A New Yorker by birth, a writer by inclination, and an anthropologist by training (PhD from State University of New York, Stony Brook), Taylor is a dual citizen of the US and Ireland but has long called this Island home. After many years at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, he took up the position of Professor and Head of Anthropology at Maynooth in 1998, eventually also serving as Vice President for International Affairs. He is now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology.
Drawing on field research principally in Ireland and on the US/Mexico border, he is the author of dozens of articles on a wide range of topics, from the political economy of fishing to immigration, to religion, and six books: Dutchmen on the Bay (1983), Occasions of Faith: An Anthropology of Irish Catholics (1995) and in collaboration with photographer Maeve Hickey: The Road to Mexico (1997); Tunnel Kids (2001); and Ambos Nogales: Intimate Portraits of the US/Mexico Border (2002). His most recent book, Tales from the Desert Borderland (2020), crosses genre borders as well: a work of fiction comprising a collection of eight short stories that take the reader on a wild ride from San Diego to Nogales, into Mexican and Chicano neighbourhoods, failed spas and defunct mining towns, rambling Native American reservations and besieged Wildlife Refuges.
Taylor continues to research and write anthropologically on the theme of ‘moral geography’as well as pursuing more literary work combining fiction and memoir. (“Hades - Rites of Passage” in The Book About Everything: Eighteen Artists, Writers and Thinkers on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Edited by Kiberd, Terrinoni and Wilsdon. 2022 London: Head of Zeus.)