American Philosophical Society
Member History

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407. Philosophy[X]
1Name:  Dr. Regna Darnell
 Institution:  University of Western Ontario
 Year Elected:  2004
 Class:  4. Humanities
 Subdivision:  407. Philosophy
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1943
Regna Darnell is today the leading historian of North American linguistics and anthropology, from its founding by pioneers like Daniel Brinton and Franz Boas, to Edward Sapir and the modern field of ethnographic linguistics. She is one of Canada's most widely published authorities on First Nations languages and cultures, having conducted fieldwork across the continent with speakers of Algonkian, Athabascan, and Iroquoian languages. Her work represents a unique synthesis of hardminded ethnographic and linguistic description with the sensitivity of the humanistic tradition, bridging the gap between a postmodernist appreciation of cultural uniqueness and a scientific insistence on verifiable observation. Dr. Darnell holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (1969) and has taught anthropology at the University of Alberta (1969-90) and the University of Western Ontario (1990-), where she is currently Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology. Her publications include Edward Sapir: Linguist, Anthropologist, Humanist (1990); Along Came Boas: Continuity and Revolution in Americanist Anthropology (1998); and Invisible Genealogies: A History of Americanist Anthropology (2001). She won the 2020 Lifetime Service Award from the Women’s Caucus, Canadian Anthropology Society and the 2020 Lifetime Service Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory. She published History of Anthropology: A Critical Window on the Discipline in North America (2021), she will publish Method and Theory in the History of Anthropology (2022), and she edited the forthcoming Franz Boas Papers: Documentary Edition.
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