We’re expanding our Encyclopedia of Jewish Women and we need your help! Know an extraordinary Jewish woman whose story should be told? Nominate her to be included!
Close [x]

Show [+]


You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share

Ruth Leah Bunzel

Anthropologist Ruth Leah Bunzel did groundbreaking work on the relationship of artists to their work and on alcoholism in Guatemala and Mexico.The Pueblo Potter, becoming the first ethnographer to analyze how artists felt about traditional styles and the creative process instead of just discussing the objects they created. She later wrote about Zuni religion, poetry, and social organization. She went on to compare alcoholism in two villages in Mexico and Guatemala, looking at both psychological reasons for alcoholism and at economic and political factors, like the haciendas that benefited from keeping Indians subjugated and in debt through alcoholism. Beyond her fieldwork, Bunzel worked for the Office of War Information in New York and London from 1942–1945, and from 1954–1972 she taught at Columbia University. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she also worked to stop nuclear proliferation.

More on Ruth Leah Bunzel
Ruth Bunzel
Full image
Anthropologist Ruth Bunzel.
Date of Birth
April 18, 1898
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
January 14, 1990

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ruth Leah Bunzel." (Viewed on March 23, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/bunzel-ruth>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

listen now

Sign Up for JWA eNews


Discover Education Programs

Join our growing community of educators.

view programs