International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

«  Philippe Descola. Entretien avec Lucienne Strivay  »

Philippe Descola & Lucienne Strivay
Full reference

“Philippe Descola. Interview with Lucienne Strivay”, collection “L’Ethnologie en héritage”, n°11, director : Gilles Le Mao ; producers : Gilles Le Mao & Stéphane Jourdain /La Huit, 2012, 180 min.

Philippe Descola, professor at the Collège de France, studied philosophy at the École normale supérieure de Saint-Cloud and ethnology at the École pratique des hautes études where he prepared his thesis under the direction of Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose laboratory he now heads. At the very beginning of his career, from 1976 to 1979, he conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Jivaro Achuar Indians in the Ecuadorian Amazon forest. He studied how the Achuar identify the beings of nature to which they attribute human characteristics and the types of relationships they maintain with them. Gradually extending his thinking to other societies, he developed a comparative anthropology of the way human societies conceive of the relationships between humans and non-humans and the continuities and discontinuities that unite or differentiate them. The exhibition he curated at the musée du quai Branly, “La Fabrique des images”, in 2011, brought his work to a wide audience. Since 2011, he has been working on an anthropology of landscape by identifying principles of iconic representation and transfiguration of the environment at work in cultures where, unlike Europe and the Far East, a conventional tradition of landscape representation does not exist. He is a visiting professor at numerous universities around the world and was awarded the CNRS Gold Medal in 2012.

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