J. Kenneth Smail
Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
20 Davis House
740-427-5815 fax email@example.com
Ken Smail's personal web page.
Professor Smail arrived at Kenyon in 1973, served as the department's first chair from 1973 to 1977, and played an instrumental role in the founding of Kenyon's Anthropology/Sociology program. Over the past 30-plus years, he has developed and taught the eight courses--two introductory and six upper-level--listed under "physical anthropology" in the Kenyon Course of Study. Professor Smail retired in June 2004, becoming the department's first Emeritus Professor of Anthropology. In March of 2006, an endowed chair was established in his name, The J. Kenneth Smail Professorship in Anthropology, thanks to a $2 million gift from the Eaton family of Cincinnati.
In addition to his primary interests in undergraduate teaching, Professor Smail has developed scholarly and professional interests in a number of areas: human evolution, both biological and behavioral; evolutionary theory and the emergence of complexity; current issues in secondary and higher education; the interface between science and religion; peace and conflict resolution studies; and issues related to human demography and global carrying capacity. Most of his published work over the past two decades has focussed on the latter two. He has developed and articulated his novel "peace hostage exchange" proposals in a number of papers and presentations in both the U.S. and abroad (Yugoslavia, India, Norway, Fiji, Canada, England) and has more recently published (in several venues) his long-held neo-Malthusian views on the need for a very significant reduction in global human numbers over the next one to two centuries.
Professor Smail's leisure time activities focus on music (from classical to barbershop), sports (tennis and indoor badminton), and relaxation (reading and puttering around the house). He and his wife Jane--formerly an adjunct instructor of piano at Kenyon--have two mid-30s children, Steve (Wooster: 1994) and Eric (Albion: 1998). Steve is currently a teacher/administrator at the University School of Nashville (high-school geology, filmmaking, website coordinator) and Eric has served as Program Director for several outdoor programs affliliated with the Catalina Island Marine Institute in California (experiential education: middle/high school).
J. Kenneth Smail's varied academic background, while not unusual for an anthropologist educated in the 1950s and 1960s, gives new meaning to the phrase "death by degrees." He earned his A.B. in 1960 from DePauw University, with an "area major" in Zoology, Botany, and Geology. During his three-year high school teaching career in the early 1960s, he acquired the first of his three Master's degrees, an M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh (1961: Secondary Education). By that time, he had discovered Anthropology--the "one true discipline"--and proceeded to acquire an M.A. from Indiana University in 1965, focussing primarily on physical anthropology and archaeology.
Following a three-year teaching stint (1966-69) at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Professor Smail enrolled at Yale University at the advanced age of 30, earning an M.Phil. in 1971 and -- at long last -- his Ph.D in 1976. Both Yale degrees were in the interdisciplinary Primate and Human Paleobiology program, an experimental combination of physical anthropology, vertebrate paleontology and evolutionary biology.
1995 "Gaining Natural Science Course Credit for Offerings in Physical/Biological Anthropology," FOSAP Newsletter, vol. 4, no. 1, Fall 1995 (Federation of Small Anthropology Programs).
1995 "Confronting the 21st Century's Hidden Crisis: Reducing Human Numbers By 80%," The NPG Forum, Negative Population Growth, Inc. August 1995 (ca. 24,000 copies of this essay circulated in late October).
1997 "The Giving of Hostages", Politics and The Life Sciences, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 77-85 (March).
1997 "Averting the 21st Century's Demographic Crisis: Can Human Numbers be Reduced by 75%?", Population and Environment, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 565-580 (July).
1997 "Beyond Population Stabilization: The Case for Dramatically Reducing Global Human Numbers", Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 183-196 (September).
1997 "Population Growth Seems to Affect Everything But Is Seldom Held Responsible For Anything", Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 231-236 (September).
Note: The above two papers were accompanied by 17 "Commentaries" contributed by an international group of scholars and public policy analysts (Politics and the Life Sciences, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 193-230).
2000 "Global Population Will Reach Crisis Proportions by 2050," in Population: Opposing Viewpoints, Editors, Opposing Viewpoints Series. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.
2001 "Let's Reduce Global Population", in Macionis, J.J. and N.V. Benokraitis, Seeing Ourselves: Classic, Contemporary and Cross-Cultural Readings in Sociology (5th edition). New York: Prentice-Hall.
2002 "Remembering Malthus: A Preliminary Argument for a Significant Reduction in Global Human Numbers," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 118, no. 3, pp. 292-297 (July).
2002 "Confronting A Surfeit of People: Reducing Global Human Numbers to Sustainable Levels (An Essay On Population Two Centuries After Malthus)," Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 21-50.
2003 "Remembering Malthus II: Establishing Sustainable Population Optimums," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 122, no. 3, pp. 287-294 (November).
2003 "Remembering Malthus III: Implementing a Global Population Reduction," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 123, no. 2, pp. 295-300 (February).
2003 "Contribution to the 2nd Footprint Forum, Part II," Optimum Population Trust Journal, vol. 3, no. 2, p. 12 (October).
2004 "Remembering Malthus: A Preliminary Argument for a Significant Reduction in Global Human Numbers," in Malthus, Thomas R., An Essay on the Principle of Population, 2nd edition (Norton Critical Edition, edited by Philip Appleman, pp. 274-283). New York: W.W. Norton.
2004 "Global Population Reduction: Confronting the Inevitable," World-Watch, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 58-59 (September/October).
2006 "Confronting the Twenty-First Century: Hidden Crisis: Reducing Human Numbers by 80 Percent," in Grant, Lindsey (ed.), The Case For Fewer People: The NPG Forum Papers, Santa Ana, California: Seven Locks Press.
2007 "Reducing Human Numbers by 80%," Balanced View, News Letter of World Population Balance (WPB), August 2007 (ca. 6000 circulation).
Courses TaughtANTH 110 Human Origins: Paleoanthropology
ANTH 111 Contemporary Humans: Bioanthropology
ANTH 320 Primate and Human Paleobiology: The Fossil Record
ANTH 321 Evolution and Human Evolution: History, Theory, and Current Issues
ANTH 322 Primate Behavior and Social Organization
ANTH 324 Biocultural Adaptation in Human Populations
ANTH 325 Human Osteology, Anthropometry & Forensic Anthropology
ANTH 326 Human Nature and Culture: Evolutionary Perspectives