James W. Dow

 

James W. Dow

James W. Dow, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, passed away on July 13, 2015.  After earning his B.S. in Mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1957, Professor Dow went on to earn his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1973.  He began his career at Oakland University as a special instructor in 1970 and retired as a full professor in 2006.  Much of his research was conducted in the Caribbean and Mexico, with an emphasis on the religious and shamanic practices of its indigenous peoples.  This interest led Professor Dow to focus later on the evolution of religion in human culture more generally, and his theoretical concerns came to center in the field of evolutionary anthropology.  His background in mathematics enabled him to contribute uniquely to mathematical modeling in anthropology.  Professor Dow was a prolific publisher of several books and numerous articles in these fields and was a past president of the Central States Anthropological Society, one of the most important professional organizations in the field.