Taylor, Lawrence J. (Lawrence Taylor)
Taylor, Lawrence J. (Lawrence Taylor)
Office—Department of Anthropology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Education House, Rm. 1.1.1, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. E-mail—[email protected]
Anthropologist, educator, and writer. National University of Ireland, Maynooth, head of the Department of Anthropology and research associate at the university's National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). Previously anthropology professor at Lafayette College, Easton, PA.
Dutchmen on the Bay: The Ethnohistory of a Contractual Community, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics, University of Pennsylvania Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1995.
(Author of text) The Road to Mexico, photographs by Maeve Hickey, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1997.
(Author of text) Tunnel Kids, photographs by Maeve Hickey, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 2001.
(Author of text) Ambos Nogales: Intimate Portraits of the U.S.-Mexico Border, photographs by Maeve Hickey, School of American Research Press (Santa Fe, NM), 2002.
Lawrence J. Taylor is an anthropologist whose primary interests are immigration, religion, and the social construction of communities in rural and urban Ireland and the U.S./Mexico border. In his first book, Dutchmen on the Bay: The Ethnohistory of a Contractual Community, the author provides a social history of the early Dutch who lived on the south shore of Long Island after 1850. Writing in the American Anthropologist, Thomas S. Abler noted that Dutchmen on the Bay is a "fine addition to case studies of Atlantic fishing communities … deserving of an audience wider than those interested maritime anthropology." Journal of American History contributor James D. Bratt wrote: "Lawrence J. Taylor writes clean, engaging narrative, touched with real affection for his subjects."
Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics focuses primarily on the religious beliefs of people living in the southwest section of Donegal situated on the northwest coast of Ireland. "A major objective of Taylor's study is to understand how external structural and institutional forces interact with the lived experiences of the local people," wrote Michele Dillon in Contemporary Sociology. Occasions of Faith received widespread critical approval from reviewers. Referring to the book as a "fascinating examination" in a review in the American Ethnologist, Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz went on to note that Occasions of Faith "is valuable reading both for anthropologists and historians of Ireland and for religious studies scholars." Also praising the book in a review in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Michael Allen called it an "important contribution both to Irish ethnography and to the anthropological study of religion."
Taylor is the author of the text for The Road to Mexico, a collaboration with photographer by Maeve Hickey. Referred to as "as a kind of laid-back anthropological field trip," by Margaret Regan in a review on the Tucson Weekly Web site, the book recounts a trip taken by Taylor and Hickey on the Old Nogales Highway from Tucson to Santa Ana, Mexico. During the trip, Taylor and Hickey talk with a wide assortment of people, including evangelists, mariachis, social workers, and folk artists. In her review, Regan noted: "Taylor relishes the metaphor of the open road and the literature it's spawned. His road book fits right in with the tradition; his journey is not only into the desert landscape, but into the idea of culture and boundaries." Alice Joyce, writing in Booklist, called the book an "emphatic yet restrained social document."
Taylor and photographer Hickey teamed up once again for Tunnel Kids, which chronicles the two summers they spent with the homeless Mexican children who live and work along the drainage tunnels that connect Mexico with Arizona. These tunnels are a primary route for illegal immigrants coming to the United States, and the children survive there by relying on their wits, occasional day jobs, and their interactions with various criminal elements, including drug dealers. Vanessa Bush, writing in Booklist, called Tunnel Kids a "poignant and revealing social history." In a review on the Ralph Web site, Lolita Lark wrote: "What eventually garners our attention is not the panorama, but the story of one or two of the subjects."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Anthropologist, March, 1986, Thomas S. Abler, review of Dutchmen on the Bay: The Ethnohistory of a Contractual Community, pp. 201-202; September, 1996, Bohdan G. Szuchewycz, review of Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics, pp. 686-687.
American Ethnologist, May, 1985, Shepard Krech III, review of Dutchmen on the Bay, pp. 384-386; February, 1998, Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz, review of Occasions of Faith, pp. 72-73.
Booklist, September 1, 1997, Alice Joyce, review of The Road to Mexico, p. 53; April 1, 2001, Vanessa Bush, review of Tunnel Kids, p. 1435.
Contemporary Sociology, May, 1996, Michele Dillon, review of Occasions of Faith, pp. 412-413.
Ethnohistory, spring, 1985, M. Estellie Smith, review of Dutchmen on the Bay, pp. 170-172.
International Migration Review, winter, 1984, James S. Olson, review of Dutchmen on the Bay, p. 1326.
Journal of American History, September, 1984, James D. Bratt, review of Dutchmen on the Bay, pp. 399-400.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, December, 1996, Michael Allen, review of Occassions of Faith, p. 768.
Library Journal, October 1, 1997, Thomas K. Fry, review of The Road to Mexico, p. 107.
New York Times, December 7, 1997, Francine Prose, review of The Road to Mexico.
National University of Ireland, Mamooth, Web site,http://www.nuim.ie/ (April 2, 2007), faculty profile of author.
Ralph,http://www.ralphmag.org/ (April 2, 2007), Lolita Lark, review of Tunnel Kids.
Tucson Weekly,http://www.tucsonweekly.com/ (March 12, 1998), Margaret Regan, review of The Road to Mexico.