From Limen to Border: A Meditation on the Legacy of Victor Turner for American Cultural Studies Author(s): Donald Weber

Source: American Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 525-536 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 30/09/2013 11:26
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


The Johns Hopkins University Press is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to American Quarterly.

This content downloaded from on Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

influence Americanstudiesscholarupon current major methodological ship. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 525 This content downloaded from 49. judge fromthe theme of the 1994 processes and formations meetingof the American Studies Association ("Borders and Bonds: Society and Customin a Worldof Regions") lightof therecent I want to examine (perhaps best shiftsin anthropological theorizing conrepresented by the post-modemchallenge to classic ethnography I willdiscusstheimportant tainedin theessaycollectionWriting Culture').157. appearsto have a shaping on current Americanstudies scholarship.or eventhevirtual of theworkof symbolicanthropologist VictorTurner as a disappearance.144. Althoughthereare influence withthiscritical and theorists identified perspecnumerous literary figures tive(GloriaAnzaldua and CherieMoraga especially). 3 (September Studies Association American 1995) C 1995American Quarterly. Americanculturestudies. of Englishand American studiesat MountHolyoke Donald Weberis a professor in America between research involves ethnic project expression College. especially his recent Cultureand Truth. No. work of Renato Rosaldo.In place of his modelsof riteof passage and processualanalysiswe be called a powerof whatmight have come to recognizetheexplanatory social and cultural "borderlands"position-a mode of understanding in culturalstudiesthat of the challengesand transformations exemplary influencescholars workingin many areas associated with currently I want to in thisbriefreflection. His current 1880 and 1960.18 on Mon.FromLimen to Border: A Meditation on theLegacy of VictorTurner forAmericanCulturalStudies DONALD WEBER MountHolyokeCollege THE FOLLOWING ESSAY ATTEMPTS TO MARK AND ACCOUNT FOR WHAT is a better seemsto me a keytransition-perhaps term-in "displacement" forscholars thathas particular relevance recent cultural studiestheorizing inAmerican studies.I refer specifically to theslippage.

authority My sense.second. Turner's for is that as I notedat theoutset.In my "anti-structure.of course. theTurnerian studieshas markedly current Americanculture diminished.his specializedvocabulary studies-the found a receptiveplace in religiousstudies." "communitas. the year he died at the age of 63. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." appearedto have caughtthecollective at least.""riteof pasamongothers). "liminal"(or "liminality") as a keyword-perhaps thekey has overturned in studiesscholarship Americanstudiesand in cultural word-in current general.defininghis I remember especiallya verywell attendedsession on ritual keywords.performance him end his at the of thatespeciallyengaged career-literary area/field and.a maverick terminology his who had developed.however. as perhaps Turner emerged for a host of then at least the most readilyinvoked) culturaltheorist of processualanalysishad disciplines." sage. of the 1977 American atmosphere Eighteenyears ago.I wantto draw out Rosaldo's implicit in my notas yetfully or analyzed. havinga deep impacton him). Turner's were Bercovitch writings Sacvan (at thetime. I recall vividly a numberof ASA sessions werehanded ofritual toTurner's process:bibliographies devoted paradigm out along with a glossary. and. chaired by studies.indeed.a rich.157.thisterminology memory in a variety of areas of of scholarsworking imagination interdisciplinary American culturestudies. themostimportant (if notthemostimportant.2 Between the mid-1970sand 1983.18 on Mon. the theoretical in filled withthe tropesand Boston was StudiesAssociationConvention drawn from the writingsof Victor Turner.providedby Turnerhimself. A tellingsign of thisstriking may be foundin the indexto displacement the mammoth volume of state-of-the-art essays titledCulturalStudies.144.evocative experienceamongtheNdembutribes lexicon of compellingwords and phrases("social drama. to "VictorTurner" amongits whichdoes not includeeven one reference catalogue of "Turners" listed-although "Tina Turner" is mentioned This content downloaded from 49.Americanstudies.526 AMERICAN QUARTERLY Turner's influence-toexplainwhy ofVictor the"moment" first historicize authorachievedsuch methodological anthropology his mode of symbolic ityforAmericanstudies. social changeno longer model of social dramasas a mode of explaining retains thekindof explanatory poweritseemedto providea fewyearsago.finally.witha majorpaperon ritualand flowby Roland Delattre." "liminality.through symbolic and culturalanthropologist of CentralAfrica. theory. recognized ofTurner (a critique critique I wantto offer a tentative of why"border" explanation view).

