Danny Yee >> Anthropology >> anthro-l >> Biographies

John McCreery

Who? Me.  Born in 1944 in Savannah, Georgia.  Grew up in Virginia, near
Yorktown where the last major battle of the American Revolution was
fought. Am old enough to have been to a segregated high school and to
have a fifth grade home teacher who (after we'd said the Lord's Prayer
and the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and sung the Star Spangled
Banner) made us sing Dixie. Grew up and turned my back on my parents'
(Lutheran) religion. Did philosophy as an undergraduate (Michigan
State) and a Ph.D. in anthropology (Cornell, 1973). Did fieldwork in
Taiwan, wrote a dissertation called "The Symbolism of Popular Taoist
Magic," taught four years at Middlebury College in Vermont. Didn't make
tenure.  Spent another year in Taiwan, then three years in New Haven,
CT, where Ruth (my wife) was doing a Ph.D. in Japanese literature at
Yale. Spent first two years househusbanding and taking care of daughter
Katie (who's now 17, going on 18, and deciding where to go to college).
The third year I found a job in the Yale Computer Science Department's
Artificial Intelligence Program and learned about computers. Then Ruth
got a grant that to brought us to Japan. A friend's introduction got me
an editor's job in a small translation cum corporate communications
company. A mutual interest in personal computers led to my meeting my
predecessor at Hakuhodo, Inc. (Japan's 2nd largest advertising agency),
where I started working as a copywriter and am now International
Creative Director. In the last couple of years, I've revived my
academic interests. I've got a paper ("Negotiating with Demons: The
Uses of Language in a Taoist Exorcism" ) accepted by American
Ethnologist that is scheduled to appear some time in 1995 and am
teaching a graduate seminar on "The Making and Meaning of Advertising"
at Sophia University in Tokyo. Ruth, Katie and I share space with four
Persian cats.

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