Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 1–11 | Cite as

Sidney W. Mintz: from the Mundial Upheaval Society to a dialectical anthropology

  • George BacaEmail author


Sidney Mintz (11/25/22–12/25/15) represents the passing of the final member of the distinguished group of anthropologists who formed the “Mundial Upheaval Society” (MUS) during the late 1940s at Columbia University. Though Mintz had the privilege of studying with great anthropological minds, of the likes of Ruth Benedict and Julian Steward, fellow graduate students stoked his passion for anthropological theory and ethnographic fieldwork. Indeed, the membership of the group was impressive, including such luminaries as Eric Wolf, Stanley Diamond, Morton Fried, John Murra, Robert Manners, Robert Murphy, and Elman Service. Through his participation in lectures, discussions, and debates with members of the MUS, Mintz became a voracious reader of the anthropological canon. Throughout his career, he remained committed to the insights of Boas, Malinowski, Ruth Benedict, Audrey Richards, Max Gluckman, Hortense Powdermaker, Robert Redfield, Edmund Leach, and many other significant...


Historical Materialism Marxist Theory Ethnographic Fieldwork Brooklyn College Anthropological Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Dong-A University for supporting this research. Also, Jason Antrosio, Diane Austin-Broos, Herbert Lewis, and Anthony Marcus provided helpful comments that improved this paper. I especially appreciate Herb Lewis's help in contextualizing the MUS regarding the history of anthropology at Columbia University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dong-A UniversityBusanSouth Korea

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