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Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, the Pentagon, and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology

David H. Price
David H. Price

David H. Price is Professor of Anthropology at Saint Martin’s University. He is the author of Threatening Anthropology: McCarthyism and the FBI’s Surveillance of Activist Anthropologists and Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War, both also published by Duke University Press, and Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State.

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Book Chapter

After the Shooting War: Centers, Committees, Seminars, and Other Cold War Projects

April 2016

Area study centers and other postwar regroupings of social scientists studying questions of interest to State, Defense, and intelligence organizations impacted a variety of postwar anthropologists. Some area study centers, like MIT’s Center for International Studies (CENIS) or Harvard’s Russian Research Center, were later discovered to have covert connections or funding ties to the CIA. The intermingling of intelligence and military concerns with area studies research provided the backdrop for many important anthropological research projects, including the Modjokuto Project, and Defense Department funding financed the Research in Contemporary Cultures project at Columbia University, reshaping anthropological approaches to large-scale team research projects.

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