Claudio Lomnitz

Director, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race; Professor of Anthropology, CSER and Latino/a Studies
Columbia University

Claudio Lomnitz works on the history, politics and culture of Latin America, and particularly of Mexico. He received his PhD from Stanford in 1987, and his first book, Evolución de una sociedad rural (Mexico City, 1982) was a study of politics and cultural change in Tepoztlán, Mexico. After that he developed an interest in conceptualizing the nation-state as a kind of cultural region, a theme that culminated in Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (California, 1992). In that work, he also concentrated on the social work of intellectuals, a theme that he developed in various works on the history of public culture in Mexico, including Modernidad Indiana (Mexico City, 1999) and Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minnesota, 2001). He is currently working on the historical anthropology of crisis and recently published Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005), a political and cultural history of death in Mexico from the 16th to the 21st centuries. He serves as editor of the journal Public Culture and writes a weekly column in Excelsior, a paper in Mexico City. Publications include: Death and the Idea of Mexico (2005); "Times of Crisis: Historicity, Sacrifice, and the Spectacle of Debacle in Mexico City," Public Culture (2003); "The Depreciation of Life During Mexico City's Transition into the Crisis," in J. Schneider and I. Susser (Eds.), Wounded Cities: Destruction and Reconstruction in a Globalized World (2003); Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (2001); "Elusive Property: The Personification of Mexican National Sovereignty," in F. Myers (Ed.), The Empire of Things: Regimes of Value and Material Culture (2001)