The Institute for Intercultural Studies



Several years ago the IIS received a proposal for the creation of a monument to Mead. Originally proposed as a single figure, in the genre of the many lofty statues of famous men that ornament our cities, this proposal has evolved into a concept that will convey an entirely different message: a group of figures communicating key ideas about anthropology and about the legacy of human diversity. We currently envision two seated figures, one of them Mead as she dressed in the field, the second a woman of Peri village, accompanied by or holding a small child. We visualize the figures in human scale, at eye level, accessible to children who want to test their laps, with Mead listening to and learning from the second woman on a basis of respect, equality, and friendship.

The choice of artist and location will of course affect many details. Although a number of suggestions have been made, we do not now know where this monument will be located but believe it should be in a public place, visible to passers-by, especially children, of every race and class.

A special trust has been created from reserved IIS funds, sufficient to cover most of the costs of the monument and provide a substantial grant to an institution associated with the site for programs that fit the goals of promoting intercultural, interracial, and international understanding. If you would like to be kept posted on developments, which will take several years, please contact Mary Catherine Bateson.


Current and some back editions of the IIS newsletter, "Notes from the Field" are now available in pdf format on line. The newsletter was published semi-annually from 1999 through 2002 during Mead Centennial activities, and continued as an annual publication until the final Fall 2009 edition.


"Double Bind Conference: Fifty Years Later" convenes at the Sorbonne in Paris to discuss the current status of the concept of the "double bind," first put forward fifty years ago by Gregory Bateson and his colleagues who were studying the etiology of schizophrenia. Sponsored jointly by the Institut Gregory Bateson in Liege, Belgium, and the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto.
Proceedings will eventually be published by édition Deboeck.
Summary report on the session.


Archives on Systemic Psychotherapy, collectively known as the Don D. Jackson Archive, now available to researchers, including work from two of the most influential early research projects in the behavioral sciences: Gregory Bateson's Research Team and the early investigators at the Mental Research Institute (MRI) - the Palo Alto Group, and the work of the Brief Therapy Center. More info at
Report on these archives by Wendel A. Ray.

August 24-27, 2005
Copenhagen, Denmark
An international conference in association with the University of Copenhagen's Research Priority Area, Religion in the 21st Century.
Speakers include:

  • Mary Catherine Bateson, Institute for Intercultural Studies
    Author: Composing a Life, and (with Gregory Bateson) of Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred
  • Brian Goodwin, Biology, Schumacher College, Milton Keynes
    Author: How The Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity
  • Terrence Deacon,Department of Anthropology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, UC Berkeley
    Author: The Symbolic Species: The Coevolution of Language and the Brain, Homunculus
  • Peter Harries-Jones, Anthropology, York University, Ontario
    Author: A Recursive Vision: Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson
  • Jesper Hoffmeyer, The Biosemiotics Group, Institute for Molecular Biology University of Copenhagen
    Author: Signs of Meaning in the Universe
  • Robert Ulanowicz, Theoretical Ecology, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
    Author: Ecology, The Ascendent Perspective

For more information, please contact Lene Fischer.

Celebrating Gregory Bateson's Centennial in 2004
Eminent anthropologist and systems theorist Gregory Bateson (1904-1980) would have been 100 years old this year. Nearly a quarter century after his death, much of his work is just beginning to be fully appreciated. During this centennial year, a series of discussions, events and publications will take a closer look at how Bateson challenged people to think in new ways and how his ideas continue to impact how we think in the 21st century.

October 28-30, 2004
National Museum of Ethnology Osaka, Japan
Mead's impact on the social uses of anthropological knowledge will be examined, with special reference to socialization, gender, ethnographic film, cultural policy and development. Mary Catherine Bateson, William O. Beeman and Wilton S. Dillon will be speaking.
Public Session 10/30/04: Anthropology in the Contemporary World: Toward a Greater Social Involvement
For info contact: Shinji Yamashita

South Pacific Ethnographic Archives:
The Library of Congress continues the challenging task of digitizing the papers, field notes, photographs and film footage in the Mead Collection. Next up: more than 25,000 feet of unedited film shot by Gregory Bateson in the South Pacific from 1936-1939, an integral part of these Archives. Dr. Patrick Loughney of the Library of Congress presents a Progress Report, reminding us: "It is fair to say that preserving a collection of this size and scope must be viewed as something of a generational undertaking." To support this project, please send donations to the IIS designated for the Film Preservation Project.

A Revolutionary New Technology - from In the Field - Mead and Bateson in Bayung Gede

Online Access to the South Pacific Ethnographic Archives: RLG Cultural Materials

Interplay of Cultures: Whither the US in the World?:
Tune in to an online symposium that explored contributions of history and the behavioral sciences to the understanding of rivals, adversaries, ourselves and our present and future allies. This two-day Mead2001 Centennial conference was presented in cooperation with the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution.

Pilot Projects and New Directions:
The IIS initiated a program in 2002-3 to partner with other institutions in encouraging new work on contemporary cultures. Two conferences were held, one at the New York Interfaith Center with City at Peace, on the theme of "Growing up Multicultural," and the other in partnership with Brown University's Watson Center on "Middle East Youth Culture." As part of our exploration of the role of the arts in intercultural communication, IIS has made several grants to City at Peace, a project using theater in working with youth. Members of City at Peace performed at the "Growing up Multicultural" conference.

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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.

©1999-2009 The Institute for Intercultural Studies, Inc.
All rights reserved. Mead/Bateson photo ©Fred Roll.