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No names. Enclosed is the Book Review from Checkout Your Cart Price. Description Details Customer Reviews Clifford Geertz, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, here discusses some of the most urgent issues facing intellectuals today. Review This Product No reviews yet - be the first to create one! Need help?

Partners MySchool Discovery. Subscribe to our newsletter Some error text Name. Email address subscribed successfully. A activation email has been sent to you. Please click the link in that email to activate your subscription. Sitemap Index. Had 1 been turned down, 1 probably would have gone to work for che telephone company, tried to write in che evenings, forgotten che whole thing, and we should all have heen spared che present occasion. Antioch, between and , was, at first glance, the very model of chal most deeply American, and to my mind most thor-oughly admirable, of educational insticutions-che small, small town, vaguely Christian, even more vaguely populist, liberal arts college.

With fewer than a thousand students, only about half of them on campus ar a time che other half were off working some-where, in Chicago, New York, Detroit, and che like , seventy-five or eighty live-in, on-call, faculty members, and wedged in between che woods and che railroad tracks in Yellow Springs, Ohio population 2, , it looked, all lattice arbors and brick chimneys, as though ic had been set up on an MGM back lot for Judy and Mickey, or perhaps Harold Lloyd, to play out che passage from home-fumbling at sex, attempting alcohol, driving abcut in open cars, conning fuddled professors, trying en outrageous selves.

There was some of chal, but che place was a good deal more serious, not to say grave, than either its looks or its location suggested. Utopian, exper-imental, nonconformist, painfully earnest, desperately intense, and filled with political radicals and aeschecic free spirits or were they aesthetic radicals and political free spirits? As 1 wanred to be a writer, 1 thought, abnwdli; ol course, that 1 aIwidd majar in English. But 1 found even that constraining, and so savicched to philosophy, toward whose re-quirements virtually any class 1 happened into-musicology, for ex-ample, or fiscal policy-could be counred.

The result of all Chis searching, sampling, and staying loose though, as 1 noted, 1 did manage to ger married in che course of it all was that, when 1 carne ro graduare, 1 had no more sense of what 1 might do to ger on in che world [han 1 had had when 1 entered. But, as Antioch, fui oil as bent toward moral strenuousness and che pracrical life, was neither a seminary nor a trade school, that was hardly the point. What one was supposed co obtain there, and what 1 certainly did obrain, was a feeling for what Hopkins called "all things counter, original, spare, strange"-for rhe irregularity of what happens, and rhe rarity of what lasts.

This was, after all, "the ignoble fifties," when, rhe story has it, the public square was empty, everyone was absorbed in wirchhunts and selfish pursuits, and all was gray upon gray, when it wasn't suburban technicolor.

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But that is not how 1 remember tt. How 1 remenber it is as a time of Jamesian intensity, a time when, given rhe sense that everything could disap-pear in a thermonuclear momear, becoming someone upon whom nothing was los[ was a tir more urgen[ matter ehan laying plans and a Chapter 1 arranging amhirions.

One mighr be los[ or helpless, or racked with onrological anxiery; bur one could tn,, at Ieasc, uot to he obtuse. However thac may he, as che place was, alas, graduating me, it was necessary ro depart and go elsewhere. The question was: wherc, elsewhere? Wirh nothing substancial in sighr in the way of a job none of the people 1 had worked for wanted ever ro see me again , 1 thought ir expedient to rake shelter in graduare schuol, and my wife, Hildred, anorher displaced English major unprepared for "rhe real world," thought she mighr do so as well.

But, once again, 1 didn't know how to go about accomplishing Chis, and as 1 had used up my G. Bill, 1 was-we were-again without resources. So 1 replayed my '46 scenario and asked anorher unstandard academic, a charismatic, disenchanted philosophy professor named George Gei-ger, who had been Lou Gehrig's backup on che Columbia baseball team and John Dewey's las[ graduare student, what 1 should do.

He said also approximately : "Don't go into philosophy; it has fallen into the hands of Thomists and technicians. You should try anthropology. Geiger, it tran-spired, had been in contact with Clyde Kluckhohn, a professor of anthropology at Harvard who was engaged with some colleagues in developing an experimental , interdisciplinary department there called "Social Relations," in which cultural anthropology was con-joined not with archaeology and physical anthropology as was, and unfortunately still is, normally the case, but with psychology and sociology.

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That, he said, would be just che place for me. But what clinched che matcer was that chis is che part you may have some trouble believing che American Council of Learned Societies had just insrituted an also experimental first-year graduare fellowship program.

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The fellowships were to be awarded, one per institution, by a selected faculty member at a liberal arts college to his or her most promising student. Geiger or "Mr. He rhought me, he said, no more unpromising dan anyone else around, so if 1 wanred rhe fcllowship 1 could have ir. As che stipend was unusually generous for rhe times, indeed, for any times, it could support both myself and Hildred not just for one year bur for two.

So we applied ro SocRel and, again, nowhere clse , were admitted, and, ,after another strange sunrmer in San Francisco, trying ro pick up pieces that would have been better left dropped, wenr off ro Camhridge Mass. But at full throrrle, ir was a wild and crazy ride, if you cared for thar sori of rhing and could contrive not to fall off ar che sharper rurns. My stay in rhe deparrment was, in une sense, quite brief-two hectic years in residence!

