אות מפעל חיים 2018
Don Handelman is one of the most creative and productive anthropologists in the history of Israel. He received his PhD. from the University of Manchester, and belonged to the immensely influential cohort who trained under Max Gluckman.
Prof. Handelman was the Shine Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Hebrew University, has authored tens of books and articles, supervised graduate students in various topics, and serves on the board of numerous academic journals. He has been a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences since 1998.
Prof. Handelman has made major contributions to the theoretical understanding of play, paradox, bureaucratic logic, classification, chaos theory and cosmology, and has engaged and challenged theorists such as Bateson, Gofmann and Deleuze. He conducted ethnography in Canada (Newfoundland mumming and shamanism), India (pilgrimage, ritual and cosmologies), Italy (Sienna carnival) and various fields in Israel. Among his most prominent contributions to the study of Israeli society are his work on Memorial Day, Holocaust sites and commemorations, kindergarten celebrations, birthday parties, old age workshops and bureaucratic logic. By focusing on the forms of ritual, and insisting on an intense analysis of its internal structure – "ritual in its own right", Handelman offered unfashionable but often prophetic perspectives on Israeli society.
Early on, Handelman opposed the literary and textual turns in anthropology, arguing vociferously for the uniqueness of anthropology's fieldwork perspective, and the productive thinking that can only be generated by anthropologists' 'right to be wrong'. For Handelman, rituals, bureaucratic apparatuses, celebrations and official spaces are all good to think with. Countering reductive analyses that have too often seen performance as merely a reflection of Foucauldian power structures and struggles, Handelman utilizes his broad comparative knowledge to push the boundaries of knowledge further.
Prof. Handelman's thought has inspired generations of students. He "raised" many researchers, who work in the Academy and other organizations. He is a teacher in the full sense of the word—attentive, caring, and yet demanding. Today, as an emeritus, he continues to instruct and aid young scholars to push forward their ideas and articulate their voices.
We, the students and colleagues of Don Handelman, encourage the IAA to acknowledge Don Handelman's theoretical contributions by awarding him the prize for his life work. Not only is this a fitting tribute to one of the great anthropologists of the 20th Century, but it will also be a well deserved award, especially this year, when Don will be 80 years old.
With best wishes,
Prof. Jackie Feldman Dr. Nitzan Rothem
Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash
Dr. Carol A. Kidron Dept. of Anthropology University of Haifa
Mt. Carmel, Haifa, Israel firstname.lastname@example.org
February 19, 2018 Re: Life Time Award Recommendation for Prof. Don Handelman
To whom it may concern,
I would like to warmly recommend that Prof. Don Handelman be awarded the IAA Lifetime Award.
I cannot think of any other Israeli Anthropologist that has so profoundly contributed to both Israeli anthropological scholarship and mentored a new generation of outstanding scholars.
Prof. Handelman's work has pioneered anthropological theory in diverse areas such as symbolic anthropology, ritual theory, play theory, memory studies, nationalism and Indian mythology. From my many travels abroad and attendance of conference, I would add that prominent scholars worldwide have been familiar with his seminal research and often include it in their syllabi. Prof. Handelman's anthropological gaze entails an extremely rare synthesis of exceptionally profound theoretical insight and an innate understanding of the dynamics of everyday practice. Even well into the 7th decade of his life, he continues to seek out and formulate answers to cosmological and ontological questions which have long escaped his colleagues.
Having been blessed with the opportunity to work under his advisorship I cannot emphasize enough the years of devotion to his students and the profound impact he had on the breadth and width and depth of his students' work. I would say that he does not merely mentor theses or dissertation but teaches his students to think in entirely new and expected ways – each in accordance with their own skills and interests.
