In Conversation: Marshall Sahlins

Monday, November 21, 2016 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Marshall Sahlins, a one-time colleague of Claude Lévi-Strauss, has been at the center of anthropology for more than five decades. Early work on “stone age economics” earned him the deserved reputation for defining and guiding disciplinary concerns—a role he continued to play in debates on, among other subjects, the culture concept, structure and agency, kinship, ethnographic precision and generalization, and, not least, Captain Cook. While his mark on anthropology has been deep, he has never been interested in leaving behind a school of thought—no “-ism” that can be attached to him, only to be discarded by later generations. Instead, he has embodied a practice of anthropology, coupled with an incisive mode of thinking, that has kept his work on the cutting edge and has influenced some of today’s most supple thinkers (David Graeber, Sherry Ortner, and countless others). Meanwhile, his publishing imprint, Prickly Paradigm, has brought out dozens of small pamphlets on unconventional subjects that have the potential to reach broader publics.

Michael Dietler, professor of anthropology and associated faculty in classics, will join him on his home turf for a conversation­—about a life in anthropology, activism, rabble-rousing, publishing, jokes and the serious things behind them, and much more. Marshall Sahlins will be reading from his forthcoming third edition of Waiting for Foucault, titled Still Waiting for Foucault, Yet --including some of his large compendium of unpublished letters to the New York Times.

At the Co-op


About the Author:

Marshall Sahlins is the Charles F. Grey Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of, most recently, What Kinship Is—And Is Not, The Western Illusion of Human Nature, Waiting for Foucault—Still, and Apologies to Thucydides. A festschrift, A Practice of Anthropology: On the Thought and Influence of Marshall Sahlins, edited by Alex Golub, Daniel Rosenblatt, and John D. Kelly, was released this year.

Event Location: 
Seminary Co-op Bookstore
5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637