Daily Archives: November 12, 2006

R.I.P. Clifford Geertz (1926-2006)

This may seem a peculiar thing to run on an eighteenth-century blog, but I only learned about it this weekend (no obit in my local paper), and dammit, he was a fine writer and essayist, and someone whose review essays I always enjoyed rereading in the NYRB. So here’s the official announcement from the Institute for Advanced Study:


I’ve always thought Geertz had an underestimated impact on literary and especially cultural studies with his notion of “thick description.” But that’s for another day. Pay tribute to the man, the next time you teach his “Balinese Cockfight” essay.

Best wishes,


PS: I forgot to mention that our Sharon has a nice post, with useful links, on her blog, Early Modern Notes, at