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Person and Myth Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World by James Clifford

Person and Myth Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World

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Person and Myth Maurice Leenhardt in the Melanesian World by James Clifford

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 Drawing extensively on unpublished letters and journals, Clifford traces Leenhardt's life from his work as a missionary on the island of New Caledonia (1902-1926) to his subsequent return to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 Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes, where he followed Marcel Mauss and was succeeded in 1951 by Claude Levi-Strauss. Clifford sees in Leenhardt's career a foreshadowing of contemporary anthropological concerns with reflexivity, cultural hybridity, and colonial and post-colonial entanglements.


oCliffordOs magisterial biography should make Leenhardt as familiar to us as any other founding father.O --Michael W. Young, Oceania

About the Author

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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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 1992


James Clifford

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Duke University Press


288 pages





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