Beyond his students, others who were not his students but sought out answers to questions their advisors could not answer, made what was experienced almost as pilgrimage to Prof. Handelman as an academic oracle. I would meet them in the hallways of Hebrew University outside Prof. Handelman's room and literally see what I would dare to call an experience of intellectual enlightenment. The brilliance with which he would guide the student through their own thought process (rather than imposing his own) and recommend precisely the book or article that would fill the lacunas in their work was always astounding.
I would like to also add that Prof. Handelman would consistently assist those unique thinkers, both students and staff, who were in some ways marginalized or misunderstood. His assistance often made the difference between a talented mind going to waste and important contributions to scholarship. In this era we hear much about saving souls and hearts but Prof. Handelman salvaged minds from the grey zones of academic apathy and alienation.
I whole heartedly recommend that Prof. Handelman be awarded the Lifetime Award. There truly is no other scholar that deserves this accolade as he does.
Carol A. Kidron Associate Professor University of Haifa Dept. of Anthropology
Re. Prof. Don Handelman
Life Award: Israeli Anthropological Association
I would like to add my name to the support for the Life Award to Professor Don Handelman.
I have had close familiarity with Don Handelman's work for almost the entire span of his career.
His contribution to anthropology and cognate disciplines has been outstanding virtually from his early graduate days. His early article in Ethnology on the Washo shaman is a classic and now for a very long time.
But Don has been innovative in thought and in a major way for anthropology throughout his life. Clearly he has been a major influence in the development of social anthropology in Israel and from the early days of its beginnings. I constantly encounter anthropologists from Israel and especially from other countries who acknowledge the great stimulus of Don's research.
His ethnographic studies in Israel have been outstanding, pioneering innovative approaches to the studies of everyday life and developing always a critical understanding of prevailing theoretical perspectives. This is clear in his path-breaking volume Models and Mirrors, a major reference throughout the discipline of anthropology.
Special mention must be made of his ethnographic work in the Indian Sub-Continent (in association with Professor David Shulman). Don has taken the study of ritual dynamics in the cultural context of Hindu India in radical new directions in the course of the publication of two highly original ethnographically-based works.
He has offered a radical reconsideration of the dynamics of hierarchy and the critical role of existential processes in ritual performance.
Don Handelman continues to be at the forefront of theoretical developments in anthropology worldwide.
His great impact on Israel anthropology demands acknowledgement as well as his influence on social anthropology as a whole.
I wish to record my support of an outstanding scholar.
Professor Emeritus, University of Bergen
Honorary Professor in Anthropology, University College London Director, EU Advanced Project on Egalitarianism
DON HANDELMAN is the consummate scholar. He is prolific, very acute in his reading, thinking, and observing, and always a force to be reckoned with. Over many years of teaching, researching, and following Israeli anthropology, always with a great deal of respect, I came to think of Don as the person I could both trust the most and be most afraid of. I always knew that he would tell me the truth, that he would spot what was worthwhile and novel in my work and that of others, and that he would spot what wasn't right or fully developed again in my work and that of others.. That he was never President of the IAA amazes me because I have long considered him one of Israeli anthropology's luminaries, and I assume that it was because he did not want to take on the leadership and administration of the IAA, rather than that he was not approached about it. It would, therefore, be doubly right to have him become the IAA's Lifetime Achievement Award. I fully support it and am delighted that I was asked to endorse this nomination.
