Search results for: michael-taussig

Mimesis and Alterity

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 58.55 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 805
Read : 1298
Download »
In his most ambitious and accomplished work to date, Michael Taussig undertakes a history of mimesis, the practice of imitation, and its relation to alterity, the opposition of Self and Other. Drawing upon such diverse sources as theories of Benjamin, Adorno and Horckheimer, research on the Cuna Indians, and theories of colonialism and postcolonialism, Taussig shows that the history of mimesis is deeply tied to colonialism, and more specifically, to the colonial trade's construction of "savages." With analysis that is vigorous, unorthodox, and often breathtaking, Taussig's cross-cultural discussion of mimesis deepens our understanding of the relationship between ethnography, racism and society.

The Nervous System

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 27.69 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 907
Read : 1117
Download »
In a series of intriguing essays ranging over terror, State fetishism, shamanic healing in Latin America, homesickness, and the place of the tactile eye in both magic and modernity, anthropologist Michael Taussig puts into representational practice a curious type of engaged writing. Based on a paranoiac vision of social control and its understanding as in a permanent state of emergency leaving no room for contemplation between signs and things, these essays hover between story-telling and high theory and thus create strange new modes of critical discourse. The Nervous System will appeal to writers, scholars, artists, film makers, and readers interested in critical theory, aesthetics, and politics.

What Color Is the Sacred

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 66.96 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 117
Read : 1175
Download »
Over the past thirty years, visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig has crafted a highly distinctive body of work. Playful, enthralling, and whip-smart, his writing makes ingenious connections between ideas, thinkers, and things. An extended meditation on the mysteries of color and the fascination they provoke, What Color Is the Sacred? is the next step on Taussig’s remarkable intellectual path. Following his interest in magic and surrealism, his earlier work on mimesis, and his recent discussion of heat, gold, and cocaine in My Cocaine Museum,this book uses color to explore further dimensions of what Taussig calls “the bodily unconscious” in an age of global warming. Drawing on classic ethnography as well as the work of Benjamin, Burroughs, and Proust, he takes up the notion that color invites the viewer into images and into the world. Yet, as Taussig makes clear, color has a history—a manifestly colonial history rooted in the West’s discomfort with color, especially bright color, and its associations with the so-called primitive. He begins by noting Goethe’s belief that Europeans are physically averse to vivid color while the uncivilized revel in it, which prompts Taussig to reconsider colonialism as a tension between chromophobes and chromophiliacs. And he ends with the strange story of coal, which, he argues, displaced colonial color by giving birth to synthetic colors, organic chemistry, and IG Farben, the giant chemical corporation behind the Third Reich. Nietzsche once wrote, “So far, all that has given colour to existence still lacks a history.” With What Color Is the Sacred? Taussig has taken up that challenge with all the radiant intelligence and inspiration we’ve come to expect from him.

The Magic of the State

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 79.67 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 857
Read : 812
Download »
Set in the enchanted mountain of a spirit-queen presiding over an unnamed, postcolonial country, this ethnographic work of ficto-criticism recreates in written form the shrines by which the dead--notably the fetishized forms of Europe's Others, Indians and Blacks--generate the magical powers of the modern state.

Defacement

Author : Michael T. Taussig
File Size : 64.54 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 499
Read : 1170
Download »
Defacement asks what happens when something precious is despoiled. In specifying the human face as the ideal type for thinking through such violation, this book raises the issue of secrecy as the depth that seems to surface with the tearing of surface.

Palma Africana

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 59.71 MB
Format : PDF
Download : 370
Read : 504
Download »
“It is the contemporary elixir from which all manner of being emerges, the metamorphic sublime, an alchemist’s dream.” So begins Palma Africana, the latest attempt by anthropologist Michael Taussig to make sense of the contemporary moment. But to what elixir does he refer? Palm oil. Saturating everything from potato chips to nail polish, palm oil has made its way into half of the packaged goods in our supermarkets. By 2020, world production will be double what it was in 2000. In Colombia, palm oil plantations are covering over one-time cornucopias of animal, bird, and plant life. Over time, they threaten indigenous livelihoods and give rise to abusive labor conditions and major human rights violations. The list of entwined horrors—climatic, biological, social—is long. But Taussig takes no comfort in our usual labels: “habitat loss,” “human rights abuses,” “climate change.” The shock of these words has passed; nowadays it is all a blur. Hence, Taussig’s keen attention to words and writing throughout this work. He takes cues from precursors’ ruminations: Roland Barthes’s suggestion that trees form an alphabet in which the palm tree is the loveliest; William Burroughs’s retort to critics that for him words are alive like animals and don’t like to be kept in pages—cut them and the words are let free. Steeped in a lifetime of philosophical and ethnographic exploration, Palma Africana undercuts the banality of the destruction taking place all around us and offers a penetrating vision of the global condition. Richly illustrated and written with experimental verve, this book is Taussig’s Tristes Tropiques for the twenty-first century.

