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Michael Taussig: Magical Realism
Magical Realism
(p. 130 – 141)

Michael Taussig

Magical Realism

PDF, 12 pages

  • ritual
  • occultism
  • contemporary art
  • spiritism

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Michael Taussig

teaches theory, film and magic at the anthropology department of Columbia University. He has written over ten books, including Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man, A study in Terror and Healing (1987); Mimesis and Alterity (1993); What Color is the Sacred? (2006); and forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, Palma Africana. Taussig studied medicine in Australia at the University of Sydney, and he earned a PhD in anthropology at the London School of Economics in 1974. He has taught at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, the University of Michigan New York University and elsewhere. In addition to his many contributions to international conferences and a number of distinguished visiting professorships, he has pursued intensive and exhaustive fieldwork every year since 1969, geographically focussing mostly on Colombia and Venezuela. His research interest and writings have spanned different subject areas, such as the history of African slavery and of abolition in Western Colombia; popular manifestations of the working of commodity fetishism; the sociology of malnutrition; the impact of colonialism on ‘shamanism’ and folk healing; the relevance of modernism and post-modernist aesthetics for the understanding of ritual; mimesis in relation to sympathetic magic; state fetishism; secrecy; beauty and violence; or the sun in our age of global warming.
Other texts by Michael Taussig for DIAPHANES
Susanne Witzgall (ed.): Real Magic

In Western societies a newly discovered and very lively interest in magical practices and occult knowledge can be witnessed. The magical seems to be evolving into a popular phenomenon that affects society as a whole and is also becoming the subject of intense debate in artistic and academic-scientific contexts. The book Real Magic investigates the current realities of the magical in the contemporary arts, sciences and everyday culture. It explores the present Western residues and forms of magical practices, the current potentials of magical perception and thinking in a world largely determined by financialised instrumental reason, and also the drawbacks of occultism. The publication is the result of the fourth annual programme of the cx centre of interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich.