Anthropology: The Middle of Next Week (Volume I, 1966)

Screen Shot 2014-08-17 at 3.50.47 PMI recently came into possession of an original copy of “Anthropology: The Middle of Next Week” – a spoof “magazine” about the discipline of anthropology created by some students at the University of Minnesota in 1966. It’s full of jokes in all forms – including poetry, prose, and lists – about the lives of the students and professors at the University’s Department of Anthropology. Many of the jokes are from an “insider” perspective that only people immersed in the discipline (or in physical anthropology specifically) could understand.

[FYI: I can’t get the embedded SlideShare viewer to show the entire document, so click through to SlideShare to see the whole thing.]

Overall, it’s a fun read – I certainly found it entertaining and have never seen anything like it before (I’d be inclined to do something like this were I still in school!) One of my favorite parts is the section with illustrations of memo pads/scratch pads from different well-known anthropology departments and anthropologists of the era (see page 18.)

You might be asking how I figured out what school it’s from since it’s not apparent on the intro or cover pages. Well, there is one reference on page 12 in the form of a denial of a “request” to purchase the University of Minnesota from the Anthropology Department. But there is nothing else that outright indicates it’s the school the students who created the spoof attended. So, I did a bit of online sleuthing with the names on pages 10-12 (e.g., Rupert Murrill, L.P. Novak, etc.) and confirmed that this was indeed the school of origin (see page 3 of this document.)

A special thanks to David Sachs for finding this for my collection.

More here on satirical science journals from the Smithsonian Institute Libraries.

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