Michael D. Jackson (Harvard) presents the Clifford Geertz Commemorative Lecture
"Unhinged Signs, Cracked Walls and the Rage for Order: Reflections on Art and Anthropology"
There are moments in Clifford Geertz’s anthropological work when he touches on the limitations of the culture concept as well as his conception of anthropology as a semiotic or hermeneutic method for interpreting cultural codes and shared symbols. The assumption that human experience is not only mediated by culture but culturally scripted, culturally produced and culturally pre-programmed risks giving the impression, Geertz notes, that our lives unfold in flat and “frictionless” worlds “where no one fears or remembers or hopes or imagines, nobody murders or rescues or revolts or consoles.” My talk looks at how we may address what Geertz calls “the existential dilemmas” and “hard surfaces” of life, and (again using his own words) “engage some sort of felt life, which might as well be called experience?”
Location: 219 Aaron Burr Hall
Date/Time: 02/22/12 at 4:30 pm - 02/22/12 at 6:30 pm