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Congratulations to IU folklore graduate student Gabriel McGuire, who successfully defended his M.A. thesis on this past Friday. Gabe’s topic was “A System of Affinity: Research in the Line of Morgan’s Progression from Ancient Society through Engels to Soviet Ethnography.” The study explores the way that Lewis Henry Morgan’s anthropological work came to have such a powerful conditioning effect on Soviet ethnography in the wake of Friedrich Engels’ reworking of Morgan’s ideas. Gabe’s project, which caused him to confront Morgan’s legacy in both American and Soviet scholarship, as well as significant chunks of American and Russian intellectual history more broadly, is an outgrowth of broader work he has been doing in preparation for soon-to-be undertaken doctoral fieldwork in Kazakhstan.

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