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Richard Borshay Lee

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Richard Borshay Lee

Richard Borshay Lee (born 1937) is a Canadian anthropologist. Lee has studied at the University of Toronto and University of California, Berkeley, where he received a Ph.D. Presently, he holds a position at the University of Toronto as Professor Emeritus of Anthropology. Lee is also currently researching issues concerning the indigenous people of Botswana and Namibia, particularly their ecology and history.

Known best for his work on the University of Chicago Symposium on "Man the Hunter". [1]. Lee co-edited with Richard Daly The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunter-Gatherers, which was first published in 1999. In 2003, Anthropologica, the journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society, dedicated an issue to Lee's oeuvre. In 2011 he co-authored the children's book Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations with Bathseba Opini, Ph.D..

Most recently his research has focused on the anthropology of health and the cultural and social factors in AIDS epidemic in southern Africa for which he has received funds from the National Institutes of Health (U.S.) via Columbia University School of Public Health as well as directly from the University of Toronto.

Professional associations

Lee has been active in several professional associations including: the Association of American Anthropologists for which he organized several meetings and symposiums; founding member of Anthropologists for Radical Political Change; past president of the Canadian Anthropologist Society and the Canadian Ethnology Society. He has also been a referee for various publications (American Anthropologist, Current Anthropology) and granting agencies (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation and the National Science Foundation). He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Selected publications

  • Subsistence Ecology of !Kung Bushmen (1965), PhD Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Hunter-gatherers in process: The Kalahari Research Project, 1963-76 (1978), in G. Foster et al. (Eds.), Long-term field research in social anthropology (pp. 303-321). New York: Academic Publishing.
  • The !Kung San: Men, Women and Work in a Foraging Society (1979), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 9 available here
  • Anthropology at the crossroads: From the age of ethnography to the age of world systems (1998), Social Dynamics 24(1), 34-65.
  • The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunter-Gatherers(1999), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Indigenous rights and the politics of identity in post-apartheid southern Africa (2003), in B. Dean & J. M. Levi (Eds.), At the risk of being heard: Identity, indigenous rights, and postcolonial states (pp. 80-111). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
  • The Dobe Ju/'hoansi (2003), 3rd ed., Thomson Learning/Wadsworth.
  • Power and property in twenty-first century foragers: A critical examination (2004), in T. Widlok & T. Wolde, (Eds.), Power and equality: Encapsulation, commercialization, discrimination (pp. 16-31). Oxford: Berg Publishing.
  • Africans Thought of It: Amazing Innovations (2011)
  • Collection of publications and pictures by Dr. Lee, Richard B.


  • 1980 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The !Kung San: Men, Women, and Work in a Foraging Society
  • 1980 Herskovits Award of the African Studies Association for The !Kung San: Men, Women, and Work in a Foraging Society

See also

External links

  • Anthropologica Vol. 45 No. 1, 2003
  • Expanded Bibliography by Jacqueline Solway
  • Biography of Richard Lee
  • papers held at University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services
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