More About the Author
Philip Carl Salzman, B.A. (Antioch), M.A., Ph.D. (Chicago)
Professor of Anthropology, McGill University (1968-present)
Houtan Senior Visiting Fellow, University of St. Andrews, Scotland (2010)
Erasmus Mundus International Fellow, University of Catania, Sicily (2012)
Open Society Academic Fellowship Program International Scholar, American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan (2011-2012)
Visiting Professor, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney (2013):
As a sociocultural anthropologist, I had the good fortune to carry out ethnographic field research for 27 months among nomadic tribes and settled cultivators in Iranian Baluchistan during the period 1967-76. My findings have been reported in Black Tents of Baluchistan (Smithsonian, 2000; winner of the Premio internazionale Pitré-Salomone Marino), and have contributed to a more general treatment of pastoral nomads and tribes, discussed in Pastoralists: Equality, Hierarchy, and the State (Westview, 2004). My interests in nomadic peoples led me to organize the Commission on Nomadic Peoples of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, and to found the international journal, Nomadic Peoples (currently published by Berghahn), for which the IUAES granted me their "Gold Award."
Drawing on my appreciation of tribal organization, I have tried in Culture and Conflict in the Middle East (Humanity, 2008) to explain what appear to be structural problems underlying the seemingly endless conflicts and counterproductive movements in the contemporary Middle East. At the same time, in Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict, P. C. Salzman and D. R. Divine, eds. (Routledge, 2008), my collaborators and I have tried to demonstrate that alternative, postcolonial explanations of current problems in the Middle East are ill-conceived and unfounded. For this and other related work, in 2009 Scholars for Peace in the Middle East honored me with their Presidential Award.
Complementing my study of tribes with field research among peasants, I carried out ethnographic field research among pastoralists in Gujarat and Rajasthan (1985) and, leading a team of researchers, among shepherds and others in highland Sardinian communities (1990-95), the latter reported in The Anthropology of Real Life: Events in Human Experience (1999).
My current research on the compatibility of ultimate value objectives focuses on freedom and equality, and the ways in which these are reconciled or balanced in societies around the world, among tribes, peasants, farmers, and urbanites.