I have been a professional anthropologist since 1954, when I received the Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Washington (Seattle). Prior to that I had earned a B.A. and an M.A., both in anthropology, from the University of Oklahoma and Washington University (St. Louis).
After teaching appointments at the University of Washington and Eastern Washington College of Education, I joined the faculty of Ball State Teachers College, later Ball State University. Before that time anthropology had not been taught in the College, so I had the responsibility and pleasure of developing courses and adding faculty as student demand for anthropology increased. When a Department of Anthropology was created I served as its first chair-
Over the years I pursued a number of interests. Futures research was one of them, and I organized a symposium that produced a book of papers given by invited scholars. I also had a long standing interest in African anthropology and organized a symposium which resulted in a book of contributions, entitled QUID NOVI EX AFRICA? My chapter analyzed African politicians in the then emerging nations as myth-makers. This followed a year spent in the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.
At a later time I was instrumental in establishing Ball State’s London Center where students spent a term. In 1976-77 I seved as resident director.
In 1980 I began to develop the ideas and principles that are responsible for FEELINGS. I invited several colleagues from Ball State, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver, Oklahoma State University, the State University of New York-Oswego, and the University of London. We explored theories and possible useful areas of development and decided to concentrate on a single emotion and its cultural setting, fear.
Sociophobics, the anthropology of fear, had its first public presentation in a paper I gave at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, D.C. in 1982. Encouraged by its reception, fellow anthropologist and Ball State faculty member Dr. Enya Flores-Meiser and I organized a sociophobics symposium for the XI International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences held in Vancouver, B.C. in 1983. Emerging from this background was a book of essays, which I edited entitled SOCIOPHOBICS: THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF FEAR. This was published by Westview Press in 1986.
Retiring from Ball State in 1989 and settling in Colorado, I continued to reflect on the subject of emotions as features of culture, at this time not limiting myself to a single one but thinking of emotions of every sort as part of mankind’s cultural life. As I have written in several places, FEELINGS is a beginning, a primer and far from the final word. Various hints and suggestive comments by other writers have intimated the principle that emtions are cultural creations, but to my knowledge FEELINGS is the only fully developed exploration of what that means. I am very hopeful that others may be encouraged to pursue that idea in various directions.