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

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

Teaching (Spring 2022):

  • Culanth 101.01, Intro to cultural anthro Synopsis
    East duke 209, TuTh 10:15 AM-11:30 AM
    (also cross-listed as ICS 101.01)
  • Culanth 290.01, Current issues (topics) Synopsis
    East duke 209, TuTh 03:30 PM-04:45 PM
    (also cross-listed as ECON 290.01, GSF 290.01, HISTORY 290.01, PUBPOL 290.03, SOCIOL 290.01)

  • 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. The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal.  Duke University Press, 2012.
  2. Starn, O. "Here Come The Anthros (Again): The Strange Marriage Of Anthropology And Native America." Cultural Anthropology 26:2 (May, 2011): 179-204. [doi]  [abs]
  3. Starn, O. Ishi’s Brain: In Search of America’s Last "Wild" Indian.  W.W. Norton, 2004.
  4. O. Starn. "Missing the Revolution: Anthropologists and the War in Peru." Cultural Anthropology  (1991).
  5. 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.
  6. Rockafellar, N; Starn, O. "Ishi's Brain." Current Anthropology 40:4 (August, 1999): 413-416. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  7. Starn, O. Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes.  Duke University Press, 1999.  [abs]
  8. Starn, O; et. al.,. The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Revised and Expanded Editon).  Duke University Press, 2005.
  9. Starn, O. "To Revolt against the Revolution: War and Resistance in Peru's Andes." Cultural Anthropology 10:4 (January, 1995): 547-580. [doi]
  10. Starn, O; Fox, R. Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and Social Movements.  Rutgers University Press, 1997.  [abs]
  11. Starn, O; Harris, O; Nugent, D; Nugent, S; Orlove, BS; Reyna, SP; Smith, G. "Rethinking the Politics of Anthropology: The Case of the Andes [and Comments and Reply]." Current Anthropology 35:1 (February, 1994): 13-38. [pdf], [doi]
  12. O. Starn. "Engineering Internment: Anthropologists and the War Relocation Authority." American Ethnologist  (1986).

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