Remembering Erving Goffman

Donald Levine

March 23, 2009

Dear Dmitri:

I attach the mentioned documents regarding Erving: the statement I wrote for the presentation of his honorary degree [], and his letter of response []. I think that is all I have.

The only anecdote I can recall concerns his comment regarding my statement. Since he paid so little explicit acknowledgment to his debt to Simmel–like so many others–I wanted to check out if he felt comfortable with my adding Simmel's name to the set of major influences on him. His response was that I had put it exactly right.

All best to you in this and other endeavors,


Donald N. Levine 
Professor Emeritus
Department of Sociology
University of Chicago
1126 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Office: (773) 702-7917


* The Erving Goffman Archives (EGA) is the web-based, open-source project that serves as a clearing house for those interested in the dramaturgical tradition in sociology and biographical methods of research.  The EGA is located in the Intercyberlibrary of the UNLV Center of Democratic Culture,  Postings on the website are divided into several partially overlapping sections: “Documents and Papers,” “Goffman's Publications,” “Goffman in the News,” “Biographical Materials,” “Critical Assessments,” and “Comments and Dialogues.”  For inquiries regarding the EGA projects, please contact Dr. Dmitri Shalin,  When you cite the materials collected for the EGA, please use the following reference:  Bios Sociologicus: The Erving Goffman Archives, ed. by Dmitri N. Shalin (UNLV: CDC Publications, 2009).