Archaeology Magazine Archive

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American Scene: "This Ain't the English Department" Volume 53 Number 2, March/April 2000
by Carol I. Mason

[image] Carol while at Florida State University (Courtesy Carol I. Mason) [LARGER IMAGE]

The first problem I had when I arrived at FSU's Tallahassee campus in the fall of 1954 was finding the anthropology department. "One of the things you need to know about anthropology departments," intoned department chairman Hale G. Smith peering at me over his glasses, "is that they are always in the basement or the attic. It has to do with the expansion of the scope of science." Looking back on it, I cannot conceive an odder or more appropriate place for that distinctly odd and wonderful department. Perched high over the campus, it was disembodied, in a world of its own, and only tangentially tied to the common concerns of university life.

Carol I. Mason received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 1956 and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1963. She was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley and conducted fieldwork for Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She is now professor emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley and adjunct professor of anthropology at Lawrence University. The above is adapted, with permission of University Press of Florida, from Grit-Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in the Southeastern United States, edited by Nancy Marie White, Lynne P. Sullivan, and Rochelle A. Marrinan.

© 2000 by the Archaeological Institute of America