Occupy

Author : W. J. T. Mitchell
File Size : 81.82 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 294
Read : 1103
Download »
Mic check! Mic check! Lacking amplification in Zuccotti Park, Occupy Wall Street protestors addressed one another by repeating and echoing speeches throughout the crowd. In Occupy, W. J. T. Mitchell, Bernard E. Harcourt, and Michael Taussig take the protestors’ lead and perform their own resonant call-and-response, playing off of each other in three essays that engage the extraordinary Occupy movement that has swept across the world, examining everything from self-immolations in the Middle East to the G8 crackdown in Chicago to the many protest signs still visible worldwide. “You break through the screen like Alice in Wonderland,” Taussig writes in the opening essay, “and now you can’t leave or do without it.” Following Taussig’s artful blend of participatory ethnography and poetic meditation on Zuccotti Park, political and legal scholar Harcourt examines the crucial difference between civil and political disobedience. He shows how by effecting the latter—by rejecting the very discourse and strategy of politics—Occupy Wall Street protestors enacted a radical new form of protest. Finally, media critic and theorist Mitchell surveys the global circulation of Occupy images across mass and social media and looks at contemporary works by artists such as Antony Gormley and how they engage the body politic, ultimately examining the use of empty space itself as a revolutionary monument. Occupy stands not as a primer on or an authoritative account of 2011’s revolutions, but as a snapshot, a second draft of history, beyond journalism and the polemics of the moment—an occupation itself.

The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America

Author : Michael T. Taussig
File Size : 79.52 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 266
Read : 1298
Download »
In this classic book, Michael Taussig explores the social significance of the devil in the folklore of contemporary plantation workers and miners in South America. Grounding his analysis in Marxist theory, Taussig finds that the fetishization of evil, in the image of the devil, mediates the conflict between precapitalist and capitalist modes of objectifying the human condition. He links traditional narratives of the devil-pact, in which the soul is bartered for illusory or transitory power, with the way in which production in capitalist economies causes workers to become alienated from the commodities they produce. A new chapter for this anniversary edition features a discussion of Walter Benjamin and Georges Bataille that extends Taussig's ideas about the devil-pact metaphor.

Shamanism Colonialism and the Wild Man

Author : Michael T. Taussig
File Size : 42.74 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download : 193
Read : 900
Download »
Looks at the interaction between civilized and primitive people in Colombia, examines the role of the shaman, and discusses healing practices in the jungle

The Corn Wolf

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 49.76 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 506
Read : 1102
Download »
In the vein of his books "The""Nervous System "and "Walter Benjamin s "Grave, "The Corn Wolf "presents a collection of essays that capture well Michael Taussig s ongoing development/trajectory as a writer and his recent move toward storytelling "as" theory. The thrust, in a nutshell, is to extend and develop the contrast between the "Nervous System "style of writing, writing that arises from what Taussig calls the bodily unconscious, and what he now refers to as agribusiness writing, a type of writing that strips ethnography not only of its capacity to surprise but also to connect with another world. Taussig defends ethnography from agribusiness writing just as the corn wolf in Frazer s "Golden Bough" inspirits and defends agricultural crops from the reapers. A crucial aspect of this analogy is that the corn animal "occupies" the field protecting it from disease and disaster, in short from profanation. Taussig calls this apotropaic magic as opposed to the magic that transforms crops (read ethnography ) into mere food (read scholarly article or theory ). His essays explore the idea of occupation in a variety of contexts and meanings such as Palestine and Wall Street."

The Mastery of Non Mastery in the Age of Meltdown

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 47.32 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download : 128
Read : 756
Download »
"For a long time, we humans have excelled in mimicking nature with the goal of exploiting it. Now, with the existential threat of global climate change on the horizon, the ever-provocative Michael Taussig asks what it would take to change ourselves so as to save our world. Acknowledging the possibility of collapse and our all-too-human impotence in the face of accelerating disaster, this book is not solely a reflection on our tragic condition but also a theoretical effort to reckon with those human faculties that have fed our ambition for dominance over nature. At stake is an ultimate undoing of our sense of control--a "mastery of non-mastery." Animated by the urgency of a planet approaching meltdown, Taussig captures our moment, and all its attendant mythologies, with luminescent clarity"--

Ayahuasca and Shamanism

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 54.45 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 366
Read : 774
Download »
Michael Taussig first visited the Putumayo region of the Colombian Amazon in 1972, and has returned almost annually since 1976 to drink yage (the hallucinogenic vine ayahuasca) by the Mocoa River with his shaman friend, the late Santiago Mutumbajoy. Research on these trips constituted much of the fieldwork for his 1987 book Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, which is a primary topic of this interview, along with Colombian politics, cultures of drug use, and changes observed by the author over the last three decades. Pamphlet.

