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Anthro House: Melville J. Herskovits and his Students at Northwestern University, 1945-1960

March 14, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Anthro House: Melville J. Herskovits and his Students at Northwestern University, 1945-1960
A presentation by Kevin A. Yelvington

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, at 3 pm
In-person event
At the Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood St, Evanston, IL
Free and open to all!

Join Kevin A. Yelvington, professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, as he discusses the anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits (1895-1963), his work, his impact, and the traces of his many years residing in Evanston.

Melville J. Herskovits was a specialist in the study of Africa and of the African diaspora in the New World. He spent his entire career at Northwestern University, from 1927 until his death. He founded the Department of Anthropology in 1938, founded the Program of African Studies in 1948 which became the first program of African Studies at a major US university, and recruited generations of graduate students, many of whom went on to become prominent anthropologists. Student life revolved around “Anthro House,” a large Evanston house where they rented rooms, shared a kitchen, raised children, discussed theory, and held social events. Dr. Yelvington will examine Herskovits’s mentoring and teaching style and provide a critical discussion of conflicts and contradictions related to Herskovits’s work and legacy. His talk is based on his extensive archival investigations and oral history interviews with former students and will include reflections on conducting research on prominent historical figures.

Kevin A. Yelvington is a professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida. He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, his research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, and in 2021 he was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the Universidad de Alicante, Spain.

Questions about the event? Contact: Jenny Thompson at

Masks are encouraged.


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Admission is free.

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If you do not receive a confirmation email, please email Erin Hughes at


March 14, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Evanston History Center Events


Evanston History Center
225 Greenwood Street
Evanston, IL 60201 United States
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