John W. Bennett was founder and first chair of the Department of Anthropology at Washington University. He died in St. Louis on February 1, 2005, at the age of 89.
Bennett earned a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1946. He taught sociology and anthropology at Ohio State University and started as professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis in 1959. He was one of the co-founders of a separate Department of Anthropology in 1967 and became its chair in the same year, continuing to serve in that capacity for 20 years. In 1987 he became Distinguished Anthropologist in Residence.
Bennett’s scholarly work spanned many fields ranging from archeology, sociology, East Asian studies, government and academic services, and ecological and agrarian development. In his later career, he focused on studies of American Indian groups, the social practices of Hutterites, and Euro-Canadian-American settlements.
In 2004 Bennett received the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology for his application of the social sciences to contemporary issues. In the same year, he received the David Plath Media Award from the Society for East Asian Anthropology for his book Japan 1948-1951: A Personal and Professional Memoir.
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Materials in Series 01 - Series 06 were donated to the University Archives by the Faculty of Washington University. Material in Series 07 were given to the University Archives by the Washington University East Asian Library in May 2013. Material in Series 06, Folder 66 were donated to the University Archives by David Browman in March 2015 (WUA2015-050). Additional materials donated by Webster University Library in July 2018 (WUA2018-078).
The Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts has a John Bennett Collection which includes personal and professional papers, correspondence, publications, and photographs. The inventory for this material is available online at http://library.osu.edu/finding-aids/rarebooks/JWB1.php
Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis
Finding Aid Revisions: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Bianca Lopez in June 2012. Series 07 was entered into Archon by Torry O'Connor in May 2013. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in July 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in June 2019.