The Register of
Geza Roheim Papers
1929 - 1953
Mandeville Special Collections Library
University of California, San Diego
Extent: 0.80 linear feet (2 archives boxes)
Materials in box 2, folders 2 and 3, cannot be used without the permission of the Manuscripts Librarian.
Papers of Geza Roheim, Hungarian anthropologist who applied psychoanalytic techniques to the study of cultures. Educated in Hungary and Germany, Roheim taught at the University of Budapest until 1938, when he immigrated to the United States. Between 1929 and 1931 he conducted field work in Australia, Melanesia, and Arizona. The collection includes drafts of writings and research materials, including transcriptions of the dreams and stories of Australian aborigines, and a vocabulary of the Normanby Islanders. The papers are divided into two series: WRITINGS and RESEARCH MATERIALS.
Geza Roheim considered himself a professional anthropologist, although many see his work as an example of the Freudian school of psychoanalytic theory. He is credited as one of the first to apply psychoanalysis to the study of world cultures.
The scion of an affluent Hungarian family, Roheim was born in Budapest in 1891. He took an early interest in literature and history, later receiving formal training in geography and anthropology. In addition, he studied psychoanalytic theory under Sandor Ferenczi, one of the pioneers in the field. Travelling to Germany prior to World War I, Roheim pursued his professional education in anthropology at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin. Also in Germany, he came under the influence of the theories of Sigmund Freud. Roheim returned to Hungary and, in 1919, became the first professor of anthropology at the University of Budapest, a post he held until 1938.
Throughout the 1920s Roheim remained primarily an academic anthropologist. However, in 1929, he embarked on a lengthy field expedition that would last until 1931. Financed by Marie Bonaparte (Princess George of Greece), the field trip was originally designed to apply psychoanalytic theory to the aborigines of Central Australia. Roheim expanded the original plan to include journeys to the Melanesian island of Normanby, plus short trips to Somaliland and Arizona. In his field work, Roheim focused primarily on the individual member of a community or culture. He used many techniques that were not common in contemporary anthropology, including dream analysis and the analysis of children's play activities.
In 1938 Roheim escaped the political turmoil in Europe and emigrated to the United States. He worked briefly, during 1938, as a clinician at the Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts. He then moved to New York City, where he entered private practice and continued his writing. In 1940 he lectured at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. Although he took short field trips to study the Navaho Indians in the southwestern U.S., Roheim remained in New York City until his death in 1953.
Roheim was primarily a theoretician, although his theory was always based on rigorous observation and study. He was one of the first anthropologists to successfully apply Freudian theories to the analysis of cultures. His "ontogenetic theory of culture" is considered a major contribution to his field. In this theory, Roheim contended that cultural differences were largely the result of an individual's childhood traumas. The childhood experiences of the individual, he thought, were ultimately reflected in adult personality and in the collective institutions
of a given culture.
Roheim stated his theory most clearly in his work The Origin and Function of Culture, published in 1943. Among his other works, the most notable are Australian Totenism (1925), Animism, Magic, and the Divine King (1930), The Eternal Ones of the Dream (1945), Psychoanalysis and Anthropology (1950), and The Gates of Dream (1952).
After Roheim's death, many of his works were collected and published by anthropologist Werner Muensterberger. Muensterberger's editions include Magic and Schizophrenia (1955), The Panic of the Gods and Other Essays (1972) and Children of the Desert : The Western Tribes of Central Australia (1974).
[Sources: Paul A. Robinson, The Freudian Left : Wilhelm Reich, Geza Roheim, Herbert Marcuse (New York: Harper and Row, c1969); George B. Wilbur and Warner Muensterberger, eds., Psychoanalysis and Culture : Essays in Honor of Geza Roheim (New York: International Universities Press, c1951).]
