Keynote Lecture of the Conference "Narrating and Constructing the Beach" by Michael T. Taussig.

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The Disappearance of the Sea and its Phantasmatic Return

Keynote Lecture / Free admission, please register


Drawing from his own experience of the three oceans: the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Mediterranean, the anthropologist Michael Taussig rethinks the sea and the beach in the 21st century while exploring their historical progression through their appearance in literature. In a globalized world connected by its oceans, the sea has paradoxically disappeared from experience as its liminal zones were swept up in rapid movements of gentrification. The beach comes further into focus as a site of repression and transgression, in its relation to the dynamics of commodity fetishism, of public secrecy and revelation, as well as in its dimensions of language and fantasy.

Michael T. Taussig is Professor of Anthropology (Columbia University, NY, and European Graduate School). His commentaries on Marx and Benjamin and the idea of commodity fetishism as well as his highly influential publications Mimesis and Alterity (1993) or Walter Benjamin’s Grave (2006) have impacted an audience far beyond academia. He also participated in several art festivals and the documenta 13.


Click here for more information about the International and Interdisciplinary Conference "Narrating and Constructing the Beach" (June 14-16, 2018)

Organizers: Bavarian American Academy, Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations, and the Graduate School Language & Literature Munich – Class of Literature, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

(Photo: Michael T. Taussig ©Michael T. Taussig)


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