Michael D. Jackson
- BA, Victoria University of Wellington
- MA, Auckland University
- PhD, Cambridge University
Michael D. Jackson is an anthropologist and author with extensive fieldwork experience in Sierra Leone and Aboriginal Australia. His academic work has been strongly influenced by critical theory, American pragmatism, and existential-phenomenological thought.
Through a direct engagement with the everyday situations and struggles that characterize human life in any society, irrespective of its specific historical and cultural conditions, the ethnographic method of participant-observation promises not only an ethical and empathic understanding of ourselves in relation to others and otherness; it may provide new insights into the limits and possibilities of both comparative analysis and viable coexistence in a multiplex world.
He is the author of numerous books of anthropology, including the prize-winning Paths Toward a Clearing and At Home in the World, and has also published seven works of fiction, a memoir, and nine volumes of poetry. His most recent books are Coincidences: Synchronicity, Verisimilitude, and Storytelling (2021), The Genealogical Imagination: Two Studies of Life Over Time (2021), Critique of Identity Thinking (2019), The Work of Art: Rethinking the Elementary Forms of Religious Life (2016), and The Wherewithal of Life: Ethics, Migration and the Question of Well-Being (2013).
- Harmattan: A Philosophical Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2015)
- Lifeworlds: Essays in Existential Anthropology (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
- Between One and One Another (University of California Press, 2012)
- Road Markings: An Anthropologist in the Antipodes (Rosa Mira Books, 2012)
- Life within Limits: Wellbeing in a World of Want (Duke University Press, 2011)
- The Palm at the End of the Mind: Relatedness, Religiosity, and the Real (Duke University Press, 2010)
- Excursions (Duke University Press, 2007)
- In Sierra Leone (Duke University Press, 2004)
- At Home in the World (Duke University Press, 1995)
- Allegories of the Wilderness: Ethics and Ambiguity in Kuranko Narratives (Indiana University Press, 1982)
- Personal website
- "The Philosopher Who Would Not Be King," Harvard Divinity Bulletin 38, nos. 3 & 4 (Summer/Autumn 2010).
- "In the Footsteps of Walter Benjamin," Harvard Divinity Bulletin 34, no. 2 (Spring 2006).
For media inquiries or requests, please contact Michael Naughton in the Office of Communications.