Scope and Content
Accession Processed in 1989
This collection came to UCSD from Werner Muensterberger, who received the materials from Roheim himself. The collection contains only a small fraction of the papers Geza Roheim probably created and collected. Included are drafts of some of Roheim's writings, and research materials based on his field studies in Australia, Normanby Island, and the southwestern United States. The collection is divided into two series: WRITINGS and RESEARCH MATERIALS.
None of the materials are dated, but it is probable that the papers were created between 1929 and 1953. This estimate is based on the subject matter, type of paper, and general condition of the materials.
Included in the WRITINGS are drafts of three, including typescripts and manuscripts. Most of the RESEARCH MATERIALS relate to dream analysis involving Australian aborigine subjects. The "Stories" also relate to Australian subjects. The Navajo Indian materials were probably created during Roheim's American period, from 1938 to 1952. Of special interest is Roheim's notebook from his Normanby Island trip. The notebook includes a vocabulary of the Islanders and other linguistic information.
WRITINGSReturn to Menu
|1||1||Immortal Gods - The Father of Gods and Men. Chapter V? - Manuscript, n.d. (41 leaves on folded sheets.)|
|1||2||Immortal Gods - Mother Earth. Chapter VI? - Manuscript, n.d. (46 leaves on folded sheets.)|
|1||3||Pinocchio. Typescript with ms. corrections n.d., and reprint of published version (edited by Werner Muensterberger.)|
|1||4||Problem of Interpretation. Manuscript, n.d. (24 p. on 6 folded sheets.)|
RESEARCH MATERIALSReturn to Menu
Dream AnalysisReturn to Menu
|1||5||Dream Analysis - Ten Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Uran Tukutu (Pindupi tribe. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections (13 leaves - appears to be an earlier version.)|
|1||6||Dream Analysis - Ten Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Uran Tukutu (Pindupi tribe. Typescript, n.d. (15 leaves) and two carbon copies, n.d. (15 leaves each.)|
|1||7||Dream Analysis - Twelve Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Yirramba Banga (Aranda. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections (leaves 37-81.)|
|1||8||Dream Analysis - Twelve Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Yirramba Banga (Aranda. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (52 leaves.)|
|1||9||Dream Analysis - Twelve Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Yirramba Banga (Aranda. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (52 leaves.)|
|1||10||Dream Analysis - Five Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Lelil Tukutu (Aranda or P. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (leaves 14-36) - appears to be an earlier version.|
|1||11||Dream Analysis - Five Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Lelil Tukutu (Aranda or P. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (27 leaves.)|
|1||12||Dream Analysis - Analyses and Dreams, Informants: Yirramba Kurka (Aranda), Tjint. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (6 parts, 147 leaves - appears to be a typescript for a book.)|
StoriesReturn to Menu
|1||13||Stories, Informant: Tukurpa and others (Aranda tribe).. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (130 stories, 247 leaves).|
|1||14||Stories, Informant: Tukurpa and others (Aranda tribe).. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (130 stories, 247 leaves).|
|1||15||Stories, Informant: Tukurpa and others (Aranda tribe).. Typescript with ms. corrections, n.d. (130 stories, 247 leaves).|
Navajo IndianReturn to Menu
|2||2||Navaho Indian Research - "Play Analysis with Children All Belonging to Bill Bega. Carbon copy of typescript, n.d. (67 leaves, incomplete; also, 6 leaves of typescript with ms. corrections).
|2||3||Navaho Indian Research - "Skeet Family: Census Information., 1945.
Typescript, [1945?] (9 parts, 25 leaves).
Normanby IslandsReturn to Menu
|2||4||Normanby Islands - Psychoanalytic Techniques - [and] Field Anthropology., 1930. Bound manuscript notebook, [ca. 1930?] - Includes vocabulary (65 p.), kinship terminology and other linguistic notes (14 p.), and essay "Psychoanalytic techniques and field anthropology" (72 p.).|
ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIESReturn to Menu
|2||5||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
|2||6||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
|2||7||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
|2||8||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
|2||9||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
|2||10||ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.. Photocopies.|
Finding aid generated: 2005-10-31