What is it about?

This article explores how Ruth Landes’ Jewish family influenced her writings about race, gender and class. It also explains how her Jewish identity changed through her life course and especially in the last two decades of her life.

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Why is it important?

Ruth Landes is an anthropologist who has been written about a lot, especially because of her innovative research about Afro-Brazilian women leaders of the religion Candomblé in the late 1930s. However, very little has been written about how her Jewish background and the politics of her family influenced her writing about race, gender, sexuality and class.


This article went through many revisions and is quite different from its original formulation. There is now a big emphasis on how Jewish identity changes over the life course which is an idea which is applicable far beyond this article and applies to how our different identities change through our life depending on our experiences and the socio-political contexts we live in.

Abby Gondek
Florida International University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ruth Landes/‘she-maverick’: A Jewish gendered late style, History and Anthropology, March 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2019.1577734.
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