Albion Mourns Passing of Former Anthropology Professor

Elizabeth Brumfiel, who served as professor of anthropology at Albion College from 1977-2003, passed away Jan. 1.

Brumfiel, who was named the John S. Ludington Endowed Professor at Albion in 1996, was well known for conducting an archaeological project at the site of Xaltocan in Mexico. A professor at Northwestern University following Albion, she served as an editor on a number of books, including, most recently, Gender, Households, and Society (2010); Specialization, Exchange, and Complex Societies (2008), and The Aztec World (2008). For the latter book, Brumfiel was the lead curator for a similarly named exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago.

Brumfiel served as president of the American Anthropological Association, and while at Albion in 1992 presented to the group "Breaking and Entering the Ecosystem: Gender, Class, and Faction Steal the Show." According to the Association's Web site, "This article broke the glass ceiling in archaeology by highlighting the central roles that gender and other social groups played in society. It is one of the most cited works in archaeology, two decades later."

The Association Web site also states that at Albion, Brumfiel "demonstrated the ability to be a leading figure in the field without the backing of a major research institution."

Jason Antrosio, who served as a visiting faculty member at Albion for several years, provided his memories of Brumfiel for an obituary published on the Living Anthropologically Web site.

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