Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Claude Lévi-Strauss 1908-2009

The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss died on October 30, 2009 of cardiac arrest, just a few weeks before his 101st birthday. The father of structuralism and modern anthropology, and "one of the great intellectual heroes of the 20th century" (quotation by Philippe Descola, Collège de France) was born on November 28, 1908 in Brussels. He obtained advanced degrees in philosophy, literature and law at the University of Paris. While teaching sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he studied various tribes in Central Brazil. These ethnological studies later informed his groundbreaking theoretical work. In 1942 he emigrated from France to the United States and taught for several years at the New School for Social Research in New York. He returned to France after World War II and during his academic career published several influential books, namely Tristes Tropiques (1955), a memoir of his life in Brazil and the The Savage Mind (La Pensée Sauvage) (1962). For more information, see the obituary by Edward Rothstein in the New York Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment