Fonds F0470 - Joan R. Rayfield fonds

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Title proper

Joan R. Rayfield fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Physical description area

Physical description

0.9 m of textual material
34 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Joan R. Rayfield, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at York University, was born in England on 26 February 1919. After completing her B.A. at the University of London (1949), she moved to Canada and completed an M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Toronto (1955). She conducted PhD research at the University of California (Los Angeles) and earned the George Baker Award for her fieldwork in 1958. Rayfield began her teaching career as Professor of Anthropology at Goddard College, Vermont (1959-1961). She taught at California State University, Northridge as an Assistant, then Associate Professor of Anthropology until 1967 when she returned to Canada and joined York University where she remained until her retirement in 1986. She published "The languages of a bilingual community" in 1970 and is responsible for the translation of Jacques Maquet's "The black civilization of Africa" and "Africanicity." She is widely published in scholarly journals. He work has appeared in such publications as "Explorations," "American anthropologist," "The international journal of comparative sociology," "Africa," "Philosophy of the social sciences," "The Western Canadian journal of anthropology," "Into the 80's" and "African Journal." She is well respected for her expertise in linguistic anthropology, structuralism, oral narrative and the anthropology of the arts with extensive knowledge of Africa and francophone Africa in particular. The final years of her university career were dedicated to the study and promotion of African film. She attended FESPACO, the African film festival, in Burkina Faso in 1985 and again in 1989. Joan Rayfield died on 8 May 2001 in Burlington, Ontario.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consist of material that documents Rayfield's career as a Professor of Anthropology and, to a lesser extent, her personal life. It includes research files containing copies of published and unpublished manuscripts, conference presentations, drafts of book and article reviews, research notes, professional correspondence, grant proposals, course outlines and a copy of her curriculum vitae. It also includes material such as magazines, film festival programs, reviews of African films, auction and museum catalogues, photograph of African sculptures, newspaper clippings and research notes that documents her ongoing interest in African film and art. Records of a personal nature include correspondence, Christmas cards and obituaries related to her passing.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Jane Turrittin in 2004.


Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script note

Some of Rayfield's research files are in French.

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Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

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The fonds comprises the following accession: 2004-043. No further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2006/05/12 Carolyn Casenas:. (Creation)
2006/05/12 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2006/06/08 Sean Smith. Added fonds level description and scope and content note.
2017/10/06 KCP. Added GMD, access points, and fixed language notes. Fixed start date to match 2004-043/003(3).
2018/04/04 KCP. Fixed dates.
2020/03/29 KCP. Added access point(s).

Language of description

  • English


Accession area