“The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall”

Fri, January 19, 2024, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

820 Social Sciences Building, UC Berkeley

The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall:
Language, Memory, and Indigenous California

By Andrew Garrett


Friday, January 19, 3:30pm-5:00pm
820 Social Sciences Building, UC Berkeley

In January 2021, at a time when many institutions were reevaluating fraught histories, the University of California removed anthropologist and linguist Alfred Kroeber’s name from a building on its Berkeley campus. Critics accused Kroeber of racist and dehumanizing practices that harmed Indigenous people; university leaders repudiated his values. In The Unnaming of Kroeber Hall, Professor Andrew Garrett examines Kroeber’s work in the early 20th century and his legacy today, asking how a vigorous opponent of racism and advocate for Indigenous rights in his own era became a symbol of his university’s failed relationships with Native communities. Garrett argues that Kroeber’s most important work has been overlooked: his collaborations with Indigenous people throughout California to record their languages and stories.



  • Andrew Garrett, Professor of Linguistics, Nadine M. Tang and Bruce L. Smith Professor of Cross-Cultural Social Sciences, UC Berkeley Department of Linguistics
  • James Clifford, Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz
  • William Hanks, Berkeley Distinguished Chair in Linguistic Anthropology
  • Julian Lang, author, Ararapikva: Karuk Indian Literature from Northwest California
  • Leanne Hinton (moderator), Professor Emerita of Linguistics, UC Berkeley


Register to attend:

Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology, Department of Linguistics, Department of Ethnic Studies, Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, and Native American Studies.

This event will be presented in-person and will not be livestreamed. If you require an accommodation for effective communication (ASL interpreting/CART captioning, alternative media formats, etc.) or information about campus mobility access features in order to fully participate in this event, contact Chuck Kapelke at with as much advance notice as possible.