The Department mourns the loss of Hildred Storey Geertz

Oct. 3, 2022
Hildred Storey Geertz

Hildred Storey Geertz (1927 – 2022)

It is with great sadness that we report that our beloved colleague, the anthropologist Hildred Storey Geertz, has passed away peacefully at her home on September 30, 2022, at age 95.

Professor Geertz joined the Princeton University faculty in 1971 and was instrumental in building the newly formed Department of Anthropology. She was the third tenured female faculty member at Princeton and, in 1973, she became the first female chair of a department at the University. Professor Geertz taught courses on the History of Anthropological theory, the Anthropological Study of Life Stories, the Anthropology of Art, and the Ethnographer's Craft. She was named emerita in 1998.

Throughout her distinguished career, Professor Geertz conducted extensive fieldwork on the Indonesian island of Bali, focusing on kinship and on art forms, and also in Morocco. She has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Javanese Family: A Study of Kinship and Socialization, Kinship in Bali (with Clifford Geertz), Meaning and Order in Moroccan Society (with Clifford Geertz and Lawrence Rosen), Images of Power: Balinese Paintings Made for Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, and Life of a Balinese Temple Artistry, Imagination, and History in a Peasant Village. Her most recent book, Storytelling in Bali, was published in 2017.

Hildred Storey Geertz was born in New York City.  She earned her BA at Antioch College and her PhD from Radcliffe College in 1956.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to her children Benjamin and Erika and her grandchildren and many students and close friends.

The University flag over East Pyne will fly at half-staff in her memory October 6-8, 2022.

A celebration of her life will be announced at a future date. Donations in her memory may be sent to the non-profit Princeton Senior Resource Center (PSRC). CWW is now an affiliate of PSRC.

View full obituary here.