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Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University

Fischer is a cultural anthropologist who studies values, development, and the cultural contexts of health and wellbeing. He is also an expert in coffee studies and in malnutrition. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Guatemala, Germany, and the United States. He is the author of several books, including The Good Life: Aspiration, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing.

He is currently finishing a book on coffee and what it can teach us about economic and moral values.

He is the founder of Mani+, an award winning social enterprise that develops and manufactures nutritional supplements for children in Central America.


  • –present
    Professor, Anthropology and Director, Center for Latin American Studies , Vanderbilt University


  • 1996 
    Tulane University, PhD


  • 2014
    The Good Life: Aspiration, Dignity, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing,
  • 2014
    Cash on the Table: Markets, Values, and Moral Economies,
  • 2006
    Broccoli and Desire: Maya Farmers and Global Struggles in Postwar Guatemala,