"5 the fairlyrigid models of social formationand explanation established by the anthropological school known as British Functionalism. rather stable and immutable") expressed in/by the drama of ritual symbols as process). he rejected the academic taboo against crossing disciplinary boundaries. is the difference straddling "betwixt and between" (in Turner's famous phrase) structural positions. I want to ask why the position of the border has become a more attractive and perhaps more powerful mode of cultural criticism.communitas. "Disillusioned" is how he recalls his resistance to Functionalism's authorizing First." observes Turner's widow Edith. however." between a "liminar. I want to ask."a liminal figure What.and Edith Turner. processes he could watch During his Ndembu field work. Turnerfashioned a new symbolic anthropologyby celebrating the unfolding. to America. theirbetwixt and between status in the fall of 1963. "Drama was in his blood.I wantto examinethe to accountforthisstriking twice.Turnerrejected "theirmodels of society and culture [which] tended to be based upon ideology" (positing a "social reality as thanupon "social reality"(as fluid. waiting passage to Cornell and a new life. does the discourse of the border challenge Turner's model of liminality?Moreover. Frederick Turner.3 In trying as Turner relationbetweenTurner'snotionof "limen" or ("threshold.4 The outlines of Turner's intellectual biography are now beginning to take the early sixties. (The first public performanceof his now classic "Betwixt and This content downloaded from 49. and structure. let me brieflyestablish some of the key contexts for understandingTurner's model of symbolic anthropology. highlighted the very theoretical issues Turner was grappling with in his research. thanks to essays by Barbara Babcock.FROM LIMEN TO BORDER 527 absence." butculturally culturally dangerous and "liminality"-the oftendefined-it) creativemiddle stage of the riteof passage whereall the action (so to takesplace-and theidea that has come to social transitions speak) during replace "liminal" in recent cultural theory.6 In addition.18 on Mon. that is." these now famous terms? Turner himself provides a partial biographical source: the family's own transition." Turner reflected (quoting Mary Douglas) in "The Anthropology of Performance.Turnerfound himselfresisting reaction. the notion of the "border. where did Turner "discover."7 Instead. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and the imagination of the "border" as a zone or sphere of positionality? How.144. dynamic dimensions of culturalchange: the shifting relations among liminality. How did Turner arrive at. "boundary ambiguity was." "regarded as an abomination. in passage between identities. "he was interested in the events of life.157.processual.

