Barnard College and the Barnard Department of Anthropology mourn the loss of Professor Emerita Joan Eveline Vincent who passed away April 21, 2018, at the age of 89.
Professor Vincent was born in Surry, England in 1928. She earned a B.Sc. in economics and honors in social anthropology from the London School of Economics, an M.A. in political science at the University of Chicago, and then a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University in 1968. Her dissertation was entitled “Status and Leadership in an African Town.” Subsequently, she lectured in history and political sociology in Zanzibar, Tanzania, East Africa and Uganda.
Professor Vincent joined the faculty at Barnard in 1968; was tenured in 1972 and became Professor of Anthropology in 1974. She retired in 1995. She also held visiting professorships at Hunter College, the University of Cape Town, and The New School, and served as the president of the Association of Political and Legal Anthropology from 1981-1982. Her research focused on political authority and transition in East Africa and the proletarianization of peasants, and she did groundbreaking work within anthropology on emergent nation states. Visibility and invisibility were also of longstanding interest to her, as evidenced in her later work on the Irish famine and the then-emergent AIDS epidemic in Africa.
Barnard honors her significant contributions to this important field and extends heartfelt condolences to the many students, colleagues and friends whose lives she touched. As further tribute, a memorial statement will be read at an upcoming faculty meeting in the fall of 2018.