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Orin Starn, Professor and Bass Fellow

Orin Starn
Office Location:  205 Friedl, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 717-7090
Email Address:    send me a message
Web Page:


  • Ph.D. Stanford University 1989
  • MA Stanford University 1985
  • B.A. The 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 latest 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. Starn began as an anthropologist in Peru, and is now finishing a co-authored book about the Shining Path guerrilla movement there. He is the editor of the "The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics" and co-edits Duke University Press's very successful World Readers Series. In 2005, Starn won Duke's highest undergraduate teaching award and was awarded the Sally Dalton Robinson Professorship in Cultural Anthropology. Starn also edited the recent volume "Writing Culture and the Life of Anthropology" from Duke University Press about the state of the discipline today, and is the co-editor of two other books -- "Indigenous Experience Today" and "Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Protest." His 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 also teaches a MOOC through the online education group Coursera about "Sports and Society" accessible at: He continues to do research in Peru as well as a new project on the experience of Latina housecleaners in North Carolina (

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Starn, O. Ishi’s Brain: In Search of America’s Last "Wild" Indian. W.W. Norton, 2004.
  2. Starn, O; Cadena, MDL. Indigenous Experience Today, Translated into Spanish as "Indigeneidadas Contemporaneas: Cultura, Politca, y Globalizacion" (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 2010). Berg, 2006.
  3. Starn, O. Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes. Duke University Press, 1999.  [abs]
  4. Starn, O; et. al.,. The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Revised and Expanded Editon). Duke University Press, 2005.
  5. Starn, O; Fox, R. Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Movements. Rutgers University Press, 1997.  [abs]

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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