30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . whatis remarkable Turner'searlyworkon ritualprocess.These linkshavebeen notedbefore-mostnotably laterworkin performance theory) spiredTurner's has a "Communitas imagination."on whatin 1969 a youngStuart "the continuous present tense-'grooving' . the of a authority drawing upon of history. the heady promiseof social critiqueand social regeneration the experienceof playful inscribedin the fact of the counterculture.a significant of processualanalysisand thecultureof the 1960s-in rhetoric Turner's by at Cornell. offered numerous case To be sure. and Metaphors.Turner's emphasison indeed.10 of structure. the indeterminacy underlying freedom.twenty yearslater. elaborated.includingthe now famousessays collected in Dramas.528 AMERICAN QUARTERLY reading Van Gennep'sRites of Between"essay was in March 1964.9 ringto it. anthropologist communitas into/generating turning of liminality imagination in Turner's fornew social arrangethepotential levelingprocesscontaining (theritual creative of ritualized play) a profound. in studiesof social dramasin history my view. potential Turnerexplained in the late 1970s. for Turner." of cultural critique.8 his theories. I sense VincentCrapanzano-but now. "is to be found in the theirrelationto the moment."3 Of of the ritualprocess in postindustrial the latter expressive and turns to theseimportant shifts essay could be devoted course. Fields. and imaginative capacities. at the edges structure." "liminal" from atone pointdistinguishing theyears." "The essence of indeedof deconstruction.157.Turner's Crapanzano.Turner strainand creativeupheaval. to illustrate butit entire This content downloaded from 49. Turner Communitas has." liminars have the powerto "revealthe release fromnormalconstraints"."1 thefreeplay of mankind's cognitive of liminality over and enlargedhis theory Turner extended. in ascribed to the ritualprocess itself. . .it "breaksin through in Ritual or of liminars. I would argue. anthropological indelibleways. phenomena societies.18 on Mon." liminality. after upon re-reading Passage in a 1960 edition. marginality.possess theradical as Turner calls them "edgemen. 'tripping"' expressed for he theflow of culturalrevitalization the millenarian expectation. historical between discursivecorrelation There is. "liminoid. theater to Richard (fromtheput-onof street carnivalesque performances Performing Garage-an associationwhich inShechner'srevolutionary thathelpedto shape. new forms of imagination. all culturally constructed worlds.)Indeed. ments. the interstices in apocalypticagency.144. deep adaptation contemporary in America-to validatehis vision of social experience-his experience."notesVincent hippy Hall describedas the "existential now.

fromthe perspective Sometimes theybecome the radical criticsof structure warmer and of communitas.18 on Mon.14 I see liminality. and norms.I believe. as the provisionof a culturalmeans of of proved values as well as of ensuringthe continuity generatingvariability.FROM LIMEN TO BORDER 529 in Turner'sdevelopingvision.157. one another. but unlike ritual liminars they have no cultural assurance of a finalstable resolutionof theirambiguity.whose boundaries are ideally coterminous with unstructured those of the human species. communitas.and ofteneven whose social definitions secondopposed to. mobile marginals)..."5 state of liminalitythere is the state of As well as the betwixt-and-between and by to the condition of being eitherpermanently outsiderhood. Such outsiderswould include. invites norm. embeddedin thesevariations Re-reading Rosaldo's quarrel. Marginals like liminarsare also betwixt and between.self-definition.let me cite three instancesof in orderto begin to suggest on liminality reflections Turner'scontinuing "committed" (to forcurrent is now problematic thewaysin whichtheterm theorists: invokeRosaldo's term)borderland Liminality is both more creative and more destructivethan the structural man.. persons of mixed ethnic origin.migrants about such marginals is that they nontraditionalrole. and culturalnormsare distinctfrom.mediums.sometimes they tend to deny the affectionally more egalitarian bond of communitas. They should be distinguished from "marginals.But where it is socially positive it presents.144.those in monasticseclusion." who are simultaneously (by or achievement) of two or more groups ascription. or arrangements ascription set outside the structural oneself apart or temporally set apart."notonly Culture "The Erosionof Classic Norms"and "Putting with Turnerbut also with the latent imperialistproject of "classic" in general.In eithercase it raises basic problemsforsocial structural him to speculation and criticism. in various cultures. hoboes. for communitas. priests. What is interesting often look to their group of origin. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .These would include migrantforeigners. instead. and gypsies. in tribalsocieties . the so-called inferior group. hippies.parvenus (upwardly fromcountryto city.shamans. fromthe behavior of status-occupying. generationAmericans."6 assertions of problematic Let me pointoutwhatare.expressedin his recentbordertheorizing highlights in Motion.. a model of human society as a homogenous.optation..referring of any given system.a number Turner in lightof on liminality. directly or by implication.or voluntarily setting being situationally role-playingmembersof thatsystem.17 ethnography This content downloaded from 49.and women in a changed.and to the moreprestigiousgroup in whichtheymainlylive and in which they aspire to higher status as their structuralreferencegroup. diviners.

