Department Chair:
Erika Hoffmann-Dilloway, Associate Professor/Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Jackie Fortino

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8970
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King Building 305
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1019

Jack Glazier

Jack Glazier

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology (1971-2013)

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Butler University, 1965
  • Master of Arts, University California Berkeley, 1968
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University California Berkeley, 1972


At Berkeley, Jack Glazier developed his interest in East Africa, particularly in regard to ritual, land tenure, and social change. He spent a total of eighteen months living with the Mbeere, a people of the Mt. Kenya periphery. He published a book, Land and the Uses of Tradition among the Mbeere of Kenya, on the impact of freehold tenure on social organization and law. His articles on Mbeere custom, including funerary practice and belief, social structure, age organizations, and folklore have appeared in Man, Africa, the Journal of African Law, the Journal of American Folklore, and in various essay collections.

More recent research and publications have focused on immigration and ethnicity in the United States. His book, Dispersing the Ghetto: The Relocation of Jewish Immigrants Across America, was published in 1998 by Cornell University Press.   His study focused on the organized, secondary migration of Jewish immigrants from New York to other American towns and cities between 1901 and 1922 under the auspices of the Industrial Removal Office. The IRO promoted assimilation in an effort to combat anti-immigrant sentiment based on the alleged failure of newcomers to adapt themselves to American society. With a foreword by the historian Gerald Sorin, Michigan State University Press published a paperback edition of the book in 2005. Jack has also collaborated with the anthropologist Arthur L. Helweg on the inaugural volume, Ethnicity in Michigan, of the series, Discovering the Peoples of Michigan published by Michigan State University Press.

      Jack’s latest research continues his interdisciplinary interests in the relationship between Anthropology and History.  Conducting fieldwork in western Kentucky over a number of summers since 2003 and a sabbatical semester in 2005, he has focused on African American life and race relations in Christian County from the Civil War to the present.  His book, Been Coming Through Some Hard Times:  Race, History, and Memory in Western Kentucky, will be published in 2012 by the University of Tennessee Press.  In brief summary.

                        This book examines the influence of race and power
                        on lived experience in western Kentucky.  It shows how
                        contemporary events in turn influence how the past is
                        understood.  Embedded in the dynamics of race, the
                        interplay of history, memory, and experience continues
                        to divide people across the color line.

      Jack has held a number of professional offices in the Central States Anthropological Society, including the presidency in 1992.  He has also served on the Board of Directors and the Program Committee of the American Anthropological Association.  He is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association and the Royal Anthropological Institute.

      Courses taught at Oberlin include Introduction to Cultural Anthropology:  Culture Theory; Anthropology of Sub-Saharan Africa; Culture, Symbol and Meaning; Immigrant America:  Then and Now; Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States; Anthropology and Multiculturalism; Anthropology and Ethics.