Michael Fisch


Contact Information

Office: Haskell M136
Phone: (773) 702-2128
Email: mfisch@uchicago.edu
Website: n/a

(PhD, Columbia University, 2008; Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College.) Michael Fisch’s research is situated at the intersection of sociocultural anthropology and science and technology studies and is concerned with the dynamic between changing conceptualizations of nature, culture, and technological innovation that inform experiences of immersive technological mediation. In his work Anthropology of the Machine: Tokyo’s Commuter Train Network, he develops an ethnographically performative approach for thinking with the historically inflected practices, experiences, and schemas of operation that emerge within Tokyo’s commuter train network. He is currently developing a project that explores the emergence of what he identifies as “experimental ecologies” that work to contest, recast, and re-conceive disaster infrastructure design in post-3.11 Japan. As part of this project, he is looking at locally developed alternatives to the construction of mammoth seawalls to protect against tsunami in northeast Japan. (On leave 2016-17 academic year).

Selected Publications

Year Title / Publications PDF
n.d. An Anthropology of the Machine: Tokyo's Commuter Train Network University of Chicago Press. (Forthcoming).
n.d. Meditations on the Unthinkable (soteigai). In Erez Golani Solomon, Editor. The Space of Disaster. Tel-Aviv, Resling Publishing. PDF
2017 The Nature of Biomimicry: Toward a Novel Technological Culture. Science, Technology & Human Values PDF
n.d. Regenerating Bodies: Unbinding Rights within Ecologies of Process Science, Technology, & Human Values (Under review).
2016 Remediating Infrastructure: Tokyo’s Commuter Train Network and the New Autonomy Infrastructure and Social Compexity: A Routledge Companion, ed. Penny Harvey, Casper Bruun Jensen & Atsuro Morita
2015 “Days of Love and Labor”: Remediating the Logic of Labor and Debt in Contemporary Japan Positions: Asia Critique. 23(3). PDF
2013 Tokyo's Commuter Train Suicides and the Society of Emergence. Cultural Anthropology, May 2013, vol. 28:12. PDF
2010 Ringu/The Ring: Tracing the Analog Spirit in a Digital Era. Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media. July 18, 2010. PDF
2009 War by Metaphor in Densha otoko. MECHADEMIA 4: WAR/TIME (November 2009): 131-146. PDF
2004 Murakami Haruki’s Sputnik Sweetheart: Technology, (Mis)communication and the ‘Other Side’. Japan Forum. 16(3): 361-383. PDF
2004 Resistance in the IDF: An Instance of Social Transformation in Israel. Israel Studies Forum, 19(2): 108-126.
2001 The Rise of the Chapel Wedding in Japan: Simulation and Performance. Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 28 (1-2): 57-76. PDF