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Sept. 24, 2003

CONTACT: Dr. Ivan Brady, 312-3046


    OSWEGO -- Dr. Ivan Brady of SUNY Oswego's anthropology department in recent years has helped establish poetry as a method of inquiry in the social sciences, and he demonstrates some of its possibilities in his new book, "The Time at Darwin's Reef: Poetic Explorations in Anthropology and History."

    Brady, distinguished teaching professor and chair of anthropology at Oswego, earlier edited the book "Anthropological Poetics," and his poetry has appeared in several books and journals.

    "The Time at Darwin's Reef" tells its stories through verse, prose and painting. Illustrated with watercolors by Janie Brady, the author's wife, the book is selling well, he says, in part because of the luminous underwater painting on the cover.

    The book's goals are both analytic and aesthetic, Brady says, and he believes a general reader can appreciate it simply for its art, foregoing the theory. "It can be read on several levels," he says. "It has crossover appeal."

    Published in paperback by Altamira Press, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, the book is a volume in Altamira's Ethnographic Alternatives series, which emphasizes experimental writing that blurs the boundaries between the social sciences and the humanities.

    Brady describes "The Time at Darwin's Reef" as "a book about representing experience, especially cross-cultural relationships, through writing" and as "a mixed bag of messages and forms of communication clustered around my experiences in the Pacific and Mexico as a researcher."

    His book is an attempt to communicate aspects of what he has learned as an anthropologist that do not fit into traditional scientific modes of discourse. "We're all interpreters," he says. "There are other ways to say things and, therefore, other ways to know things."
   Dr. Tracy Lewis -- SUNY Oswego professor of Spanish, scholar of Guarani culture and an award-winning cross-cultural poet in his own right -- is translating "The Time at Darwin's Reef" into Spanish, Brady notes. "It just couldn't be done without him," he says.

    Brady is working on a new book, "Desert," in the same vein only more geographically focused, this time on the American Southwest and the indigenous cultures there. He will be on leave next semester to work on that book.

     "The Time at Darwin's Reef" sells for $21.95 at

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Dr. Ivan Brady, author and anthropology professor.

ADVENTURES IN WORD AND IMAGE -- Dr. Ivan Brady of SUNY Oswego's anthropology department is the author of "The Time at Darwin's Reef." A compilation of verse, prose and painting, the book is newly published in the Altamira Press series of experimental writings that blur the boundaries between the social sciences and the humanities.

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