This past year Haviland has been spending as much time as possible in Chiapas, where Lourdes de Le˘n and their twelve-year-old daughter, Isa, have been living. De Le˘n, a specialist in language acquisition who formerly taught at Reed, has been working as director of the local center of the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en AntropologĦa Social (CIESAS), the Mexican research institute where both she and Haviland have worked for several years. Haviland has just taken a joint appointment with CIESAS; he will be working there on breaks and during the summer while he teaches at Reed.
Many other projects occupy Haviland, a man who never seems to stop moving. Among other pursuits, he is working on a study of gestures that accompany speech, including the gestures of infants. He has worked on a pilot project in Chiapas to teach linguistics to speakers of different Mayan languages, an experience that taught them how closely related their languages are. In the end, Haviland retains a clear perspective on where he fits into these many families and many homes in many places. "You don't kid yourself as an anthropologist that you ever really become a native," he said. "That's not a sensible thing to do, and it's not possible either. But I think you can incorporate the lives of the people you work with into your life and open your life to them."
Nadine Fiedler '89, assistant editor of Reed, says that the hardest class she took at Reed was John Haviland's course on Tzotzil.