Virginia R. Dominguez
Interim Department Head, U of Illinois@U-C, Department of Anthropology
Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign; 607 S. Mathews Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA); and
Consulting Director (and Co-Founder in 1995), International Forum for U.S. Studies
Also, (1) Past President (2009-2011), *American Anthropological Association* (AAA), and Past Editor (2002-2007), *American Ethnologist*
(2) Vice President (2013-present), Antropologos sem fronteiras
/Anthropologists without Borders (ASF);
(3) Chair/Co-Chair (2012-present), *Task Force on Advocacy and Outreach Activities, of the World Council of Anthropological Associations* (WCAA);
(4) Associate Editor (2014-present), World Anthro Section, *American Anthropologist*
(5) President (2014-present), ASF-US
To whom it may concern:
I am writing in support of the plan to nominate Professor Don Handelman for the Life Award of the Israeli Anthropological Association. I have worked with him for 20 years, not as a colleague in academia but as his publisher who, as a trained anthropologist, has always greatly admired his work and is pleased to have published, during these years, eight works, in which he was involved either as an author, editor or contributor. I am very happy to say that all of the publications involving him in some form or other were highly praised first during the peer-review process or later in reviews that appeared in scholarly journals. Please, allow me to quote from some of these to demonstrate my point:
The Manchester School. Practice and Ethnographic Praxis in Anthropology
Edited by T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman
“The book accomplishes admirably its stated aim, namely ‘to highlight and critically examine the fundamental features of the extended-case method, in order to advance its substantial, continuing merits’. Its editors and chapter contributors demonstrate that the extended-case method is more than a ‘method’, it is a sophisticated mode of research and analysis arising from the long-standing political, institutional and epistemological concerns of Gluckman and his students…This book is a timely addition to the ongoing rethinking of practice theory after Bourdieu…” Ethnos
“Everyone will welcome this renewal of the extended case / situational analysis approach. Recovering the original reasons for doing things that one otherwise takes for granted not only recovers an earlier richness and generosity of intellect but makes for a very spirited and reinvigorating contemporary exercise…This is an important enterprise in charting the development of anthropology, and indeed social science more broadly. · Marilyn Strathern, DBE, FBA, University of Cambridge<
Models and Mirrors. Towards an Anthropology of Public Events
"Handelman's work expands our understanding of symbolic practice. [It is] particularly profound for the analysis of ritual but those in other fields inside and outside anthropology will discover a wealth of insight and fruit for the nourishment of their own ideas and research." · Semiotica
"This set of well-linked essays is the work of a mature scholar concerned with devising a theory and method for the cross-cultural analysis of public events of what some would call rituals. Models and Mirrors is dense without being obscure, reflective without being self- obsessed, up todate – containing sophisticated discussions of play, performance, uncertainty, and hegemony – without being trendy … intellectually invigorating." · Journal of Anthropological Research
"… stands out as a major achievement and an important contribution to the study of the theory and practice of rituals …" · Journal of American Folklore
Ritual in Its Own Right. Exploring the Dynamics of Transformation
Edited by Don Handelman and Galina Lindquist†
“[The authors'] perspective is a lucid voice, original and challenging, that talks about rituals as phenomenon on their own accord, worthy of analysis and explanation as cultural units of practice whose internal logic may be independent of and disconnected from other cultural logics, and even from those surrounding them. Indeed, this is a strong claim.” · Israeli Sociology
“…[presents] stimulating and fertile reflections [that] offer a valuable contribution to debates and questions that preoccupy anthropologists of rituals today.” · Social Anthropology
“This edited volume, full of new and original perspectives, makes an important contribution to the anthropological and historical study of ritual…this fine collection of essays is a challenging and provocative contribution to the study of ritual, and certainly one that ought to change the ways in which anthropologists conceive of ritual.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
“The multiplicity of case studies not only represents a variety of ritual forms, but also testifies to their complexity… the book [is] original and inspiring. No doubt, it constitutes an important contribution to the study of ritual.” · Anthropos
Religion, Politics, and Globalization Anthropological Approaches
Edited by Galina Lindquist† and Don Handelman
“This edited volume is an excellent attempt to connect not just the concepts of religion and politics—a task usually undertaken in a number of other publications—but also the forces of globalisation. The latter construct is of great significance to any current discussion of how religion and politics interact…this volume is to be commended for aptly translating the interactions of religion and politics in a globalised world, as diverse as they may be, in very clear terms.” · Journal of Contemporary Religion
"This volume is an important contribution to current rethinking of the sociological categories of religion and the secular. As a whole the collection demonstrates the development of new perspectives and presents a number of highly relevant case studies…It is significant as part of a growing discourse aimed at re-addressing old issues in a fresh and highly insightful manner." · Bruce Kapferer, University of Bergen
These quotes clearly show that Don Handelman is a first-rate scholar who richly deserves to be given the Life Award of the Israeli Anthropological Association.
