d'Azevedo, Warren

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Warren d'Azevedo was a professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno, from 1963 to 1988 . As a student, d'Azevedo worked with a number of prominent anthropologists at the University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University, including Paul Radin and Melville Herskovits, both of whom had a profound influence on his work. He was awarded a Ph.D. in 1962 from Northwestern University . Throughout his long and distinguished career, Professor d'Azevedo authored numerous articles and books, including Straight with the Medicine: Narratives of Washoe Followers of the Tipi Way . He also edited Great Basin, and the eleventh volume of the Smithsonian Institution’s encyclopedic Handbook of North American Indians, an 850- page work that took fourteen years to complete. Beverly Crum, Steven Crum, and William Jackson were consultants in the project and contributed to the volume, as well.

Professor d'Azevedo is also well known in the field of African Studies, where he is acknowledged as a pioneer in the study of African arts. The Traditional Artist in African Societies, his seminal work on the place of the artist in African society in the 1960 ’s has influenced scholars in anthropology, art history, and museology since its publication in 1974 . This work represented a revolutionary shift away from the study of art as independent object, toward a more inclusive study of art as the result of a dynamic creative process in which an artist is firmly embedded in his or her society.

d'Azevedo's scholarly interests always bore some connection to his advocacy efforts in the United States and Liberia . While founding the Anthropology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, he was also involved in the creation of the Black Students Organization . While coordinating field schools for graduate students funded by the National Science Foundation, he also advocated for greater religious freedom for Native Americans. Finally, after helping the Smithsonian Institution assemble its vast collection of African art, Professor d'Azevedo served as a human rights observer in the Liberian elections following the country’s protracted civil war.

At the time of his retirement, Warren d'Azevedo was honored by the Institute for Advanced Study at Indiana University for his pioneering achievements, by the Liberian Studies Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and by the African Studies Association with a Leadership Award.

From the guide to the Warren d'Azevedo Collection, 1935-2001, (Liberian Collections http://www.onliberia.org)

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creatorOf Warren d'Azevedo Collection, 1935-2001 Liberian Collectionshttp://www.onliberia.org
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