Degrees/Diplomas: A..B. in philosophy from Harvard; PhD in anthropology from Columbia
Campus Affiliation: CUNY Graduate Center
Research Interests: Literary and linguistic theory, hermeneutics, anthropology and literature, existentialism and phenomenology, life-historical texts, anthropology and poetics of the imagination, and the philosophical recit.
He has taught at Princeton, Harvard, the Universities of Chicago, Paris, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Cape Town, and at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He has lectured at major universities in North and South America, Europe, Lebanon, Hong Kong, and South Africa. His work focuses on that space/non-space where literature, interpretive theory, linguistics, and cultural and philosophical assumption converge. He has written on the epistemology of interpretation, psychoanalysis, ethnopsychiatry, notions of the self, spirit possession, autobiography, racism, literalism, the writing of anthropology, imaginative horizons, memory, transgression, hope, language and literature, and a number of literary works. These have appeared in academic journals as well as such magazine and newspapers as The New Yorker , The New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement, He has done fieldwork with the Navajo Indians, the Hamadsha (a Moroccan Muslim confraternity), white South Africans during apartheid, Christian Fundamentalists and legal conservatives inn America , and the Harkis (Algerians who sided with the French during the Algerian War of Independence). Among his books, several of which have been translated into German, French, Italian, and Japanese are The Fifth World of Foster Bennett: A Portrait of a Navaho; The Hamadsha; As Essay in Moroccan Ethno-psychiatry; Tuhami: A Portrait of a Moroccan; Waiting: the Whites of South Africa; Hermes' Dilemma and Hamlet's Desire: Essays on the Epistemology of Interpretation; Serving the Word: American Literalism from the Pulpit to the Bench: and Imaginative Horizons: An Essay in Literary-Philosophical Anthropology. His latest book, The Harkis: The Wound that Never Heals will appear in the spring of 2011. He has received awards and grants from, among others, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Endowment of the Humanities, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique and the Commission Nationale de Cinema, the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright Commission and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has been a Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology, and a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.