But in another sensc, as 1 was in and out of che place for a decade, wriring a thesis, pursuing research projects, smdying for orals "How do dicy break horses arnong che Black-foot?

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Afrcr a ycar being broughr up to speed, nor only in anthropology, bur in sociology, social psychology, clini-cal psychology, and staristics, hy che Jominant figures in those fields Kluckhohn, Talcott Parsons, Gordon Allport, Henry Murray, Fred-erick Mosteller, and Sanwcl Sroufter , another checking out whar the other insurrecrionisrs ahrnrt rhe place were plotring Jerome Bruner, Alex Inkeles, David Schncider, ;corge Homans, Barrington Moore, Eron Vogt, Pitrim Sorokin And once again, 1 caught che wave.

An interdisciplinary re-search team, handsomely funded by che Ford Foundation in the open-handed way that foundation funded ambitious, off-beat en-terprises in its heroic, early days before its namesake's namesake discovered what was happening, was being organized under the combined, if rather uncertain, auspices of the social relations de-parrment, the even more newly formed, more obscurely funded, and more mysteriously intended Center for International Studies at MIT and Gadjah Mada, che revolutionary university serting up shop in a sultan's palace in just-independent Indonesia-a grand consortium of che visionary, che ominous, and che inchoate.

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They were to go to central Java to carry out, in cooperation wirh a matching group from Gadjah Mada, a long-terco intensive study of a small, upcountry town. Hildred and 1, who had hardly begun to think seriously, amid all out rushing to catch up on things, about where we might do fieldwork, were asked one aftemoon by che team's fac-ulty director who, in che event, deserted rhe enrerprise, myste-riously claiming illness whether we would consider joining che project-she, to study family lile, 1, to study religion. As improbably and as casually as we had become anthropologists, and just about as innocently, we became Indonesianisrs.

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  8. And so it goes: the rest is postscript, che working out of a hap-penstance fase. Two and a half years living wirh a railroad laborer's family in Java's volcano-ringed rice bowl, che Brantas River plain, while che country raced, via free eeections, toward cold war convul-sion and impassive killing fields. Return to Cambridge to write a thesis on Javanese religious life under che direction of Cora DuBois, an eminent Southeast Asianist who had been appoinred while 1 was away as the first woman professor in che departmenr and che sec-ond, 1 think, in all of Harvard. Return to Indonesia, this time to Bali and Sumatra and further political melodrama, culminating in S C 1apterj hassageciad J- cciderat ea 9 A crur recuher. Quine, Ed-wanl Jhils, C? A year at Berkeley, as the sixties ignired. Africa, parr of the rime off in an aneient walled rocen in the 'ulorocean Middle Atlas, studying ba-zaars, mosques, olive growing, and oral poetry and supervising stu-dents' doctoral research. And finally as 1 am seventy-rhree, and unretired, ir surely musr be finally , nearly rhirry years at the Insti-tute for Advanced Srudy in Princeton, struggling m keep an uncon-ventional School of Social Science going in the face of-how shall 1 pus it'.

    And all of tus, in the same fono and che same rhythm shas 1 have by now, 1 am sure, wearied you wirh to the point uf skepticism: a mo-menr of confusion tmd uucerrainty of direction, an unlooked for opportuniry dropped carelessly at my feet, a change of place, task, self, and intellectual ambiente. A charmed life, in a charmed time. An errant career, mercurial, various, free, instructive, and flor all that badly paid. The question is: Is such a life and such a career available now? In che Age of Adjuncrs?

    When graduare students refer to them-selves as "the pre-unemployed"? When few of rhem are willing to go off for years in che hush and live on raro or even che equivalen in che Bronx or Bavaria , and che few who are willing find funding scarce for such irrelevante? Has the bubble burst? The wave run out? The tnatter js sub judice, and aging scholars, like aging parents and retired arhletes, tend to see the present as che past devirali-cd, all loss and faithlessness and failing away. But rhere does seem to be a fair amount of malaise about, a cense shas things are tight and growing tighrer, an academic under-class is forming, and it is probable nor altogether wise just now to cake unnecessary chances, strjke new directions, or offend the powers.

    Tenure is harder to ger 1 understand it mkes rwo hooks now, ami God knows how mane lerrers, many of which 1 have, alas, to write , and the process has hecome so extended as to exhaust the energies and dampen the ambirions of rhose caught up in it. Teach-ing loads are heavier; students are less well prepared; administrators, imagining themselves CEOs, are absorbed wirh efficiency and the bottom line.

    Scholarship is thinned and merchandized, and flung finto hyperspace. As 1 say, 1 do nor know how much of chis js accu-tate, or, to the degree that it is accurare, how much ir represents but a passing condition, soon ro right itself; how much an inevitable retrenchment from an abnotmal, unsustainable high, the smoothing of a blip; how much a sea-change, an alteration , rich and srrange, in the structure of chances and possibilities.

    All 1 know is that, up until just a few years ago, 1 blithely, and perhaps a bit fatuously, used to tell students and younger colleagues who asked how to get anead in out odd occupation that they should stay loose, Cake risks, resist the cleared path, avoid careerism , go their own way, and that if they did so, if they kept at it and remained alert, optimistic, and loyal to the truth, my experience was that they could ger away wirh morder, could do as they wish, have a valuable life, and nonetheless prosper.

    G tanging the Subject Everyone knows what cultural anthropology is about: ir's about cul-ture. The trouble is that no one is quite sure what culture js.