Alphabetical, by last name
David E. Apter (1924-2010)
In Memoriam: David Apter, Expert on the Birth of Developing Nations, Yale University Office of Public Affairs
New York Times obituary
Universities of Warsaw and Leeds
Zygmunt Bauman is known throughout the world for works such as Legislators and Interpreters (1987), Modernity and the Holocaust (1989), Modernity and Ambivalence (1991) and Postmodern Ethics (1993). He is the author of some 21 books in English and of numerous articles and reviews. His reputation, although already well-established by the 1970s in Western Europe and North America as well as throughout the then Eastern Bloc, grew at an especially rapid rate in the late 1980s, and today he is described variously as one of the twentieth century’s great social theorists and the world’s foremost sociologist of postmodernity. Even this second designation may, however, belong in the past, because Bauman’s thought is always moving on to break new ground. Suffice it to say that his undeniable success is built not only on his powers of creative thought and analysis and his superb sociological acumen, but also on his literary skill as a writer and expositor. Zygmunt Bauman was awarded the Amalfi European Prize in 1990 and the Adorno Prize in 1998.
Robert N. Bellah
University of California at Berkeley
Robert Neelly Bellah is an American sociologist and educator, who for 30 years served as professor of sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. His books on the sociology of religion, including Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post-Traditional World (1970), The Broken Covenant (1975), Habits of the Heart (1985), and The Good Society (1991), have shaped the discipline. In 1985, Habits of the Heart won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for “Current Interest” and, in 1986, was a Jury Nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-fiction. In 2000, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Clinton.
Peter Brooks has published on narrative and narrative theory, and, most recently, on the interrelations of law and literature. He is the author of several books, including Troubling Confessions: Speaking Guilt in Law and Literature (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Psychoanalysis and Storytelling (Blackwell, 1994), Body Work (Harvard University Press, 1993), Reading for the Plot (Knopf, 1984), and The Melodramatic Imagination (Yale University Press, 1976). He co-edited, with Paul Gewirtz, Laws Stories (Yale University Press, 1996) and, with Alex Woloch, Whose Freud? (Yale University Press, 2000). His essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, the London Review of Books, Critical Inquiry, New Literary History, the Yale Law Journal, and elsewhere. Brooks taught at Yale University from 1965-2004, concluding his time there as Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature & French (2001-04). He directed Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center from 1980-91 and 1996-2001, and chaired the Department of Comparative Literature from 1991-97. Brooks has served as a visiting professor at Harvard University, the University of Texas, Austin, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Bologna, and the Georgetown University Law Center, and as Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School. He was a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School in 1994. During the 2001-2002 academic year, he was Eastman Professor at Oxford University, and Fellow of Balliol College.
Mary Douglas (1921-2007)
University College of London
Dame Mary Douglas was a British anthropologist, known for her writings on human culture and symbolism. Her area was social anthropology; she was considered a follower of Durkheim and a proponent of structuralist analysis, with a strong interest in comparative religion.
Shmuel N. Eisenstadt (1923-2010)
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Obituary by Jeffrey Alexander and Bernhard Giesen from the American Sociological Association Newsletter Footnotes
Clifford Geertz (1926–2006)
Institute for Advanced Study
Clifford Geertz conducted extensive ethnographical research in Southeast Asia and North Africa. He also contributed to social and cultural theory and was influential in turning anthropology toward a concern with the frames of meaning within which various peoples live out their lives. He worked on religion, most particularly Islam, on bazaar trade, on economic development, on traditional political structures, and on village and family life. His latest work involved the general question of ethnic diversity and its implications in the modern world.
Comprehensive website on Clifford Geertz
Born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929, Geoffrey Hartman was placed on a Kindertransport to England in 1939. He spent the war years on the estate of James Rothschild in Waddeston with nineteen other boys. Reunited with his mother in the United States in 1945, he attended Queens College and earned his Ph.D. at Yale where he taught for almost forty years before retiring as Sterling Professor of English and Comparative Literature. Professor Hartman became acquainted with the Holocaust Survivors Film Project through his wife’s participation and recognized the research and educational value of the testimonies. With the support of Yale’s president, A. Bartlett Giamatti, almost 200 testimonies were deposited at the Sterling Memorial Library in 1981. As faculty advisor and project director to the Fortunoff Video Archive, Professor Hartman has been actively involved in its growth and has written extensively about the Archive and its work.
Michael Holquist graduated from the Yale Graduate School in 1968, after a checkered undergraduate career (interrupted by 3 1/2 years in Army Intelligence). He was amember of the Slavic Department from 1968 to 1975, when he became Chair of the Slavic Department at University of Texas, Austin, and from 1980 to 1986 Chair of the Slavic Department at Indiana University. In 1986 He returned to Yale with a joint appointment in comparative literature and Slavic. His publications include articles on a wide variety of topics (utopian fiction, detective stories, Lewis Carroll’s nonsense, plus several Russian writers). After his first book, Dostoevsky and the Novel, he devoted himself for a number of years to the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, translating and editing four volumes: The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays; Speech Genres and Other Late Essays; Art and Answerability: Early Philosophical Essays by Mikhail Bakhtin; and Toward a Philosophy of the Act. He also wrote a biography of Bakhtin – Mikhail Bakhtin — with Katerina Clark, and Dialogism: Bakhtin and his World. Professor Holquist has taught courses on the modern European novel, literary theory, and is currently at work on a book devoted to modern German and Russian philology. He is also interested in fostering closer relations between Comparative Literature and International Studies, in connection with which he serves as Co-Chair (with Arjun Appadurai of the Crossing Borders initiative at Yale).
University of Chicago
Marshall Sahlins is presently doing research focused on the intersection of culture and history, especially as those play out in early-modern Pacific societies. He recently published a book of his anthropological and political essays ranging from the 60s through the 90s, and is working on two others: a set of studies in history and historiography and a multi-volume work on “The Polynesian War,” a history of the great Fijian War, 1843-1855. From time to time he drops these ethnographic particularities for high-flying cultural theory.
New York University
Richard Schechner is an artist, scholar, and editor. Schechner specializes in being a generalist, a comparativist, and a performance theorist linking the arts, popular culture, and the sciences. Founder of several theatre groups, he is presently artistic director of East Coast Artists with whom his most recent works are a new play, Yokastas, and a dramatization of Paul Auster’s novel Timbuktu (both co-authored with Saviana Stanescu). Schechner is editor of TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies, on the editorial boards of several other journals, and general editor of two book series, one for Routledge and the other for Seagull Books (co-edited with Carol Martin). He has directed plays, lectured, and conducted performance workshops in Asia, South Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Schechner is an honorary professor of the Shanghai Theatre Academy where he leads the “Richard Schechner Center.” Schechner’s books include Environmental Theater, Between Theater and Anthropology, The End of Humanism, Performance Theory, The Future of Ritual, and Performance Studies – An Introduction, and Over, Under, and Around. Currently he is working on two books: Ramlila of Ramnagar and After the Avantgarde.