Inventory of the
Joan R. Rayfield

Inventory #F0470

The digitization of this finding aid was made possible - in part or entirely - through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.


Fonds/Collection Number:F0470
Title:Joan R. Rayfield
Extent:0.9 m of textual material
34 photographs
Biographical Sketch/
Administrative 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.
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 It includes research files containing copies of published and unpublished manuscripts, conference presentations, drafts of book and article reviews, research notes, professional correspondence, grant proposals, course outlines and a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.

Language of material note: Some of Rayfield's research files are in French.
Restrictions on
Access and Use:
No restrictions on access.
Finding Aid: File list available.
Accruals: The fonds comprises the following accession: 2004-043. No further accruals are expected.
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Jane Turrittin in 2004.
Provenance Access Points:Rayfield, Joan R.

Date of creation: 2006/05/12
Date of last revision: 2006/06/08
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