Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of Chicago, USA.
Sahlins' work has focused on demonstrating the power that culture has to shape people's perceptions and actions. He has been particularly interested to demonstrate the culture has a unique power to motive people that is not derived from biology. His early work focused on debunking the idea of 'economically rational man' and to demonstrate that economic systems adapted to particular circumstances in culturally specific ways. After the publication of Culture and Practical Reason in 1976 his focus shifted to the relation between history and anthropology, and the way different cultures understand and make history. Although his focus has been the entire pacific, Sahlins has done most of his research in Fiji and Hawaii.
Member, National Academy of Sciences, 1991
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1976
Honorary Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland, 1996; Fellow, British Academy, 1998
Gordon Laing Prize (best book by a faculty member published by the University of Chicago Press), 1978 for Culture and Practical Reason; 1998 for How ‘Natives’ Think; J.I. Stanley Prize, School of American Research, 1998 for Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii (w/P. Kirch)
Huxley Lecturer & Medalist, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 1998; Radcliffe-Brown Lecture, The British Academy, 1988
Phoenix Prize, Division of the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1998
Honorary Doctorates from Université Libre de Bruselles, 1985; University of Paris X-Nanterre, 1999; University of Michigan, 2001; St. Andrews University, Scotland 2003
John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, 1967-68
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1963-64
1992 Anahulu: The Anthropology of History in the Kingdom of Hawaii (with Patrick Kirch), Vol. 1, Historical Ethnography (Sahlins); Vol. 2, Archaeology (Kirch). University of Chicago Press.
1993 Good-bye Tristes Tropes: Ethnography in the Context of Modern World History. Journal of Modern History, 65:1-25.
1995 How "Natives" Think: About Captain Cook, For Example. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1996 The Sadness of Sweetness: The Native Anthropology of Western Cosmology. Current Anthropology, 37:395-415
1999 What is Anthropological Enlightenment? Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century. Annual Review of Anthropology, 28:i-xxiii.
1999 Two or Three Things That I Know About Culture. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 5: 399-422.
2000 Waiting for Foucault. Prickly Pear Press (3rd ed.)
2000 Ethnographic Experience and Sentimental Pessimism: Why Culture is Not a Disappearing Object. In L. Daston, ed., Biographies of Scientific Objects. University of Chicago Press, 158-293.
2000 Culture in Practice: Selected Essays. Zone Press.
2004 Apologies to Thucydides: Understanding History as Culture and Vice Versa. University of Chicago Press (in press).