Castaing-Taylor received his B.A. at Cambridge University and his Ph.D. at The University of California, Berkeley. Since 2002 Castaing-Taylor has taught at Harvard University, where he is Director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab. His works include In and Out of Africa, which he made with Ilisa Barbash in 1992. It is an ethnographic video about issues of authenticity, taste, and racial politics in the African art market that won eight international awards. He also recorded the film Sweetgrass (2009), which is described as "an unsentimental elegy at once to the American West and to the 10,000 years of uneasy accommodation between post-Paleolithic humans and animals." He is the founding editor of the American Anthropological Association’s journal Visual Anthropology Review (1991–94).
- In and Out of Africa (1992)
- Made in USA (1997)
- Sweetgrass (2009)
- The High Trail (2010)
- Leviathan (2012)
- Caniba (2017)
- Visualizing Theory (1994)
- Cross-Cultural Filmmaking (1997, with Ilisa Barbash)
- Transcultural Cinema, essays by David MacDougall (1998)
- The Cinema of Robert Gardner (2008, with Ilisa Barbash)
- Macdonald, Scott. "Lucien Castaing-Taylor". Web Article. Cinema Scope. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Visual and Environmental Studies faculty page, Harvard University, http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/castaingtaylor.html
- Sensory Ethnography Lab homepage, http://sel.fas.harvard.edu/