Tributes to
J. Desmond Clark


I had the privilege of taking an undergraduate Anthropology class given by Desmond Clark at Berkeley in 1961. The class,
Technology and Invention, was one of my favorites because of Desmond's profound knowledge, and because he brought objects --
spears, hand axes, baskets, etc. -- to nearly every lecture and encouraged the students to examine them. In 1967, Desmond served on my Ph.D. committee. At my oral exam, he brought in a bow and several arrows from Africa, and asked me to explain everything that could be deduced about the people who made and used them. The question was a total surprise to me but I was prepared, for he had taught me how to look at objects. I realize now, more than three decades later, what a great gift this was. Desmond knew how to look at objects, and to see in them important clues about the people and cultures that had produced them. He shared with his students and colleagues not only this wonderful approach, but also the pleasure of learning in this way. He was an extraordinary scholar, a gifted teacher, and a truly remarkable man. I will miss him.

-Christopher B. Donnan, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles