The American Philosophical Society, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743, proudly bears the title of the nation's oldest learned society.  Our founders participated in the birth of American democracy. It pains us greatly that all these years later, our nation's promise has yet to be fulfilled.  We join all Americans of good will in deploring the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Over these past months the Society has hosted a number of virtual programs.  Even as we now resume our work with the offering of new programs, our attention remains focused on the senseless loss of innocent lives and our commitment to the difficult, necessary conversations and actions we must all take to begin to ensure that such tragedies end. Read more about virtual programming and resources that can be accessed remotely. Read more about the APS response to COVID-19.

Transformational Journeys: An Ethnologist’s Memoir

Victoria R. Bricker
Transformational Journeys Cover
Transactions 106, Part 5
344 pages (16 FM; 328 text)
ISBN: 978-1-60618-065-5

Victoria R. Bricker’s journeys—from Hong Kong to Shanghai during WWII, to Germany, Harvard, southeastern Mexico, and eventually to New Orleans—influenced her choice to be an ethnologist and shaped her career for over 50 years. Ethnology served as the stepping stone for intellectual forays into other related fields, all focused on the Maya people. The focus of Bricker’s book is Mayan, but the story is universal.

Bricker is an ethnographer and Professor of Anthropology, Emerita at Tulane University, well known for her studies of Mesoamerican culture. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was elected a Member of the American Philosophical Society in 2002.

"The work’s lessons about taking risks and making forays—serendipitous or otherwise—into related and not so obviously related fields, will be both inspiring and instructive."
Anthony Aveni

"Bricker draws us into the story of her life with the Maya and how she came to be an ethnologist. This memoir provides fresh insight into the workings of an academic career."
Susan Milbrath

"The book reads like the tale of a charmed life of enjoyed intellectual challenges, great scholarly output, and a sense of people and events coming together many times to make difficult situations turn out right."
Mary Jill Brody