Michael Fischer received his B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University (Liberal Arts/Geography, 1967) and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (Anthropology, 1973). He taught at the University of Chicago (1972-73), Harvard University (1973-1981) and Rice University (1981-1992). At Rice he served as Director of the Center for Cultural Studies (1986-1992). From 1996 to 2000 he was the Director of the MIT STS Program. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Brazil (1982), a Council for International Exchange of Scholars Fellow in India (1985), a Senior Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution (1990), and a Carnegie Fellow (2005). Professor Fischer was recently awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Professorship in the Humanities.
He is the author of Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution (1980; 2nd edition 2003; Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences (with George Marcus, 1986, 2nd edition 1999); Debating Muslims: Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition (with Mehdi Abedi, 1990); Emergent Forms of Life and the Anthropological Voice (2003); and Mute Dreams, Blind Owls, and Dispersed Knowledges: Persian Poesis in the Transnational Circuitry (2004). He teaches courses on social theory, ethnography, ethnographic/narrative film, social and ethical issues in bioscience and biotechnology, and law and ethics on the electronic frontier.