The Institute for Intercultural Studies

MARGARET MEAD (1901-1978)

Biography | Bibliography | 2001 Centennial

Margaret Mead Centennial 2001

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world..."

Margaret Mead's remark about the power of cooperative action for change has inspired original thinking and activity by hundreds of individuals and organizations. When discussing problems and conflicts, she used to say, in the most matter-of-fact tone of voice, "We need a new social invention." Of course. And let's put our ideas to work.

The IIS celebrated Mead's Centennial by emphasizing the human capacity to imagine and work toward a positive future. During the period leading up to December 16, 2001, the hundredth anniversary of Mead's birth, the Institute concentrated its resources on three kinds of activities:

  1. Enhancing public understanding of the processes of change through scholarship and the media as well as by making Mead's own thinking more widely available. (See: Resources)

  2. Encouraging local citizen activism, especially through a series of "Mead2001 Awards" administered by the IIS with Whole Earth magazine. (Awards)

  3. Working with other groups and organizations using the Mead2001 themes in their own programming, ranging from major universities, libraries and museums to neighborhoods and school committees. (See: Centennial Timeline)

Why Celebrate Mead's Centennial?

The life of a single individual can symbolize important abstractions. Let Mead's life, her words and image, touch your imagination. As we move forward, Mead reminds us of the possibility of choice.

Mead was committed to anthropology as a human science and to learning from other cultures. She had a primary interest in childhood and personality development in different societies, which involved her in a range of issues around gender roles and education.

Mead's work spanned cultures, so she was interested in all areas of difference between groups and how to transcend these, from international law and disarmament to race relations to ecumenism.

Themes of adaptation involved her in issues of the environment, health and nutrition. Mead was equally concerned with bodies and minds, with food and spirituality, with individual freedom and the need for community.



  • April 1996
    IIS adopts plan to commemorate Margaret Mead's centenary in 2001



  • May 1998
    Margaret Mead stamp issued by U. S. Postal Service as part of its Celebrate the Century series
  • July 1998
    Official Mead Centennial website on line at


  • March 1999
    Evalyn Clark Symposium: "Mead and the Creation of the Educated Person" at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • July 1999
    Mead's "Continuities in Cultural Evolution" reissued by Transaction Publishers
  • September 1999
    First Mead2001 Award to Educate the Children of Ithaca, NY and Nepal;
    Special Recognition to The Hartford Artisans' Center and the Institute for Social Inventions of the UK
  • October 1999
    First edition of Centennial newsletter "Notes from the Field"
  • October 1999
    "Biography Desk Diary 2000: Visionaries of the 20th Century" includes Mead



  • February 2001
    Association for the Social Anthropology of Oceania (ASOA) one-day session "Reflections on Pacific Ethnography in the Mead Centennial"
  • March 2001
    Reopening of Mead's Hall of Pacific Peoples at the American Museum of Natural History in New York
  • March 2001
    "Change the World" Weekend honoring tradition of Mead at University of Rochester in New York
  • March 2001
    Society for Applied Anthropology's annual meeting in Merida, Mexico includes "Conversation on Using New Technology for Community Activism," a working session on the Mead Centennial website
  • March 2001
    Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, MA hosts reading from With a Daughter's Eye to mark centennial
  • March 2001
    Earth Day 2001 at the United Nations in NY with tribute to founder Margaret Mead
  • March 2001
    Spring 2001 Mead2001 Award to City at Peace/DC
    Special Recognition to Homeless Prenatal Program of San Francisco and Project AVARY of San Rafael, CA
  • April 2001
    Barnard College symposium on "Continuing Controversies in Anthropology" in honor of Mead
  • April 2001
    International Week at George Mason University celebrates Centennial with panel on The Public Intellectual, screening of Mead Festival films, performance by "City at Peace"
  • April 2001
    "Coming of Age in Samoa" and "Growing Up in New Guinea" reissued by HarperCollins
  • May 2001
    American Society for Cybernetics hosts "The Cybernetics of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson," in Vancouver BC
  • May 2001
    "Margaret Mead vs. Tony Soprano" in The Nation magazine
  • July 2001
    Mead profile in France's l'Express magazine as part of the "They Would Be 100 This Year" series
  • July 2001
    Mead Commemorative Concert on the Washington Mall at Smithsonian Folklife Festival
  • July 2001
    "Sex & Temperament and Male & Female" reissued by HarperCollins
  • August 2001
    "Russian Culture" reissued by Berghahn Books
  • September 2001
    University of Verona (Italy) panel on Margaret Mead
  • September 2001
    European Association of Body Therapists meeting in Egmont, The Netherlands hosts panel on Mead and Bateson's influences on body psychotherapy
  • October 2001
    NY Academy of Sciences Programs and Photo Exhibit on Mead and her life as a woman in science
  • October 2001
    Dedication of Margaret Mead Behavioral Sciences Building at University of Pittsburgh
  • October 2001
    Djakarta International Film Festival Tribute to Mead
  • November 2001
    New Lives for Old and Letters from the Field reissued by HarperCollins
  • November 2001
    Themes in French Culture reissued by Berghahn books
  • November 2001
    "Kinship in the Admiralty Islands" reissued by Transaction Publishers
  • November 2001
    Selection from The School in American Culture published in Society magazine
  • November 2001
    American Museum of Natural History's Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival 25th Anniversary with Mead tribute; Festival travels throughout the US and the world through October 2002
  • November 2001
    Photography Exhibit of Ken Heyman's work from Family at AMNH, through May 2002
  • November 2001
    Department of Anthropology at the University of Delhi hosts event marking Mead Centennial with four scholarly presentations to faculty and students.
  • November 2001
    Brown University Lecture Series, "The Legacy of Margaret Mead," through March 2002
  • November 2001
    American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting in Washington, DC with four invited presidential sessions on Mead
  • November 2001
    Opening of Library of Congress exhibit "Margaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of Culture," through May 2002
  • December 2001
    SUNY Binghamton/Binghamton Art Center Photo Exhibit: "Mead: Anthropological and Cultural Reflections" running through January 18, 2002
  • December 2001
    "The Interplay of Cultures: Whither the United States in the World?" a two-day symposium at the Library of Congress commemorating Mead
  • December 2001
    WAMU's Diane Rehm Show public radio broadcast of two-hour special, "To Cherish the Life of the World: 100 Years of Margaret Mead," syndicated to run through 2002 on numerous public radio stations
  • December 2001
    Margaret Mead Elementary School of Sammamish, WA celebrates centennial with Margaret Mead Spirit Week
  • December 2001
    Interview of Mary Catherine Bateson on Mead and the Centennial in the Italian newspaper La Stampa
  • December 2001
    BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour broadcasts a remembrance of Margaret Mead
  • December 2001
    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton memorializes Margaret Mead and her centenary with a statement to be written into the Congressional Record on Tuesday, December 18, 2001