"see" theborder beforehis eyes."'8 whatwe now term regenerative Emptiedof."9 of Yet perhapsthe most problematic aspect of Turner'simagination office is embedded in the and the cultural of liminars liminality long forthere Turner encounters passage from Dramas. chargedpoliticalvalencesembedvisionof liminality ded in thephrase"provedvalues. Fields. Turner's the "continuity modelof social dramais transcendent. The radical criticismthat issues from these marginalsin their resistanceto the dominant culture ("structure" in Turner) adamantly refuses the "stable offered in the "affectually warmer"and resolutionof theirambiguity" in "more egalitarian" space conjured the ritualprocess. the passage marksa scene of "encounter" betweenTurnerand who resistincorporation. (What does this of "mixedethnicorigin"bond withless emotion?Is mean? Do liminars somehowless "authentic"? theirchoice of a morelocal cultural identity untiltheyacceptthoharmonious remain Will their identities "ambiguous" of "true"communitas?) resolutions theother These questionssoundfrom side of theliminalthreshold. political)status in theflowofcommunitas. they This content downloaded from 49. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .144. For all the emphasis on rupture and breach. second-generation Americans.Turner'ssocial imagination is compelledby thescene of re-incorporation. Indeed."At some level. In thisrespect theworkofritual tionas thetelosofrite symbols theorist Ortner has pointedout) is to "resolve (as anthropological Sherry to forge"the processof and (now I quote Turner) social contradictions" renewal.18 on Mon."forTurner's issuing communitas followedby a regenerative return to strucin "homogenous" tureis essentially utopian. those"marginal" (now read as "border")figures Turner could not. personsof mixedethnic origin" their outsideof thetranscendent communitas amongthem-somehowfind warmer and moreegalitarian vision.e." confesses.and Metaphors. theaim ofwhichTurner as he merges defines as of proved values and norms. These figures-"migrant who somehowrefuse foreigners.. ultimately it is unable to recognizethecontested. (i.530 AMERICAN QUARTERLY Perhapsthe first aspectof Turner's thought to notehereis theimplicit ofTurner's visionof cultural consensualdimension changethrough riteof passage. of re-aggregaofpassage. his sense of social levelingand attendant cultural bondingover whatwe now recognize as an encounterwith identity politics and the border.157.reducedfrom his theliminar is shorn of his structured subjectposition.they"tendto denytheaffectionately Turner that he is privileging notrealizing bondof communitas. ahistorical and apolitical. resistance toincorporation on thepart ofthose"marginals" a (bewildering?) tojoin theritual appears.

