William E. ArensProfessor
Dean, International Academic Programs
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1970
William Arens' present research is primarily literary in character.
The first project involves an analysis of the travel literature available
in English on Sweden and Scandinavia from the 18th to 20th centuries to
determine the shifting image of these countries in other nations of the
Western world. Sweden in particular has served initially as a model for a
society based upon an accommodation with nature and then one which
subsequently developed a contested model of an industrialized social system.
The second project is a continuation of the deconstruction of the medical
literature on kuru and its relationship to presumed cannibalism in the
Highlands of Papua New Guinea. This research and argumentation has
implications for a present cultural understanding of new BSE diseases,
(Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) including Mad Cow Disease, in the
industrialized west. There is also a continued interest in the social
development of a community in Tanzania that was initiated as Ph.D. field
research and has been the subject of a follow-up study by a current IDPAS
student as a dissertation topic.