Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Siemens Fellow - Class of Spring 2007
Michael Taussig is one of the most innovative, distinguished, and socially engaged voices in cultural anthropology. An interdisciplinary thinker and engaging writer, Taussig’s work combines aspects of ethnography, story-telling, and social theory. His publications include two Spanish-language books on the history of slavery and its aftermath, and eight English-language books on issues of slavery, hunger, commercialization of agriculture, Marxist economic theory, popular culture, folk healing, colonialisms, theories of ritual, cultural productions of terror, the state and public secrecy, museums and memory, and poor communities in Colombia.
He is the author of The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America (University of North Carolina Press, 1980); Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man : A Study in Terror and Healing (University of Chicago Press, 1987); The Nervous System (Routledge, 1992); Mimesis and Alterity; A Particular History of the Senses (Routledge, 1993); The Magic of the State (Routledge, 1997); Defacement: Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative (Stanford, 1999); Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia (The New Press, 2003); My Cocaine Museum (University of Chicago, 2004); and Walter Benjamin’s Grave (University of Chicago Press, 2006). Taussig has lectured at universities, conferences, and cultural institutions around the world and has received numerous honors, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.