Beauty and the Beast

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 27.55 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 656
Read : 359
Download »
Beauty and the Beast begins with the question: Is beauty destined to end in tragedy? Drawing on extensive fieldwork in Colombia, Michael Taussig scrutinizes the anxious, audacious, and sometimes destructive attempts people make to transform their bodies through cosmetic surgery and liposuction. He balances an examination of surgeries meant to enhance an individual’s beauty with an often overlooked counterpart, surgeries performed—often on high profile criminals—to disguise one’s identity. Situating this globally shared phenomenon within the economic, cultural, and political history of Colombia, Taussig links the country’s long civil war and its bodily mutilation and torture to the beauty industry at large, sketching Colombia as a country whose high aesthetic stakes make it a stage where some of the most important and problematic ideas about the body are played out. Central to Taussig’s examination is George Bataille’s notion of depense, or “wasting.” While depense is often used as a critique, Taussig also looks at the exuberance such squandering creates and its position as a driving economic force. Depense, he argues, is precisely what these procedures are all about, and the beast on the other side of beauty should not be dismissed as simple recompense. At once theoretical and colloquial, public and intimate, Beauty and the Beast is a true-to-place ethnography—written in Taussig’s trademark voice—that tells a thickly layered but always accessible story about the lengths to which people will go to be physically remade.

Walter Benjamin s Grave

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 68.7 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 301
Read : 736
Download »
In September 1940, Walter Benjamin committed suicide in Port Bou on the Spanish-French border when it appeared that he and his travelling partners would be denied passage into Spain in their attempt to escape the Nazis. In 2002, one of anthropology’s—and indeed today’s—most distinctive writers, Michael Taussig, visited Benjamin’s grave in Port Bou. The result is “Walter Benjamin’s Grave,” a moving essay about the cemetery, eyewitness accounts of Benjamin’s border travails, and the circumstances of his demise. It is the most recent of eight revelatory essays collected in this volume of the same name. “Looking over these essays written over the past decade,” writes Taussig, “I think what they share is a love of muted and defective storytelling as a form of analysis. Strange love indeed; love of the wound, love of the last gasp.” Although thematically these essays run the gamut—covering the monument and graveyard at Port Bou, discussions of peasant poetry in Colombia, a pact with the devil, the peculiarities of a shaman’s body, transgression, the disappearance of the sea, New York City cops, and the relationship between flowers and violence—each shares Taussig’s highly individual brand of storytelling, one that depends on a deep appreciation of objects and things as a way to retrieve even deeper philosophical and anthropological meanings. Whether he finds himself in Australia, Colombia, Manhattan, or Spain, in the midst of a book or a beach, whether talking to friends or staring at a monument, Taussig makes clear through these marvelous essays that materialist knowledge offers a crucial alternative to the increasingly abstract, globalized, homogenized, and digitized world we inhabit. Pursuing an adventure that is part ethnography, part autobiography, and part cultural criticism refracted through the object that is Walter Benjamin’s grave, Taussig, with this collection, provides his own literary memorial to the twentieth century’s greatest cultural critic.

My Cocaine Museum

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 70.35 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
Download : 313
Read : 168
Download »
In this book, a make-believe cocaine museum becomes a vantage point from which to assess the lives of Afro-Colombian gold miners drawn into the dangerous world of cocaine production in the rain forest of Colombia's Pacific Coast. Although modeled on the famous Gold Museum in Colombia's central bank, the Banco de la República, Taussig's museum is also a parody aimed at the museum's failure to acknowledge the African slaves who mined the country's wealth for almost four hundred years. Combining natural history with political history in a filmic, montage style, Taussig deploys the show-and-tell modality of a museum to engage with the inner life of heat, rain, stone, and swamp, no less than with the life of gold and cocaine. This effort to find a poetry of words becoming things is brought to a head by the explosive qualities of those sublime fetishes of evil beauty, gold and cocaine. At its core, Taussig's museum is about the lure of forbidden things, charged substances that transgress moral codes, the distinctions we use to make sense of the world, and above all the conventional way we write stories.

