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A plethora of publishing prizes for anthropologist Marshall Sahlins

Awards are ac-cumulating for Marshall Sahlins, a world re-nowned ethnographer and historian of Polynesia. The University of Chicago Press gave him the 1998 Gordon J. Laing Prize, making Sahlins, the Charles F. Grey distinguished service professor emeritus in anthropology, the first scholar to receive the award twice. The School of American Research has honored him with the J. I. Staley Prize for an outstanding book in anthropology. And the University’s Social Sciences Division has presented him with its Phoenix Prize for exceptional scholarship.

The Laing Prize, awarded annually since 1963, goes to the U of C faculty member who has written, edited, or translated the book published by the press in the previous three years that has brought the press the greatest distinction. Sahlins won the 1998 prize for How “Natives” Think: About Captain Cook, For Example, the culmination of his ethnohistorical research on Hawaii, published in 1995. The book argues that Western anthropologists are capable of understanding non-Western societies. Sahlins also received the Laing Prize in 1977 for Culture and Practical Reason (1976).

Sahlins received the Staley Prize for the two-volume work Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii (Chicago, 1992), cowritten with UC– Berkeley professor Patrick Vinton Kirch.

The Phoenix Prize has been awarded only once before, to sociologist James S. Coleman, a year before his death in 1995.

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