Voegelin, C. F. (Charles Frederick), 1906-1986

Alternative names
Birth 1906-01-17
Death 1986-05-22

Biographical notes:

Charles Frederick Voegelin (also known as Carl) was an anthropologist and linguist.

From the description of Papers, 1934-[1950s]. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122523580

Charles (Carl) Frederick Voegelin was an anthropologist and linguist known for his studies of Native American languages. He was professor of anthropology and linguists at Indiana University from 1941 until 1978.

From the description of Papers, 1836-1968. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122523776

Charles Frederick Voegelin received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California,

From the description of Translations of Tubatulabal myths and tales: typescript, 1931-1933. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 227522927

A Wisconsin native, Lounsbury completed his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and took an MA degree there. He then went to Yale University and was awarded a Ph.D. for work on Oneida phonology and morphology in 1949. While in the Ph.D. program he started teaching, and remained at Yale for the rest of his career. Retiring in 1979, Lounsbury was appointed Sterling Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, a post he held until his death at age 84.

Influenced by his graduate advisor, Morris Swadesh, Lounsbury undertook (1939-1940) the WPA-funded Oneida Language and Folklore Project, Green Bay, Wisconsin. This work eventually culminated in his MA thesis and dissertation. Lounsbury undertook pioneering work in descriptive and comparative Iroquoian linguistics, and made very significant contributions to the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic texts. He was also an important innovator in the formal analysis of kinship terminologies and structural semantics. Fieldwork was conducted among the Oneida and all other speakers of surviving Iroquoian languages, Natchez, two Mayan and six Brazilian Indian languages. Lounsbury was a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (1969), and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1976) and American Philosophical Society (1987).

From the guide to the Floyd Glenn Lounsbury papers, ca. 1935-1998, Circa 1935-1998, (American Philosophical Society)

Charles (Carl) Frederick Voegelin was an anthropologist and structural linguist best known for his studies of Native American languages. He was born in New York on 17 January 1906, the son of Charles and Elizabeth Herbst-Sepilius Voegelin. After earning his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1927, Voegelin received his PhD in 1932 from University of California-Berkeley, where he was a student of anthropologists Robert Lowie and Alfred Kroeber. Between 1933 and 1935 he received fellowships from the National Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies to pursue research as a post-doctoral fellow at Yale. In 1935, Voegelin was appointed Assistant Professor of Anthropology at DePauw University, where he remained until 1940. He also lectured at summer sessions of the Linguistic Institute held in Ann Arbor and Chapel Hill between 1938 and 1941.

Voegelin began his long association with Indiana University in 1941 as Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of History. In the Bloomington Faculty Council memorial resolution to Voegelin (Indiana University, Circular 820-87), James Vaughan and Paul Gebhard note that the position "came about in part because Eli Lilly wished to see a small group of anthropologists and linguists address themselves to some problems of Indiana prehistory." This team of researchers, which included Voegelin's first wife Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, developed a new translation and interpretation of the "Walum Olam." Voegelin was named Department Chairman (1947-1966) and Professor of Anthropology in 1947 at Indiana University, when the Department of Anthropology was established at Indiana, and Professor of Linguistics in 1964. In 1967, Voegelin was honored with the title "Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Linguistics;" he served in this capacity until 1976, when he continued as Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and, after 1978, as visiting scholar at the University of Hawaii.

Throughout his career, Voegelin made significant contributions to research and scholarship in his field. He authored several books, including Tubatulabal Texts (1935) and Tubatulabal Grammar (1935), Shawnee Stems and the Jacob P. Dunn Miami Dictionary (1938-1940), Hopi Domains (1957), Linguistics and Anthropology (1975), and Classification and Index of the World's Languages (1977). Numerous scientific articles by Voegelin have been published in Language, The American Anthropologist, and the International Journal of American Linguistics, a journal first edited by Franz Boas and edited by Voegelin from 1944 to 1980. Voegelin also initiated several new research ventures: the monograph series Indiana University Publications in Anthropology and Linguistics and the journal Anthropological Linguistics; a summer field station at Flagstaff, Arizona with the Museum of Northern Arizona; and the Indiana Archives of the Languages of the World. His activities in professional associations included serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Anthropological Association and as President of the Linguistic Society of America.

In recognition of his many achievements, the American Anthropological Association honored Voegelin with the Distinguished Service Award, and Indiana University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Voegelin died on 22 May 1986, survived by his second wife and professional colleague, Florence Marie Robinett.

From the guide to the C. F. Voegelin Papers, 1934-1970, (American Philosophical Society)


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