History, Culture and Ethnography: Jack Goody, Clifford Geertz and Philippe Descola is a collection of interviews that is being published as a book for the first time. These interviews have been conducted by one of England’s leading social anthropologists and historians, Professor Alan Macfarlane.
Filmed over a period of several years, the three conversations in this volume are part of the series Creative Lives and Works. These transcriptions form a part of a larger set of interviews that cut across various disciplines, from the social sciences and the sciences to the performing and visual arts. The current volume is on three of the world’s most eminent social and cultural anthropologists.
These conversations focus primarily on fieldwork experience in Ghana, Indonesia and Amazonia and how new dimensions and interpretations were added to the discipline of sociology and social anthropology. While Jack Goody and Clifford Geertz gave a new turn and depth to the disciple through their experiences in West Africa and Indonesia, Philippe Descola, who belongs to the succeeding generation of anthropologists, added human-nature interactions into the mix.
This book talks about both overcoming and understanding the importance of taking into account linguistic, historical, economic and cultural elements in the study of these societies through engaging conversations and occasional anecdotes. Immensely riveting as conversations, this collection gives one a flavour of the many different societies and cultures in far-flung reaches of the world encompassing several continents, often with no knowledge of each other’s existence, and a taste of how expansive the discipline of sociology and social anthropology are.
The book will be of enormous value not just to those interested in the fields of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Ethnography, but also those with an interest in History, Philosophy, Comparative Religion and Cultural Studies.
Please note: This title is co-published with Social Science Press, New Delhi. Taylor & Francis does not sell or distribute the Hardback in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Table of Contents
Jack Goody: Some Personal Memories – Alan Macfarlane Jack Goody – In conversation with Eric Hobsbawm
My Encounter with Clifford Geertz – Alan Macfarlane Clifford Geertz – In conversation with Alan Macfarlane
My Encounter with Philippe Descola – Alan Macfarlane Philippe Descola – In conversation with Alan Macfarlane
Alan Macfarlane was born in Shillong, India, in 1941 and educated at the Dragon School, Sedbergh School, Oxford and London Universities where he received two Master’s degrees and two doctorates. He is the author of over forty books, including The Origins of English Individualism (1978) and Letters to Lily: On How the World Works (2005). He has worked in England, Nepal, Japan and China as both an historian and anthropologist. He was elected to the British Academy in 1986 and is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and a Life Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. Professor Macfarlane received the Huxley Memorial Medal, the highest honour of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 2012.
Eric Hobsbawm was a British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism and nationalism. A life-long Marxist, his socio political convictions influenced the character of his work. Hobsbawm was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and spent his childhood mainly in Vienna and Berlin. Following the death of his parents and the rise to power of Adolf Hitler, Hobsbawm moved to London with his adoptive family. After serving in the Second World War, he obtained his PhD in history at the University of Cambridge. In 1998, he was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour. He was President of Birkbeck, University of London, from 2002 until he died. In 2003, he received the Balzan Prize for European History since 1900 ‘for his brilliant analysis of the troubled history of 20th century Europe and for his ability to combine in-depth historical research with great literary talent’. His best-known works include his trilogy about what he called the ‘long 19th century’ (The Age of Revolution: Europe 1789–1848, The Age of Capital: 1848–1875 and The Age of Empire: 1875–1914), The Age of Extremes on the short 20th century, and an edited volume that introduced the influential idea of ‘invented traditions’. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hobsbawm