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Marquesan Phrasebook


About M

Emily Donaldson first became interested in anthropology at the age of 6 or 7.  Subjected to (in her eyes) horribly strict television rules as a kid, she was allowed to watch only two shows: The Muppet Show and National Geographic.  With time, these two sources of information helped to cultivate: a) her love of quirky humor, and b) her love of adventure.  Both have since found a playground in anthropology, which relies heavily upon both qualities.  At the end of the day, seeking to understand cultural difference is one of the greatest adventures of all.  

Emily received her BA from Harvard in social anthropology and archaeology (2003), and an MA in the social sciences from the University of Chicago (2006).  Her previous jobs include farm hand, archaeologist, writer, teacher, swim instructor, and, most recently, landscape historian.  In 2011 she accepted McGill University's offer to attend their doctoral program in Anthropology.  She travels regularly to the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia as Assistant Director of an archaeological field school and as a visiting lecturer on board the combined cruise ship and freighter, Aranui III.  

The bulk of Emily's anthropological fieldwork has been in the Marquesas, though she has also worked in Copan, Honduras.  She has been traveling to the Marquesas annually since 2001, and lived there for three months in 2002 while conducting research for her undergraduate honors thesis.  She has published two articles on island culture.  In 2006 she formally began research for her book, The Marquesan Phrasebook / Livre des phrases marquisiennes, to help encourage interest in the unique language of the islands and stimulate communication between visitors and islanders.  

As a landscape historian, Emily has specialized in the history of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, Manassas, Virginia and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.




Good jokes?

Please contact Ms. Donaldson at: emilyd@emilydonaldson.org.