Harold Barclay (1924-2017) passed away on December 20, 2017 in Vernon, B.C. Prof. Barclay was born near Boston and received his PhD from Cornell after being a conscientious objector in World War II. Early in his career he lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East and Africa and spent two years at the American University of Cairo.
Prof. Barclay joined the Anthropology Department at the University of Alberta in 1967 after teaching at Knox College and University of Oregon. He decided to move to Canada because he was opposed to the war in Vietnam, and the chair of the Sociology Department Gordon Hirabayashi, whom he had met in Cairo, helped him obtain a position in the newly-created Anthropology Department.
In addition to doing research on rural society in modern Egypt and the northern Arab Sudan, Prof. Barclay did ethnographic research in Alberta which he described as a “goldmine of religious diversity.” He published extensively in the field of political anthropology, including some well-regarded books on anarchy.
Prof. Barclay retired from the University of Alberta in 1989, and he and his wife traveled extensively before settling in Vernon, B.C. In 2005 he published a memoir entitled Longing for Arcadia: Memoirs of an Anarcho-Cynicalist Anthropologist that includes stories of his life, world travels, and academic career.
Jean DeBernardi, Acting Chair and Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta