MacClancy told CA: "My main advice to would-be 'popularizers' in academic positions is to expect the opprobrium of most of your colleagues (except close friends). It's best to have produced a 'serious' academic work before a 'popular' one. Otherwise you will be branded as a 'popularizer' forevermore. At the same time, your popular work will bring you a different, broader, audience. And some academics might consider that as important as writing books only for their colleagues."



MacClancy, Jeremy, editor and contributor, Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity, Berg (Herndon, VA), 1996.


American Anthropologist, September, 1998, Alexander Alland, Jr., review of Contesting Art: Art, Politics, and Identity in the Modern World, p. 835.

Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, spring, 1998, Kevin Young, review of Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity, p. 165.

Choice, July, 2001, N. Greene, review of The Decline of Carlism, p. 2028.

Journal of Sociology, March, 1998, Ray Hibbins, review of Sport, Identity, and Ethnicity, p. 99.

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, June, 1998, I. M. Leis, review of Popularizing Anthropology, p. 372; June, 2000, William Washabaugh, review of Contesting Art, p. 346; September, 2003, James G. Carrier, review of Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines, p. 610.

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 1993, review of Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, p. 34.

Sociology, November, 1998, Sharon Macdonald, review of Popularizing Anthropology, p. 875.

Times Higher Education Supplement, December 6, 2002, Christopher Pinney, review of Exotic No More, p. 25.*

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