Michael D. Jackson

Michael D. Jackson

Distinguished Visiting Professor of World Religions
Michael D. Jackson


  • BA, Victoria University of Wellington
  • MA, Auckland University
  • PhD, Cambridge University


Michael D. Jackson came to Harvard in 2005, with ethnographic experience in Sierra Leone and Aboriginal Australia. His 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 extended and deeper 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 three novels, a memoir, and seven volumes of poetry. His most recent books are Being of Two Minds (2012), Road Markings: An Anthropologist in the Antipodes (2012), Between One and One Another (2012), Lifeworlds: Essays in Existential Anthropology (2013), The Other Shore: Essays on Writers and Writing (2013), The Wherewithal of Life: Ethics, Migration and the Question of Well-Being (2013) and Harmattan: A Philosophical Fiction (2015).

Selected publications

  • Harmattan: A Philosophical Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2015) Publisher's page
  • Lifeworlds: Essays in Existential Anthropology (University of Chicago Press, 2013) Publisher page
  • Between One and One Another (University of California Press, 2012) Publisher page
  • Road Markings: An Anthropologist in the Antipodes (Rosa Mira Books, 2012) Publisher page
  • Life within Limits: Wellbeing in a World of Want (Duke University Press, 2011) Publisher page
  • The Palm at the End of the Mind: Relatedness, Religiosity, and the Real (Duke University Press, 2010) Publisher page
  • Excursions (Duke University Press, 2007) Publisher page
  • In Sierra Leone (Duke University Press, 2004) Publisher page
  • At Home in the World (Duke University Press, 1995) Publisher page
  • Allegories of the Wilderness: Ethics and Ambiguity in Kuranko Narratives (Indiana University Press, 1982) Publisher page


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