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Orin Starn, Chair and Professor of Cultural Anthropology

Orin Starn
Contact Info:
Office Location:  213 Friedl Building, East Campus, Box 90091
Office Phone:  (919) 684-3221
Email Address: send me a message
Web Pages:

Teaching (Spring 2016):

    White 107, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as ICS 101.01)
    Friedl Bdg 204, TuTh 03:05 PM-04:20 PM

PhDStanford University1989
Ph.D.Stanford University1985
MAStanford University1985
B.A.University of Chicago1982
General StudiesUniversity of California, Berkeley1981
General StudiesHaverford College1979

Culture Theory
South America
Social Movements
Popular Culture
North America
Politics of Memory
Research Interests:

Orin Starn is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History. He has wide-ranging interests including Latin America, Native North America, social movements and indigenous politics, the history of anthropology, activist anthropology, and, more recently, sports and society. His newest book, "The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal," examines the superstar golfer's place in American society and culture. Starn is also the author of the award-winning "Ishi's Brain: In Search of America's Last 'Wild' Indian," a chronicle of the life and legend of the last survivor of California's Yahi tribe. Earlier in his career, Starn worked for many years in Andean South America, mostly Peru. His "Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes" recounts the history of one of Peru's major 20th century rural movements. Starn is also lead editor of the "The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics" and edits Duke's very successful World Readers Series. In 2005, he won Duke's highest undergraduate teaching award and was awarded the Sally Dalton Robinson Professorship in Cultural Anthropology. Starn is also the co-editor of "Indigenous Experience Today" and "Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and SocialProtest" together with three books in Spanish. Starn's essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and many other newspapers, and his work cited in the New York Times, USA Today, and other newspapers. He has also appeared on NPR, ESPN and numerous other radio and tv programs. Starn has served as the Director of Duke's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Duke Human Rights Centers, and chaired the Editorial Advisory Board of Duke University Press. He maintains a blog about golf, sports, and society at He is beginning research for new books on Peru and on the experience of Latina housecleaners in North Carolina.

Areas of Interest:

Cultural theory
Indigenous politics and identity
Politics of representation and nationalism
transnationalism and globalization
history of anthropology
activist anthropology
Andes and Latin America
Native North America
sports and society


activist anthropology • Anthropology • Cultural theory • history of anthropology • Indigenous politics and identity • Latin America • Native North America • Politics of representation and nationalism • sports and society • the Andes • transnationalism and globalization


Chair, Department of Cultural Anthropology

Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Erin Parish  
  • Fari Nzinga  
  • Lorien Olive  
  • Lia Haro  
  • Kristina Jacobsen  
  • Neta Bar  
  • Leigh Campoamor  
  • Yektan Turkyilmaz  
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. O. Starn, Missing the Revolution: Anthropologists and the War in Peru, Cultural Anthropology (1991)
  2. O. Starn, Engineering Internment: Anthropologists and the War Relocation Authority, American Ethnologist (1986)

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