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Barbara Tedlock at Maya-themed holiday party, SAR Dobkin Boardroom, 2016

The School for Advanced Research is sad to report news of the death of long-time SAR supporter Barbara H. Tedlock on September 11, 2023, in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.

Born September 9, 1942, in Battle Creek, Michigan, Barbara completed a B.A. in rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967 before earning an M.A. in anthropology and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in 1973 and a Ph.D. in anthropology from SUNY-Albany in 1978.

Along with her late husband Dennis Tedlock, Barbara was editor of the American Anthropologist from 1993 to 1997.  She served on the faculty of the University at Buffalo from 1987 until her retirement to Santa Fe and later Albuquerque.

Barbara’s engagement with SAR was both diverse and robust.  She was an SAR Resident Scholar in 1980-1981; chaired an Advanced Seminar in 1982 on the anthropological interpretation of dreams, the results of which were published as Dreaming: Anthropological and Psychological Interpretations (SAR Press, 1987); and co-chaired another SAR seminar on public anthropology with Nancy Owen Lewis in 2005.

Barbara lecturing at SAR, 1981

Her books include Time and the Highland Maya (1982), The Beautiful and the Dangerous: Encounters with the Zuni Indians (1992), and The Woman in the Shaman’s Body: Reclaiming the Feminine in Religion and Medicine (2005).

Barbara was a colorful personality known for her narrative gifts and her commitment to understanding Indigenous cosmologies and religious practices on their own terms.  Additional reflections on Barbara Tedlock’s life and work, as well as memorial tributes from professional organizations, will be added to this post as they become available.