The Specificity of Sources: Simona Cerutti and Isabelle Grangaud discuss their Goody Award-winning essay with Andrew Shryock

Lettres Patentes du Roi

To celebrate CSSH‘s 60th anniversary in 2018, the journal’s editors organized an annual article award in commemoration of the late Sir Jack Goody (1919-2015). Jack Goody was a frequent author and contributor to the journal over the course of five decades. The award named in his honor is granted to the article that best represents the mission…


Making Kinship Bigger: Andrew Shryock in Conversation with Golfo Alexopoulos, Nadav Samin, David Henig, and Gísli Pálsson

One of the tall tales of modernity goes like this: as human societies become more complex — more industrial, urban, mass mediated, and public — the importance of kinship as an organizing principle decreases. The rule is invoked in multiple settings, often with a judgmental spin. Seldom does an identity narrative seem so self-evidently true and false at the same time. If we were to flip it, keeping its exaggerated feel but reversing the implications, the story might sound like this: claims about the diminishing significance of kinship (and its radically changing forms) have ethical weight because they are contested, very often inaccurate, and based on aspirations that are hard to realize in everyday life because ideas of relatedness are so important to us. Is this an improved version of the tall tale, or evidence that we need to tell a different kind of story altogether?