Marion Berghahn, PhD, DPhil Publisher, Berghahn Books
Nomination of Don Handelman for the Life Award of the Israeli Anthropological Association
I am honored to be asked to contribute to the nomination of Don Handelman for the Life Award of the Israeli Anthropological Association, even though I have not been a student or colleague of him in the formal sense of the word. Nevertheless, considering the impact he had on the formation of my own research, I would conceive him as one of my most important intellectual mentors. It is now almost twenty years ago that we first met during a conference on media, ritual, and religion in Heidelberg, where I was a Ph. D. student at that time. I still recall very vividly his intellectual wit and academic rigor in which he discussed matters of ritual temporality, habitus, and practice during our first encounter. What impressed me most was the spontaneity with which he committed contributing to a conference that was in the earliest stages of its planning. He was not only the first one to later accept the formal invitation, but also the first to submit his paper for publication, which became the opening chapter for the Dynamics of Changing Rituals volume. Aside from the various conferences and publication projects, that brought us together since then, it has been the extended conversations we had where our ways crossed, be it in Heidelberg, Ljubljana, or Montreal that have a most lasting impact on me. All his publications transmit a remarkably concise and appealing way of analysis marked by his unyielding compassion for precision, depth, and clarity, and yet it is his gentle presence with which he engages in conversations leading through swift and surprising twists to horizons of the unexpected. It is his life with all its wisdom and the enduring legacy of his work that would qualify him for the first Life Award of the Israeli Anthropological Association more than anyone else.
Dr. Jens Kreinath Associate Professor
Director of Visual Anthropology Lab Undergraduate Student Adviser Department of Anthropology
216 Neff Hall
Wichita State University 1845 Fairmount St
Wichita, KS 67260-0052
February 9, 2018
I am very pleased to learn that Professor Don Handelman is a candidate for the Life Award of the Israel Anthropological Association. I have known Don Handelman for a great many years. He was a member of that pioneer group of scholars who came to the anthropology of Israel through the famous Bernstein Scheme, and has been one of those whose contributions to the discipline have made that a landmark in the history of international anthropology.
Over the years, I have again and again found Don Handelman’s writings fascinating reading – wide-ranging in choice of topics, original in their analysis. Moreover, while the anthropology of Israeli society has been central to his work, I have been impressed by the breadth of his interests, extending at different points to South Asia and Native Americans as well.
Again, all this has for a long time made Don Handelman stand out as an internationally recognized scholar, whose work is of enduring importance to colleagues everywhere. Let me wholeheartedly express my support for the Life Award.
May I add that I am also pleased with this opportunity to recollect my own visit with the
Israel Anthropological Association? I gave a keynote lecture at the annual meeting in Ein Gedi in 1995, and enjoyed collegial interactions there greatly.
Ulf Hannerz Professor Emeritus Kronobergsgatan 9
S-112 38 Stockholm Sweden
I am glad to second this nomination of Don Handelman. As is well known, Don is a master of his vocation, specializing not only in the anthropolgy of Israel but also of India and elsewhere. I share his interest in interaction between bureacracies and the public, but even more, given the overlap of our interest in ceremonies, we have taught courses together. This collaboration was personally enriching, and also contributed important insights to the book on Media Events which I co-authored with Daniel Dayan (who would certainly endorse Don's nomination). In a book that I co- edited, he made an important contribution to the idea if intrapersonal conversation. He certainly deserves the prize.