Margaret Mead Centennial 2001 - Centennial Committees

Mead2001 - Honorary Committee
President Jimmy Carter and
Mrs. Rosalynn Carter, Honorary co-chairs
Johnnetta B. Cole Ada Deer
Amitai Etzioni Betty Friedan
Ellen V. Futter LaDonna Harris
Hon. Mark O. Hatfield Rabbi Arthur Hertzberg
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. Stanley N. Katz
Hon. Patricia Scott Schroeder David L. Sills
Gloria Steinem Maurice Strong
Carol H. Tice Dale Timothy White
Hon. Harris Wofford

Mead2001 Working Group
Cheryl Charles Ellen Wrchota Demerath
Peter Demerath Paul Griffin
Beni Ivey Pamela Kossoy
Elly Kugler Chauncey W. Olinger
Karen Peterson Danica Remy
Karen Rosenblum Gwydion Suilebhan
Troy K. Thomas Peter Warshall
Mary Wolfskill

Mead2001 International Honorary Committee
Claude Lévi-Strauss, Chair
Wilton S. Dillon, Secretary
Edgardo Krebs
Ernst Falzeder
Craig Kielberger
Martha Villada
Gaber Assfour
Jabez L. Bryce
Elisabeth Badinter
Bênoite Groult
Pierre Messmer
Jean Rouch
Klaus Hüfner
Kurt Pawlik
Detlev W. Ploog
Peter Schneider
Niki Goulandris
Panayis Psomopoulos
T. N. Madan
Iraj Valipour
Conor Cruise O'Brien
Elihu Katz
Phyllis Palgi
Ivory Coast
Cecile Goli
Nakane Chie
Akira Iriyama
Omori Yashuhiro
New Zealand
Hugh Kawharu
Gerald Sullivan
Thomas A. Lambo
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Elmer L. Blackbird
Papua New Guinea
Lastus Kuniata
Meg Taylor
Roger M. Valencia
Napoleon Wolanski
Leokadia Drobizheva
Viktoria Koroteyeva
Roald Z. Sagdeyev
South Africa
David Brokensha
Phillip V. Tobias
Federico Mayor Zaragoza
M.H.A. Hassan
Lydia F. Makhubu
Claes Cronstedt
Sonja Sonnenfeld
Clemens Heller
Michael Heller
John Kilama
United Kingdom
June Goodfield
Patrick Horsbrugh
Julian Pitt-Rivers
Joseph Rotblat
Richard Webner

MARGARET MEAD: Biography | Bibliography | 2001 Centennial
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Thank you for your interest in the Institute for Intercultural Studies . We encourage you to use this website to connect to the many resources available to answer your inquiry about Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson and their intellectual legacy.  However, The Institute for Intercultural Studies, founded by Margaret Mead in 1944, has closed its doors as of December 31, 2009; no further contact information is available.  For contact about permissions please see the Publishing Permission or Literary Rights section of the website.

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All rights reserved. Mead/Bateson photo ©Fred Roll.