caughtbetween His as antagonist readpejoratively. twentyyears ago as the "steeringfunction"in social process. is takenas a figure criticism. to shapeoutcomes. a liminalfigure. what also drives the border critique of Turner's anthropological model is the implicit apolitical consciousness of the ritual liminar. cultures.157. Caliban.Rosaldo. archetypal imperialist.let me focus on a curiousinstancein Turnerwhere Rosaldo's on the concernperhapsfindssome validation.) he is invariably themarginal he is a hybrid inhabits theborder.requirea Are Rosaldo's criticisms critique.Prospero. tellingly.thatis. who seeks to control.In one of his manyriffs Shakespeare's Prospero (from The liminal. Rosaldo's briefbut stringent to fully engage separate essay Instead.Rosaldo of supposedlyexplanatory illustrations to over referred of whatTurner hears. In most currentRenaissance Tempest)as a "master of liminality."21 a figure of-and for-imperialism.FROM LIMEN TO BORDER 531 emergefromthe politicized. a languageof social control.has challengedTurner mypurposes)on how Turner "reduce[s]complexhumandramasto mere structural principles". of social Rosaldo observes. of a models of ritual of regulation latentin Turnerian dangerousmechanism analysis. readingof Turner'sethnography-the In general.. (To be sure. guage of thedominant Turner unwittingly betrays-as Rosaldo senses in his own positiveterms.144. as a committed narrative postmodern (for on a number of issues."Turner'sconclusionsemphasizeprinciples dramatizes. Prospero to master. but etc. dimechanistic "steering" darker.. Turnerinvokes. is himself twocountries.18 on Mon. filiations and theresistive/resistant tured communitas" in Turneris perceived as a potential coercive threatto Rosaldo's marginals claiming difference).20 valid? Again. borderanthropoloitself.postcolonialrealm of the border-an emindeed."22 thushavethefunction Culture and society communitas In additionto the politicalcontestbetweenreintegrative unstrucof theborder(" contrast. incorporation. resist "marginals" landscapewhereTurner's battled the professional to (who refuse join outsiders where academic a space in oppositionto classic normsof consensus) now writeethnographies "flow"createdby literary by the subversive newlyempowered narration.. by seizing the lanempowerment who claims political and imaginative To speak of Prosperoin whatI taketo be culture. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . mensionresidingin the processualmodel of incorporation. no doubt. mostimportantly gist. it would. figure. structure more thanthe humanprocesses he so thickly human ofregulating behavior. This content downloaded from 49. his or her refusal to recognize the historically contingent power coordinates that inhere in positionality.

by association. doing anthropology identities.emergesas a nary-and narrative-freedom: zone capable of nourishing a rich grid of "crisscrossed" (Rosaldo's own keyword). nor do I thinkhe would have ungenerouslyexplained-or This content downloaded from 49.157."25 an claimingthe borderas the political space conferring incorporation.and sexual orientation. on a self-reflexivenarrative mode-"a "A number of scholars whilelookingat culture.who no doubt saw himself as a liminal figure(he was. porousand open."23 social analyst'smultiple ways of For all his later nods to what Turnercalled "postmodern "to view speaks of the temptation thinking"-indeed.). Rosaldo's phrase. Claimingthe borderamountsto a declaration theborder. and is now the space of real (i."unambigucommunitas seekingtranscendent ritualliminars.and from which position.e. power.26 "pure.therefore. in historyand anthropology. political. it is reported. multiple radically (or tripleness."24 stateof beingin culture in "now write as Rosaldo noted 1990.a recentreviewer seems far reanthropology [Turner]as a pre-postmodernist"-Turner's like Rosaldo. like some older new leftistsdo in our own time. "unified..a celebration of ambiguity as the condition of the postmodern self.the fight thebattleover narrative as political contestation: culture over who gets to (re)tell the story. in James Clifford's words. resisting and analyzingsubjects." indeed an embrace of "the involvesa recognition.given two burial rites. who theprojectof borderlands anthropologists movedfrom insist. of interdisciplious" self. enabling and a new.18 on Mon. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." scholars are undergoing changein partbecause once sovereign disciplines of who are both in with natives objects analysis mustnow engage dialogue narrative Such a criticalperspective. ethnographic social drama[s]"as its (and. different from Turner's doubleness etc. a figure who challenged the structuresof classic anthropologyhe inherited. Thus modes of Analysis" challengestraditional Rosaldo's chapter"Narrative in School's elevation." based on race. "The gender. of The problematic mode of exposition.class."as in Turner) How would Victor Turner. and not potential. the social and political fissurespreventingconsensus in the wake of identitypolitics. communities of minority academicsand as members As a result. Turner's)characteristic ways of challengeto Turnerian forRosaldo's ultimate course.a Mass to memorialize his committed Catholic self and an African burial according to Ndembu have responded to the currentprovenance of the border? I do not ritual)27 thinkhe would have lamented.532 AMERICAN QUARTERLY of and recognition is missingin Turner is a conception What.144.Rosaldo claimed. Manchester including the narrative.of "unified termis.

