HARALD E.L. PRINS, PhD
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Harald E.L. Prins was trained in anthropology, archaeology, and comparative history at various universities in The Netherlands and the United States. After earning his doctoraal degree from the University of Nijmegen ('76), he received his PhD from the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at the New School for Social Research ('88). An advocacy anthropologist whose scholarly research is closely tied to his human rights work with indigenous peoples, he has done extensive fieldwork in South America (Pampa & Gran Chaco) and North America (in particular New England, Canadian Maritimes, and southern Plains). He is a son of Dutch maritime anthropologist and East-Africanist Dr. A.H.J. Prins (1921-2000), and the godson of H.E. Lambert (1893-1967), a Swahili linguist and Kikuyu specialist in Kenya.
Appointed University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University in 2005, Harald Prins has been recognized for teaching, research and academic leadership. Most recently, the Carnegie Foundation's Council for the Advancement and Support of Education honored him as the 2006 State Professor of the Year for Kansas . He serves on the editorial boards of several international academic journals and regularly provides peer reviews for over two dozen university presses, academic journals and major scholarly foundations. Elected president of the Society for Visual Anthropology ('99-01) and holding the post of visual anthropology editor for the American Anthropologist ('98-02), he has presented several distinguished lectures and keynote addresses. Recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, and winner of his university's most prestigious teaching honors, including the Conoco Award ('93) and Presidential Award ('99), he held the Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars ('04-05).
Publications include over 100 scholarly books, articles, encyclopedia entries, and academic press book chapters in half a dozen languages. Much of Dr. Prins' writing focuses on Northeast America's Indian cultures and history, in particular Wabanaki (Micmac/Mi'kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Abenaki). He authored The Mi'kmaq: Resistance, Accommodation and Cultural Survival (Harcourt Brace '96) and Tribulations of a Border Tribe (UMI '88), and co-edited American Beginnings: Exploration, Culture, and Cartography in the Land of Norumbega (U Nebraska Press '94). He also co-edited several special journal issues, including The Origins of Visual Anthropology: North American Contributions ('02) and co-authored four major introductory textbooks: Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge (12 th ed.) and Evolution and Prehistory: The Human Challenge (8 th ed.) as well as the combined volume Anthropology: The Human Challenge (12 th ed.) and The Essence of Anthropology (1 st ed.), all published by Wadsworth/Thomson Learning. Most recently, he and his wife Bunny McBride completed a two-volume report for the National Park Service, titled Asticou's Island Domain: Wabanaki Peoples at Mount Desert Island, 1500-2000 (‘07).
Professionally trained in 16-mm filmmaking, Harald Prins has juried documentary film festivals and consulted on several documentary films. He co-produced Our Lives in Our Hands , a documentary on Mi'kmaq basketmakers (D.E.R. '86), which premiered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, aired on Public Television and was screened at numerous film festivals and museums in the US and abroad. He also served as key research advisor for Wabanaki: A New Dawn (N.E.H. Film '96), and co-produced the international award-winning film on visual anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, Oh, What a Blow that Phantom Gave Me! (D.E.R. '03), screened at many international ethnographic film festivals.
Work with indigenous communities includes a decade as primary researcher and political advisor for the Aroostook Band of Micmacs (Maine) in their successful landclaims and federal recognition struggle. In 1990 Dr. Prins testified on their behalf in US Congressional hearings, resulting in legislation providing a settlement that met their goals. Since then he has maintained an active working relationship with the tribe. In 1993 he served as an International Observer during Paraguay's landmark presidential elections. That same year he began collaborating with Plains Apache in Oklahoma on a long-term visual documentation project. Among other shared endeavors with various tribal groups, he formed part of the aboriginal rights team of Miawpukek First Nation (Conne River, Newfoundland). He has served as expert witness in Newfoundland's Supreme Court (2000), and other legal venues.
Before joining KSU's Anthropology Program in 1990, Harald Prins taught at Bowdoin College, Colby College, University of Maine, and University of Nijmegen (Netherlands). Among other courses, he has taught Native Rights, Anthropological Theory, Ethnographic Film, Violent Conflict, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, and the Ethnography of Indigenous North and South America. He is a member of KSU's American Ethnic Studies Faculty and served as faculty advisor for the university's American Indian student associations for a decade. As a member of its Graduate Faculty since 1990, he also served on numerous doctoral committees, advisory panels and governance boards. Currently, he is co-Principal Investigator (with his wife Bunny McBride ) in a National Parks Project on indigenous historical ecology in coastal Maine, and a guest co-curator for the international exhibit Alfred Métraux: From Fieldwork to Human Rights at the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris.