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Prof. Emeritus John Kaemmer Passes Away at Age 82

January 9, 2011

90528January 9, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — John E. Kaemmer, professor emeritus of anthropology at DePauw University, passed away January 4 in Concord, Massachusetts. A member of the DePauw faculty from 1975 to 1992, he was 82 years old.

Born in Great Falls, Montana, on August 29, 1928, Kaemmer earned a bachelor's degree in music from Willamette Univerity, attended the Boston University School of Theology, earned an M.A. from Scarritt College, an M.Div. from Garrett Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University - Bloomington, where his dissertation examined "The dynamics of a changing music system in rural Rhodesia."

Proficient in several languages, including Portuguese, French, Shona, Tshwa, and Kimbundu, Dr. Kaemmer taught at the Cambine School in Morrumbene, Mozambique from 1952-54; Quessa Normal School in Malange, Angola (1957-61); and Nyadiri Teacher Training College in Mutoko, Zimbabwe (1964-68) through programs administered by the United Methodist Board of Missions.  He was an 90530instructor at Indiana University in 1974-75 before coming to DePauw. He was named chair of the sociology and anthropology department in 1980.

The professor conducted field research in Zimbabwe on music and social organization from 1971 to 1973, and spent a 1982 sabbatical in Zimbabwe to research change in Shona music.  He received a Fulbright Award to lecture in Zimbabwe during the 1992-93 academic year and was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities grants as well as an award from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Kaemmer authored a textbook, Music in Human Life, and he contributed to the book Africa. His work was also published in Ethnomusicology; the University of Rhodesia's Bulletin of the Institute of Education; and the International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music

An online obituary may be accessed here.

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