I should mentionthatI. James Cliffordand George E. foundTurner's theoriesof ritualprocess to possess formidableexplanatorypower: his models of cultural-socialpassage. In turn. Kramer.fluid.Lucy Maddox. too. 1.18 on Mon. simply. invocation of his appealing despitethefrequent Still. comprisethe alwaysfluidscene of American NOTES thisessay I would like to thankJay For generous advice and suggestionsin preparing Fliegelman. It maybe thatTurner's originalvision of compelling studiesscholvacuumin American social processfilleda methodological school.28 erasure on thepartof marginalized and capacious seemsclearthat in our to speak of "liminal"situations rhetoric (how manyof us continue less Turnerian models of social analysisappear less helpful. ed. seeing in critique revisions. Marcus. Rudolf Janssens.seminal. thantheyonce did. is of themoment. along moreopen. new consciousnesses.and Brook Thomas. Michael P.FROM LIMEN TO BORDER 533 ofborder as compensation theory forpolitical explainedaway-the advent In light of the groupsin theacademy."He enjoyed what was earthy. Jeffrey Rubin-Dorsky."Edith Turnerinforms I would like to thinkthatTurner nourished?)cosmic consciousness. mayonlybe thetheoretical paradigm thatVictorTurner's upon Americanstudies.29 of the would have recognized-and indeedembraced-the richpotential as a powerful regenerative-critical forceforrearranging border perspective social relations democratic lines. teaching?).and the ideological leveling that I was engaged can follow in the wake of culturalbreach appeared to explain everything and in my subsequentresearchon in early American literature by as a graduatestudent This content downloaded from 49.157. of spirit collectivetestimony to his generosity I would like to think that Turner would have welcomedthesechallenges. us of her husband's (1960sgrowing. 1986).144.once legacyto and influence so pervasive-and persuasive-seems no longerable to persuadeus. Bruce arshipafterthe exhaustionof the myth-symbol forthathegemonicapproachto cultural Kuklick's now-famous obituary it maybe thatthediscourseof theborder analysiscame in 1972. WritingCulture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography(Berkeley. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ..Amy Kaplan. the "subjunctive mood" expressive of communitas's utopian potential. 2. My point. or positionsalong the various bordersthat dislodge us fromour current studies. to theconceptof liminality. afterall. and adjustments thatissues in ferment the dialecticalprocess of culturaland intellectual what was fecund.

