Writing (Not in Between) Reality

Scott Head, Felipe Neis Araujo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A central conceit to Michael Taussig’s writing, as approached herein, lies in its removal of the preposition conventionally deployed to describe ethnography, history, and other modes of “non-fictional” writing: writing about reality. What could such writing be like if it is no longer written “about” that which it purports to describe or narrate but rubbing right up against its still-unresolved materiality? Beginning at “Unpacking My Library” - a title Taussig takes from Walter Benjamin - and detouring through Fred Moten’s Black Afro-Diasporic figuration of the “not-in-between,” we investigate how such approaches to the “language of things” relate to writing ethnography. Exploring how Taussig’s writing works, in part by approaching certain artistic/cultural/cosmo-political practices as “mimetic allies,” we similarly touch upon the African-Diasporic traditions with which our own writings engage. Throughout, we flesh out how history - and Black history - figure as interruptive forces both in and beyond Taussig’s writing.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere230025
Number of pages25
JournalSociologia & Antropologia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


  • Michael Taussig
  • Ethnographic writing
  • Language of things
  • History
  • Not-in-Between


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