Summer Reading Discussion: Maurice Godelier’s The Imagined, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic
June 12, 2020
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Our next summer reading discussion will be over the recent translation of Maurice Godelier's The Imagined, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic. It will take place over Zoom on Friday, June 12th, from 4–6 pm, and the discussion will be led by PhD candidate Leili Adibfar.
The French anthropologist Maurice Godelier in The Imagined, the Imaginary and the Symbolic investigates different forms of imaginaries in the distinct relationship they each have with the real. Moving away from the Lévi-Straussian argument that in myth the real, the symbolic, and the imaginary are separate categories, he examines different social structures (including religious and political systems) and social practices (such as play and art) to argue that the real is not simply an opposition to the imaginary or the symbolic but the product of the union of these elements. Our discussion will focus on how Godelier, putting these three categories at the heart of collective experiences, fuses his anthropological expertise with a structuralist pursuit to unfold and analyze the processes of meaning-making from the individual mind to social life, specifically in art.