"Victor W. 1985). etc. See Lawrence Grossberg. to political analysis was deeply influencedby the political 8. 5. 3. my subjectinvolves theuses-or appropriation-of anthropoto forma logical theoryby scholars in American studies. and TerrifyingPower in Ethnographic overview of History. The essay would need to ask why certain anthropologistsattain a kind of methodological and interpretiveauthority?Most recentlythatnarrativewould need to address the ongoing debates about the relations between historyand anthropology(especially the impact of Geertz and the rise of history-Rhys Isaac and the Melbourne Group is perhaps the prominent ethnographic example. Kathleen M." Criticism: An Annual Journal 9 (1987): 39-46.."Anthropologyof Performance. Turner. Kroeber. "Liminal Recreations" (a review of Turner's From Ritual to Theater [1982]). Macaloon. Babcock. and it was during this decade that he wrote several explicitly political analyses. for example. 473." Yale Journal of Criticism3 (1990): 29-50. incorrectlyI believe."in VictorTurnerand the Construction Ashley (Bloomington." Comparative Studies in Society and History26 (1984): 126-66 (see 12830 on the different genealogies of Geertz and Turner). eds." Semiotica 65 (1987): 1-27. Turner(1920-1983)."179. Redfield."Theory in Anthropologysince recenttheorizingin anthropology."131)."Prologue: From the Ndembu to Broadway. For an important see SherryOrtner. the ways thatfiguressuch as Boas. "History and reply to Geertz in the same issue. "Victor W. Turner (19201983)." Agnew. Ariz. 6.534 AMERICAN QUARTERLY religious language and the question of the rhetorical linkage between the Great Awakening and the American Revolution. 5.The fullernarrativetracingthis interdisciplinary have to include. Victor Turner. Text. thereis in his work a deep continuity concerns" ("Theory in Anthropology. have influenced work in American studies." observe Babcock and Macaloon (11). 4.. In the largestsense. Vincent Crapanzano. 27 Apr. For the Turners' life at Cornell..Benedict. the Sixties." Yale Journal of Criticism6 (1993): 217-36. been linked togetheron this subject. Mead. 1992)." 9. TLS. Geertz and Turner al. "'Hyperion to a Satyr': Criticism and Anti-Structure of Cultural Criticism. and Rhys Isaac." in On the Edge of the Bush.of which this essay attempts practice would brief.Ind. 179.157. My observationsremainlimitedto the impact and legacy of Victor Turnerand the implicit such as Renato Rosaldo. as anthropologistSherryOrtnerhas explained. Barbara A. Barbara A.144. see Edith Turner. "On Explanation. perhaps the Lynds (as a model of communitystudies). In the past."The Anthropologyof Experience. . 1984. see CliffordGeertz.recentchapter. . Cultural Studies (New York." in Victor Turner. New LiteraryHistory21 (1990): 321-35 (and Rosaldo's "Historyand Anthropology.ed. 147-62.On the Edge of the Bush: Anthropologyas Experience (Tucson. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 767. Jean-Christophe Anthropology:Scenes froma Marriage. 7. Geertz and (Weber via Parsons for genealogies in anthropology Turnerderive fromverydifferent Geertz. "Turner's commitment life of the American 1960s. For more informationon Turner." Journal ofAmerican Folklore 97 (1984): 461-64. Victor Turner. Babcock and John J. and Frederick in the Work of Victor Turner..18 on Mon. Sherry Ortner asserts that "despite the relative novelty of Turner's move to withBritishsocial anthropological symbols . Babcock. Crapanzano offersthe following toughminded reading of Turner's experience in the 1960s: "It may be thata few monthsat This content downloaded from 49. Durkheim with a Marxist inflectionvia Max Gluckman for Turner). 3. On the bordertheorists revisionsof his workby contemporary influence of the Melbourne Group upon ethnographicpractice."From the Ndembu to Broadway. "'The Comparative Arts and All Things Common': Victor Turner's LiteraryAnthropology. 337-41). see Barbara A. Edith Turner. 1990).

