Charles Wagley

Charles Wagley (1913–1991) was an American anthropologist and leading pioneer in the development of Brazilian anthropology. Wagley began graduate work in the 1930s at Columbia University, where he fell under the spell of Franz Boas and what later became known as the "historical particularist” mode of anthropology.

Wagley completed his dissertation, entitled ''Economics of a Guatemalan Village'', in 1942, but had already begun exploring other fieldsites in Brazil. Along with Claude Lévi-Strauss, Wagley was one of the chief exponents in Brazilian anthropology.

During World War II, Wagley’s familiarity with Brazil’s agriculture industry led him to advocate the US government to channel aid to Latin America to facilitate rubber production. During this time, he conducted long trips in the Amazon Basin, researching specifically among the Tapirapé of central Brazil and with the Tenetahara in the eastern portion of the country.

Wagley returned to Columbia and took several key leadership roles. Also teaching in Columbia at the time was Julian Steward, another former student of Boas’ and whose idea of areal studies greatly impacted a new shift in American anthropology. Wagley would also become the director for the Latin American Institute at Columbia. He later left Columbia for an Emeritus position at the University of Florida, where he spearheaded the development of the Center for Tropical Conservation and Development. Provided by Wikipedia
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