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The New Cultural History$
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Lynn Hunt

Print publication date: 1989

Print ISBN-13: 9780520064287

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520064287.001.0001

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Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond

Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond

Chapter:
(p.72) Three Local Knowledge, Local History: Geertz and Beyond
Source:
The New Cultural History
Author(s):

Lynn Hunt

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520064287.003.0004

This chapter presents an account of Clifford Geertz and his “interpretation of cultures.” It turns to Marshall Sahlins and his Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities. It also suggests that a dose of Sahlins might be salutary for future work on the history of culture, given his “rethinking” of structure and event, or structure and history, in dialectical terms that rejuvenate both halves. It then reviews Geertz's influence on the textualizing move in anthropology and shows how the concerns of anthropologists are intersecting increasingly with those of historians of culture. In Historical Metaphors, questions of genesis and meaning become intertwined. Historical Metaphors and Writing Culture propose alternate routes to the historicization of a field that, until recently, had ignored Frederick Maitland's dictum and charted ahistorical, even antihistorical, courses.

Keywords:   Clifford Geertz, Marshall Sahlins, Historical Metaphors, Writing Culture, anthropology, historicization

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