Photo of Richard Klein

Richard Klein: F. Clark Howell and the Modernization of Paleoanthropology in the United States at Michigan, Chicago, Berkeley, and Stanford

Interviews conducted by Samuel J. Redman in 2012, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2013.

Richard Klein is a Professor of Anthropology and Co-Chair of the Scientific Grants Committee for the Leakey Foundation. The impetus for this interview was a follow up to our our oral history interview with F. Clark Howell: Modernizing Physical Anthropology through Fieldwork, Science, and Collaboration. Professor Klein is one of Howell's most accomplished students. The Klein interview also explores his early decisions regarding his studies in the context of the Cold War. His choice to study Russian and physics early on, he explains, was clearly influenced by the context of the era. In the mid-1960s, when Howell was offered an opportunity to teach at UC Berkeley for an academic year, he agreed to sponsor Klein as a visiting graduate student at Berkeley. Klein remembers this as one of the more formative years of his intellectual life, with vivid memories of ongoing debates, scientific breakthroughs, and the personalities of the various characters involved. This intervew also touches on the history of biological anthropology, referencing a rich discursive community, marked by rivalry and collaboration, and one shaped by both external and internal forces.


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