The Lewis Henry Morgan Lectures were originally conceived in 1961 by
Bernard Cohn, who was then chair of the Department of Anthropology
and Sociology at the University of Rochester. A found er of modern cul-
tural anthropology, Morgan was one of Rochester’s most famous intellec-
tual figures and a patron of the university; he left a substantial bequest to
the university for the founding of a women’s college. The lectures named
in his honor have now been presented annually for over fifty years and
constitute the longest- running such series in North America.
The first three sets of lectures commemorated Morgan’s contribu-
tions to the study of kinship (Meyer Fortes in 1963), native North Ameri-
cans (Fred Eggan in 1964), and cultural evolution (Robert M. Adams in
1965). They were originally delivered to public audiences on Tuesday and
Thursday eve nings over a period of two to three weeks and published as
book- length monographs. A public lecture is now delivered on a single
eve ning, followed by a day- long workshop in which a draft of the planned
monograph is discussed by members of the Department of Anthropol-
ogy and by commentators invited from other institutions. But the public
lecture and the monograph are still intended to present an example of
current anthropological thinking to a general audience.
The present volume is based on the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture
that Professor James Ferguson delivered at the University of Rochester
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