Michael Taussig is a professor at Columbia University. He earned a medical degree from the University of Sydney and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the London School of Economics.
He has published research in the area of medical anthropology and is known for his work with the idea of commodity fetishism. In his book, The Devil and Commodity Fetishism, he promotes the study of people living on the fringes of the economy, such as indigenous peoples, as a way of creating contrast with traditionally studied populations.
Much of his work is filtered through the lens of the work of Walter Benjamin. Mimesis and Alterity is one such work, exploring the phenomena of mimesis (assimilation) and alterity (opposition). His research involved the study of the Cuna, an indigenous people in Panama.
His other notable works include: Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing, Defacement: Public Secrecy and the Labor of the Negative, and Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of Limpieza in Colombia.
Taussig was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2007 received the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin. In 2011, he published I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in Fieldwork Notebooks, Namely My Own.
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Michael T. Taussig is an Australian anthropologist, born in Sydney of German and Czech/Jewish ancestral parents. He completed secondary education in 1958 at North Sydney Boys High School and then earned a medical degree from the University of Sydney, received his PhD in anthropology from the London School of Economics and is a professor at Columbia University. Although he has published on medical anthropology, he is best known for his engagement with Marx's idea of commodity fetishism, especially in terms of the work of Walter Benjamin. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1998.Source: Wikipedia
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