Géza Róheim Papers, approximately 1929-1953 (MSS 0046)

Restrictions: Original research papers in box 2, folders 2 and 3 are restricted until 2068 to protect the privacy of observed subjects. Redacted versions are available. Materials deemed too brittle for use have been moved to the ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES series and may be restricted.

Extent: 0.8 Linear feet (2 archives boxes)

Papers of Géza Róheim, a Hungarian anthropologist who applied psychoanalytic techniques to cultural studies. 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.

Géza Róheim 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, Róheim 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, Róheim 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. Róheim 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 Róheim 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. Róheim expanded the original plan to include journeys to the Melanesian island of Normanby, plus short trips to Somaliland and Arizona. In his field work, Róheim 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 Róheim 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., Róheim remained in New York City until his death in 1953.

Róheim 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, Róheim 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.

Róheim 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 Róheim'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, Géza Róheim, Herbert Marcuse (New York: Harper and Row, c1969); George B. Wilbur and Warner Muensterberger, eds., Psychoanalysis and Culture : Essays in Honor of Géza Róheim (New York: International Universities Press, c1951).]

Papers of Géza Róheim, a Hungarian anthropologist who applied psychoanalytic techniques to cultural studies. The collection includes drafts of writings and Róheim's research materials. The research papers document Róheim's field studies in Australia, Normanby Island and the southwestern United States, and include transcriptions of the dreams and stories of Australian aborigines, a vocabulary of the Normanby Islanders, and Freudian-influenced observations of Navajo families. 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.

Arranged into three series: 1) WRITINGS, 2) RESEARCH MATERIALS and 3) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.

Provenance

The collection was donated to the UC San Diego Library by Werner Muensterberger, who received the materials from Róheim himself. The collection contains only a small fraction of the papers Géza Róheim probably created and collected.

Container List

WRITINGS

Box: 1 Folder: 1
Immortal Gods - The Father of Gods and Men. Chapter V? - Manuscript, (41 leaves on folded sheets), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 2
Immortal Gods - Mother Earth. Chapter VI? - Manuscript, (46 leaves on folded sheets), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 3
Pinocchio. Typescript with ms. corrections, and reprint of published version (edited by Werner Muensterberger), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 4
Problem of Interpretation. Manuscript, (24 p. on 6 folded sheets), undated

RESEARCH MATERIALS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) RESEARCH MATERIALS: 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 Róheim's American period, from 1938 to 1952. Of special interest is Róheim's notebook from his Normanby Island trip. The notebook includes a vocabulary of the Islanders and other linguistic information.

Arranged in four subseries: A) Dream Analysis, B) Stories, C) Navajo, D) Normanby Islands.

Dream Analysis

Ten Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Uran Tukutu
Box: 1 Folder: 5
Pindupi tribe. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections (13 leaves - appears to be an earlier version)
Box: 1 Folder: 6
Pindupi tribe. Typescript (15 leaves) and two carbon copies (15 leaves each) , undated
Twelve Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Yirramba Banga
Box: 1 Folder: 7
Aranda. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections (leaves 37-81), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 8
Aranda. Typescript with ms. corrections (52 leaves), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 9
Aranda. Carbon copy of typescript with ms. corrections (52 leaves), undated
Five Dreams and Analysis, Informant: Lelil Tukutu
Box: 1 Folder: 10
Aranda or P. Typescript with ms. corrections (leaves 14-36) - appears to be an earlier version, undated
Box: 1 Folder: 11
Aranda or P. Typescript with ms. corrections (27 leaves), undated
Box: 1 Folder: 12
Analyses and Dreams, Informants: Yirramba Kurka - Aranda, Tjint. Typescript with ms. corrections (6 parts, 147 leaves) - appears to be a typescript for a book, undated

Stories

Box: 1 Folder: 13-15
Informant: Tukurpa and others (Aranda tribe). Typescript with ms. corrections (130 stories, 247 leaves), undated
Box: 2 Folder: 1
Informant: Tukurpa and others (Aranda tribe). Typescript with ms. corrections (130 stories, 247 leaves), undated

Navajo

Box: 2 Folder: 2
Play analysis with children all belonging to [unidentified family], between 1938 and 1952

Redacted copy of original typescript (67 leaves, incomplete; also, 6 leaves of typescript with annotations and corrections).

Restrictions Apply

Box: 2 Folder: 3
[Unidentified] family observations with census information, ca. 1945

Redacted copy of original typescript (9 parts, 25 leaves).

Restrictions Apply

Normanby Islands

Box: 2 Folder: 4
Psychoanalytic Techniques [and] Field Anthropology, ca. 1930?

Bound manuscript notebook - Includes vocabulary (65 p.), kinship terminology and other linguistic notes (14 p.), and essay "Psychoanalytic techniques and field anthropology" (72 p.).

ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES

Box: 2 Folder: 5-10
Photocopies