Marisol de la Cadena delivered the Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures in Octo-
ber 2011, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the series, which was conceived
in 1961 by Bernard Cohn, then chair of the Department of Anthropology and
Sociology at the University of Rochester. A founder of modern cultural an-
thropology, Lewis Henry Morgan (1818–81) was one of Rochester’s most fa-
mous intellectual figures and a patron of the University of Rochester. He left
a substantial bequest to the university for the founding of a women’s college.
The first three sets of lectures commemorated Morgan’s nineteenth-
century contributions to the study of kinship (Meyer Fortes, 1963), na-
tive North Americans (Fred Eggan, 1964), and comparative civilizations
(Robert M. Adams, 1965). Marisol de la Cadena’s lecture, as well as lectures
in the subsequent two years given respectively by Janet Carsten and Peter
van der Veer, addressed the topics of the original three lectures from the per-
spective of anthropology in the twenty- first century. The lecture series now
includes an evening public lecture followed by a day- long workshop in which
a draft of the planned monograph is discussed by members of the Depart-
ment of Anthropology and by commentators invited from other institu-
tions. The formal discussants who participated in the workshop devoted to
de la Cadena’s manuscript were María Lugones from the University of Bing-
hamton; Paul Nadasdy from Cornell University; Sinclair Thomson from
New York University; and Janet Berlo, Thomas Gibson, and Daniel Reich-
man from the University of Rochester.
De la Cadena’s work marks an important milestone in the history of both
the Morgan lecture series and ethnographic practice. Her book is based on
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