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Orin Starn, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History and Bass Fellow and Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society

Orin Starn
Office Location:  205 Friedl, Durham, NC 27708
Email Address:    send me a message
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  • PhD Stanford University 1989
  • Ph.D. Stanford University 1985
  • MA Stanford University 1985
  • B.A. University of Chicago 1982
  • General Studies University of California, Berkeley 1981
  • General Studies Haverford College 1979

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.

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).

The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal


Duke University Press

Ishi's Brain: In Search of America's Last "Wild" Indian


W.W. Norton

Indigenous Experience Today


Berg Press

Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes


Duke University Press

The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics

2005 (Revised and Updated Edition)

Duke University Press

Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Protest


Rutgers University Press

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