On Violence

Author : Bruce B. Lawrence
File Size : 53.2 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
Download : 991
Read : 513
Download »
This anthology brings together classic perspectives on violence, putting into productive conversation the thought of well-known theorists and activists, including Hannah Arendt, Karl Marx, G. W. F. Hegel, Osama bin Laden, Sigmund Freud, Frantz Fanon, Thomas Hobbes, and Pierre Bourdieu. The volume proceeds from the editors' contention that violence is always historically contingent; it must be contextualized to be understood. They argue that violence is a process rather than a discrete product. It is intrinsic to the human condition, an inescapable fact of life that can be channeled and reckoned with but never completely suppressed. Above all, they seek to illuminate the relationship between action and knowledge about violence, and to examine how one might speak about violence without replicating or perpetuating it. On Violence is divided into five sections. Underscoring the connection between violence and economic world orders, the first section explores the dialectical relationship between domination and subordination. The second section brings together pieces by political actors who spoke about the tension between violence and nonviolence—Gandhi, Hitler, and Malcolm X—and by critics who have commented on that tension. The third grouping examines institutional faces of violence—familial, legal, and religious—while the fourth reflects on state violence. With a focus on issues of representation, the final section includes pieces on the relationship between violence and art, stories, and the media. The editors' introduction to each section highlights the significant theoretical points raised and the interconnections between the essays. Brief introductions to individual selections provide information about the authors and their particular contributions to theories of violence. With selections by: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Osama bin Laden, Pierre Bourdieu, André Breton, James Cone, Robert M. Cover, Gilles Deleuze, Friedrich Engels, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Mohandas Gandhi, René Girard, Linda Gordon, Antonio Gramsci, Félix Guattari, G. W. F. Hegel, Adolf Hitler, Thomas Hobbes, Bruce B. Lawrence, Elliott Leyton, Catharine MacKinnon, Malcolm X, Dorothy Martin, Karl Marx, Chandra Muzaffar, James C. Scott, Kristine Stiles, Michael Taussig, Leon Trotsky, Simone Weil, Sharon Welch, Raymond Williams

The Corn Wolf by Michael Taussig Chicago University of Chicago Press 2015 216 Pp

Author :
File Size : 23.17 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 766
Read : 585
Download »

Anthropologica

Author :
File Size : 25.98 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
Download : 668
Read : 1025
Download »

In Near Ruins

Author : Nicholas B. Dirks
File Size : 29.3 MB
Format : PDF, Mobi
Download : 620
Read : 295
Download »
If culture is suspect, what of cultural theory? At a moment when culture's traditional caretakers -- humanism, philosophy, anthropology, and the nation-state -- are undergoing crisis and mutation, this volume charts the tensions and contradictions in the development and deployment of the concept of culture. A genuinely interdisciplinary venture, In Near Ruins brings together respected writers from the fields of history, anthropology, literary criticism, and communications. Together their essays present an intriguing picture of "culture" at the edges of humanism, of the politics of critical inquiry amid current social transformations, of the status and practice of historical knowledge in an age of theory. Skeptical of the concept of culture but fascinated with cultural forms, the authors take up diverse topics, from debates over sexuality in the contemporary United States to relations between empire, capitalism, and gender in nineteenth-century Britain; from poverty in U.S. inner cities to violence in war-torn Sri Lanka; from the operation of nostalgia on cultural practices in Japan to anthropological forms of state power in Indonesia and the writing of history in India. Linked by a common urge to think through the aesthetics and politics of particular social relations amid a variety of globalizing forces -- revolution, colonialism, nationalism, and the disciplinary institutions of the academy itself -- these writers contribute to the ongoing work of remapping the terrain of cultural analysis and reevaluating the stakes in such a daunting effort.

Law in a Lawless Land

Author : Michael Taussig
File Size : 62.96 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 138
Read : 1331
Download »
A modern nation in a state of total disorder, Colombia is an international flashpoint—wracked by more than half a century of civil war, political conflict, and drug-trade related violence—despite a multibillion dollar American commitment that makes it the third-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Law in a Lawless Land offers a rare and penetrating insight into the nature of Colombia's present peril. In a nuanced account of the human consequences of a disintegrating state, anthropologist Michael Taussig chronicles two weeks in a small town in Colombia's Cauca Valley taken over by paramilitaries that brazenly assassinate adolescent gang members. Armed with automatic weapons and computer-generated lists of names and photographs, the paramilitaries have the tacit support of the police and even many of the desperate townspeople, who are seeking any solution to the crushing uncertainty of violence in their lives. Concentrating on everyday experience, Taussig forces readers to confront a kind of terror to which they have become numb and complacent. "If you want to know what it is like to live in a country where the state has disintegrated, this moving book by an anthropologist well known for his writings on murderous Colombia will tell you."—Eric Hobsbawm