Yale's Seminar on the Impact of Culture and Personality and Its Legacies


ACLS Fellowship Program


American Studies


The project explores the international significance of the field called "culture and personality studies" in the 1930s. It focuses on a unique academic experiment of this era: the "Seminar on the Impact of Culture on Personality" held at Yale University during the 1932-33 school year. Sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and led by linguistic anthropologist Edward Sapir and social psychologist John Dollard, this seminar brought 13 foreign scholars to New Haven to spend one year working together. This project reassesses the global ramifications of this seminar in particular, and of "culture and personality studies" more generally, by analyzing the work later produced by seminar participants when they returned home to nearly a dozen different countries.