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Grant number like: TD-261066-18

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Center for Independent Documentary, Inc. (Boston, MA 02135-1032)
Nancy D. Kates (Project Director: January 2018 to present)
Ruth and Margaret

Development of a feature-length documentary on the lives and careers of anthropologists Margaret Mead (1901–78) and Ruth Benedict (1887–1948).

Ruth and Margaret is a feature-length documentary exploring the lives and work of anthropologists Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. They were friends, colleagues, muses for each other, and for a period in the 1920s and ‘30s, they were also passionately in love. Mead’s life has been well documented, but the film tells the unknown story of her relationship with Benedict, and how it shaped their groundbreaking work on sexuality, gender and race. The film incorporates interviews, archival material and recreations, and is intended for a PBS audience, schools, universities, film festivals and online distribution. The production is based on the Benedict Papers at Vassar College, the Margaret Mead Papers at the LOC, and other primary and secondary sources, including extensive archival media, still and print sources. Primary project activities include archival research, consultation with humanities advisors, drafting a script, creating a project website, and researching potential interviewees.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Anthropology; Intellectual History; Women's History

Media Projects Development

Public Programs

$75,000 (approved)
$65,425 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2018 – 11/30/2020