Gladys A. Reichard

Gladys A. Reichard (1893-1955), a cultural anthropologist, specializing in all aspects of the Navajo Indians of the American southwest. A graduate of Swarthmore College (1919), she went on to graduate studies in anthropology at Columbia under Franz Boas. In 1921 she began teaching at Barnard, remaining there until her death in 1955, for much of that time as Barnard’s only anthropologist. Her first book, The Social Life of the Navajo Indians (1926), and much of her subsequent research in the southwest was underwritten by fellow anthropologist and independent scholar, Elsie Clews Parsons, Barnard 1896. Reichard also wrote about Navajo weaving techniques and conducted ethnographic interviews among contemporary tribespeople, always showing a particular interest in the role of women in Navajo society. Her book, Navajo Religion (1950), remains esteemed among recent cultural anthropologists. Throughout her career she took a special interest in advancing the careers of women in anthropology.