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What is beauty worth? What are the terrors of the knife compared to one’s tortured perceptions of his or her outward appearance? Anthropologist and Columbia University professor Michael Taussig, who rocked the academic establishment with such books as My Cocaine Museum and Law in a Lawless Land, has turned his attention to the underbelly of plastic surgery. In Colombia, the setting of several of his previous books, he observes a morbid fascination, even delight, in plastic surgeries that end up disfiguring or killing the patient. Join Taussig as he develops his concept of what he calls “cosmic surgery” to unravel one of the more puzzling phenomena in the world today.
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This program is presented in partnership with the University of Chicago Press.