The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies presents

Clifford Geertz and Ernest Gellner on North Africa and Islam: A Comparative Approach

featuring Lahouari Addi
Andrew Carnegie Centennial Fellow, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

Clifford Geertz and Ernest Gellner are considered two of the most influential anthropologists of North Africa and Maghribi Islam. Their fieldwork, conducted in the 1950s and 60s, provides insight into the dynamics of religious change in Maghribi societies, and assesses the relationship between Islam and nationalism in the postcolonial North African states. However, Geertz and Gellner approached their work with different methodologies: Geertz was influenced by Weber’s phenomenology, while Gellner favored Durkheim’s positivism. Dr. Addi's lecture will present, among other issues, the ramifications of this methodological divergence for academic research concerning North African societies.

Lahouari Addi is the 2013-14 Andrew Carnegie Centennial Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Dr. Addi holds a PhD in Sociology from Grenoble University in France and a Doctorat d'Etat from the Ecole des Hautes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France. He is currently a researcher at the Centre de Recherche en Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle (CRASC) in Oran, Algeria, and a professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques at the University of Lyon. He is the author of numerous books and articles, particularly on North Africa and political Islam, and most recently published "Deux anthropologues au Maghreb: Ernest Gellner et Clifford Geertz" (Paris: Editions des Archives Contemporaines, 2013).

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