(UPDATE: the official release is “here from the IAS website”:http://ias.edu/Newsroom/announcements/Uploads/view.php?cmd=view&id=354)
(UPDATE UPDATE: here are obituaries from the “Washington Post”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/01/AR2006110103273.html and “New York Times”:http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/01/obituaries/01geertz.html?_r=1&oref=slogin)
This from a grad student of mine — I’ve no independent confirmation yet but it seems unlikely to be a hoax. It seems like one of our best-known and best-loved scholars has passed. Here’s the email I was forwarded:
To the Institute Community,
I am very sorry to have to tell you of the sad news of the passing early this morning of Professor Emeritus Clifford Geertz.
Cliff was founding professor of the School of Social Science, who joined the Faculty in September 1970. He was the Harold F. Linder Professor from 1982 until 2000, when he obtained emeritus status. His work spanned the fields of cultural anthropology, religion and social theory, and his most recent research concerned the question of ethnic diversity and its implications in the modern world. Among his many honors, in 2002 he received the Award of Meritorious Achievements from the Indonesian government and in 1992 was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize.
Prior to joining the Institute, Cliff was Professor of Social Anthropology and Chairman of the Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations at the University of Chicago. He was a visiting lecturer at Princeton University from 1975-2000, Eastman Professor at Oxford University from 1978-1979, and in 1984 a Fellow of the International Interchange Program of the Japan Society.
Cliff will be greatly missed, and we extend our deep sympathy to his wife, Dr. Karen Blu, and to his children, Erika and Benjamin.