Paris , january 31 2018
Dear Madam, Dear Professor
I heard through common Friends, that Professor Donald Handelman was being considered for a major Israeli prize in Anthropology . I am a media scholar but started my career as s student of anthropology . In the France of the seventies , this meant studying with André Leroi Gourhan Jean Rouch, Claude Levi Strauss, Roland Barthes, Roger Bastide . My work on Media was thus been influenced by your discipline , which is why I feel I may join my own testimony to those of Professor Handelman’s numerous supporters .
Of course Don Handelman is a friend, but If we became friends it was out of my admiration for his lucid writing in the first place . Unfortunately we have not seen each other for decades , but we used to meet quite often when Elihu Katz and myself were working on the “Media events” project . Don invited us to explore symbolic Anthropology, and, it was through his guidance that we joined the Victor Turner galaxy
Two aspects of Don Handelman’s work have particularly impressed me . The first was the research he conducted , often in dialogue with Lea Shamgar-Handelman on the Israeli Civil Religion and on the way it permeated all aspects of society . The second concerned what I would call his grammar of rituals , a precise, analytic approach to the Historicity of public events , and of their adaptation to the needs and styles of mass society . I believe that Models and Mirrors: Towards an Anthropology of Public Events is a canonic book , one that has immensely clarified the whole field . I did not realize at the time how important
was Don’s move towards the analysis of “Presentation rituals” and did not use it enough when writing “Media Events “ . By now , I am fully aware the extreme relevance of his analysis to the studies I have conducted since, and to those I am conducting today on the notion of “Monstration “.
In other words, my encounter with Don Handelman has been illuminating , and I wish to be counted among those who believe he largely deserves the major distinction for which he is considered .
Ps I believe my support might perhaps carry more weight If you knew who I am . This is why I am enclosing the following short vitae
A fellow of the Marcel Mauss Institute , School of Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Paris
, Dayan has been research director at the French Centre national de la Recherche Scientifique , and a visiting professor at Sciences-Po , the universities of Stanford, USC, Geneva, Tel Aviv, Oslo .He has also been an Annenberg scholar at the University of
Pennsylvania, a “free speech” professor at the university of Bergen and for many years a Hans Speier visiting professor of Sociology at The New School for Social Research . A former fellow of the European Science Foundation, and resident of the Rockefeller Foundation, he received the International Communication Association award for his book with Elihu Katz
“Media events, The Live Broadcasting of History” .
Dear Members of the Israeli Anthropological Association,
I write to support the candidacy of Prof. Don Handelman to the Life Award. I met Prof. Handelman while I was co-organizing a conference on “Reclaiming Van Gennep's Rites of Passage (1909)”, held at the Hebrew University (15-16 May 2015).
Prof. Handelman actively contributed to the formulation of the concept, in assuring the coherency of topics proposed in the panels and talks, and delivered a key-note speech. In this occasion I also got acquainted with Prof. Handelman’s remarkable work on the theorization of charisma (e.g. “Charisma, Liminality, and Symbolic Type”), a topic which is highly relevant to my own field of research, and which has already influenced a generation of historians and anthropologists.
By working with Prof. Handelman, I could appreciate not only his insights and experience as an anthropologist, but also his curiosity and deep appreciation for other fields of study. Prof. Handelman’s ability to challenge arguments and formulate methodological questions related to my own field, which helped me immensely to push forward my own research, is a product and manifestation of his lifelong learning and interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues in a broad range of fields, including Asian Studies, Philology, History, Anthropology and others.
Not only as a scholar, but also as a mentor, Prof. Handelman has always shown his generosity in sharing his time and insights with me and my conference co-organiser, Dr. Nitzan Rothem, and his experience and kindness played a fundamental role in making the conference a fruitful gathering, marked by an inviting atmosphere for intellectual dialogue.
Therefore, I strongly support Prof. Handelman’s candidacy to the award, in his recognition as a brilliant scholar, an indefatigable explorer of the most various branches of knowledge, and a most inspiring person.
Francesca Fiaschetti Post-doctoral Fellow
The Martin Buber Society of Fellows The Hebrew University