Re: [xmca] :-(( The Passing of Clifford Geertz

From: Carol Macdonald (
Date: Thu Nov 02 2006 - 02:35:37 PST

Yep, one of my heroes (if one can say this without diminishing oneself) and
I always told my students that he was not paraphrasable or summarisable. I
used to use his "Interpretation of Cultures" as an example of ethnography at
the beginning of teaching them cultural psych. I loved to freak them out
(new on the course) by telling them that one of the remarks of his "Comment
on ""asking innocent people abstruse questions"" (not accurate but couldn't
find the source this morning) would be in their exam paper.. My students
would look at me with horror, because they had not been initiated into the
daunting task of making the unclear clear, in as far as we are able.

Last year a student who is a professional editor kept reminding us that
everybody attributes "thick description" to Geertz, as Geertz got it from
Ryle. But Geertz gave it substance.

We salute you Clifford Geertz. We need some more extraordinarily gifted
people to cheer us on our journey.


On 11/1/06, Jay Lemke <> wrote:
> Very sad, a great loss to us all.
> I knew him a bit when I was a student at Chicago. Kind to students,
> very thoughtful and unhurried, with a droll and wonderful sense of
> humor. His early work influenced me a lot. Now it's a finished oeuvre
> and I have some catching up to do. He was, also, along with Bruner,
> one of the great prose stylists of the human sciences, and a good, if
> inimitable, model for students.
> Thank you, Cliff!
> jay.
> At 08:08 PM 10/31/2006, you wrote:
> >Damn!
> >
> >
> >
> >mike
> >_______________________________________________
> >xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> >
> Jay Lemke
> Professor
> University of Michigan
> School of Education
> 610 East University
> Ann Arbor, MI 48109
> Tel. 734-763-9276
> Email.
> Website. <>
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list
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