1972. Victor Turner. Victor Turner."Process. 97." 161. Victor Turner. its ideology. 202). 11. and Symbol." 162. Truth. Ritual: An Essay in Comparative Symbology. In this passage. Victor Turner. 128. Stuart Hall. 22. System.. 14."131. It should be 20."Process. 161. Ibid. 1993). its faith in the novel and the new.. pub. 1974).40-41. 12."Process.144."' in Student Power. In a way."The Anthropologyof Performance." in Culture and challenge to classic ethnography. James Clifford." in On theEdge of theBush." in Cultureand Truth..157.Mass. it is of such dreams that the revolutionary made" (201.Mass. and Poverty" [delivered Aug. reflect less the realityof the ritualthanthe cultureof the anthropologist" Hermes' Dilemma and Hamlet's Desire: On the Epistemology of Interpretation [Cambridge.however. he was trappedin the fantasiesof his own Anglo-Americanculture. 141. Victor Turner. 182. Fields.whose personal disilluTurner's own charismaticaspect as visionary-shaman sionment and dissent from the structures (of anthropology)he inheritedmade him models and theoretical influentialfor an American studies seeking interdisciplinary remarksCrapanzano. 20-60. System. 17. Hall's astonishingessay atteststo the powerful forcontemporary academic "outsiders.say.FROM LIMEN TO BORDER 535 Garage can turnany professorinto a porte-parole for bohemia."The descriptionof certainritesof transition." 47."Process. shaped areas of scholarship. System. 173." 473)." (Crapanzano. "The Hippies: An American 'Moment." of thecounterculture fascinationand attraction Despite voicing some skepticism concerning hippie "lifestyle. "thatfuture ments.. Victor Turner."It is in Utopia. 1982). 16. with its modernistemphasis. System.the implicitconsensual model of cultural process in Turnermade his theoriespopular duringa period in American studies when centuryand the chartingof "continuities. 21. Victor Turner.Jorgennsen This content downloaded from 49.96. Victor Turner." 159. Victor Turner. "Liminal to Liminoid in Play. 97. Margins. JulianNagel (London. N. remarked.and Symbol. Dramas. Crapanzano begins the kind of historicizingof TurnerthatI tryto build on this essay. Rosaldo.. 1969)."185. 1967]. "PuttingCulturein Motion. Dan Jorgennsen findsthat review of the Ashley collection on Turnerand culturalcriticism. 1992]. and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society (Ithaca." the emergenttheorist project is possibilities are rehearsed. ed. 96. its celebration of inventiveness" ("Liminal Recreations.The Literature. 1988). Renato Rosaldo."Liminal to Liminoid. 23.18 on Mon. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . emphasis added). 10. 1969). "may legitimacy. Ortner. 15.Symbol. Rosaldo. the Puritans to the nineteenth beyond. In addition."Theory in Anthropology.. ("Passages. but the Performing distinguishingthe event from its gloss. Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (Boston.The Ritual Process (Chicago."in From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play (New York. Flow. its Turner often had difficulty exegesis. that Rosaldo does view Turner as an oppositional figurein the See "The Erosion of Classic Norms. 19." Hall nevertheless sensed in this revolutionarymoment the historical potential of new social arrangeof popular cultureobserves.and Art (CamEthnography. 232-33.. Culture and Truth. 18.Y. 13. and Symbol."from. Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century in his to Turneras "pre-postmodernist" refers bridge. 261). 194. 24. A separate essay could be writtenabout the relation between the 1960s and figure. 9.

James Clifford's qualification of Turner's ethnographic narrativeseems relevanthere as well: "Overall. 29. It is against such narrativesmoothings that Rosaldo. 216. Rosaldo. Edith Turner.. which always contains a multitudeof voices and personalities.49). In this respect. in Anthropology. He does not.536 AMERICAN QUARTERLY Turner's influence is.18 on Mon..openly builtup fromquotations. See Babcock. 27. Anthropologist 25. This content downloaded from 49." 132. generally. "Victor W. Turner. Rosaldo has commented on the relation between cultural studies and 96 (1994): 524in "Whose Cultural Studies?" AmericanAnthropologist anthropology 29.however." 4. of some of my colleagues 28. not apparent in most of the essays (American 94 [1992].do theNdembu in different voices..144. All the voices of the fieldhave been smoothedinto expository prose of more-or-lessinterchangeable'informants"'(The Predicamentof Culture. More recently."New LiteraryHistory21 (1990): 340. 30 Sep 2013 11:26:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." in Culture and Truthfor Rosaldo's fullest "Crisscrossed by multipleidentities"is on expression concerningborderanthropology.advocates the reflexive border position. Turner's ethnographiesare unusually polyphonic. See the essay "Border Crossings. following Clifford and other postmodern ethnograhers."461. 26. 196-97). Ortner's criticismof symbolic anthropology's "underdeveloped See "Theory sense of the politics of culture"seems relevantto Rosaldo's intervention. 341... "Response to Geertz.157."From the Ndembu to Broadway. In makingthese observationsI draw on the reflections during (especially JosephineLee) in theFive College Faculty Seminaron bordertheory the 1993-94 academic year..

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful