Person and Myth

Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World

Person and Myth
Book Pages: 288 Illustrations: 20 photographs, 1 map Published: July 1992

Author: James Clifford

Subjects
Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, General Interest > Biography, Letters, Memoirs, Religious Studies

Originally published in 1982, James Clifford's analytical biography of Maurice Leenhardt (1878–1954)—missionary, anthropologist, founder of French Oceanic studies, historian of religion, and colonial reformer—received wide critical acclaim for its insight into the colonial history of anthropology. Drawing extensively on unpublished letters and journals, Clifford traces Leenhardt's life from his work as a missionary on the island of New Caledonia (1902–1926) to his subsequent return to Paris where he became an academic anthropologist at the École Practique des Hautes Études, where he followed Marcel Mauss and was succeeded in 1951 by Claude Lévi-Strauss. Clifford sees in Leenhardt's career a foreshadowing of contemporary anthropological concerns with reflexivity, cultural hybridity, and colonial and post-colonial entanglements.

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James Clifford, Professor in the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the author of The Predicament of Culture and coeditor (with George Marcus) of Writing Culture.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1264-2
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