10 Things You May Not Know About New Anthropology Chair Dr. Ian W. Brown

Dr. Ian Brown, Chair of Anthropology
Dr. Ian Brown, Chair of Anthropology

“10 Things You May Not Know About” is a new feature of our newsletter to highlight the personal sides of our faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Anthropology. This issue, we begin with our new chair, Dr. Ian Brown. Dr. Brown is an archaeologist who specializes in the Indians of the southeastern United States. His research interests are the history of archaeology, ethnohistory, prehistoric Indian culture history, settlement patterns, ceremonialism, ceramics, and trade and technology among Eastern Woodland populations, especially the role of salt. Dr. Brown is widely published, including two books just this past year, The Red Hills of Essex: Studying Salt in England and Above and Beyond the Pale: A Portrait of Life and Death in Ireland. We are extraordinarily grateful to have such a capable, affable, and, as you will see below, extraordinarily interesting colleague at our departmental helm. Yes, anthropologists are Renaissance men and women.

10 things you may not know about Dr. Brown:

  1. Margaret Mead spoke at his college graduation and repeatedly stuck her tongue out as she talked.
  2. He once lived in the same house as the famous composer and maestro Leonard Bernstein (“West Side Story”), while Bernstein was actually living there.
  3. He used to eat dinner with Benazir Bhutto, the assassinated Prime Minister of Pakistan, on a fairly regular basis. He called her Pinkie.
  4. He accompanied Carroll O’Connor (Archie Bunker in “All in the Family”) to lunch, and O’Connor laughed at Dr. Brown’s jokes.
  5. He used to date Marie Kohler, heir to the “toilet fortune.”
  6. He turned 23 at Angola Prison Farm, Louisiana State Penitentiary
  7. Bill Monroe, the creator of bluegrass music, once slept over in his dorm room.
  8. His Chinese name is Ba Yin, which roughly translates as “Bama Salt Man.”
  9. For 36 years, he has maintained a continuous daily journal…which is indexed.
  10. He was once spat upon by Christopher Lloyd, famous actor (“Back to the Future” series; “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Cheers,” etc.).

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