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Enterview with Edith Turner

Author(s): George Mentore

Journal: AIBR : Revista de AntropologĂ­a Iberoamericana
ISSN 1695-9752

Volume: 4;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 337;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Turner | chamanism | interview

Edith Turner is one of the legends of anthropology of our times. The anthropologist who enters her home can’t help feeling a mixture of awe, respect, and excitement contemplating the Ndembu masks that cover the walls. There are also very different artifacts from other places of the world, like Alaska. These are silent witnesses of the more than 60 years of research that Edith Turner has conducted, formerly in collaboration with Victor Turner, and later by herself.Edith Turner has devoted her life to the study of ritual and symbolism. During her more than 60 years of research she has worked in places as different as Zambia, Alaska, and Ireland. She considers herself a practitioner of humanistic anthropology and the anthropology of experience. She has published several books, dozens of articles, and she is the current Editor of the journal Anthropology and Humanism. At her 87 years she continues teaching her courses on Fieldwork and Ethnography, The Anthropology of Religion, and Shamanism and Healing, among others, at the University of Virginia, being one of the most beloved and respected teachers both by her students and colleagues.George Mentore is a Professor of Anthropology at the same department and a good friend of Edith Turner. He has worked for more than twenty years in the Caribbean and Lowland Southamerica. It was an honor for AIBR having the chance of asking him to conduct this interview. We have done some minor edits to the original transcript of the interview but in general we have decided to keep it as close to the original as possible, so that our readers could enjoy the informality and cheerfulness of the original conversation between these two great anthropologists.
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