The University's Board of Truestees confirmed Prof. Stephan Palmié as the Norman & Edna Freehling Professor in their recent December meeting. The wide-ranging scope and breadth of Palmié’s intellectual impact are evident in his 84 published articles on topics ranging from reproductive biology and race to an analysis of the incongruities of regionalism and transnationalism in contemporary religion, from identity politics after the DNA revolution to the ethics of excavating human remains in Afro-Cuban archaeological sites. He is the author of three books, including The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Clifford Geertz Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, and Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition (Duke University Press, 2002), honorable mention for the Caribbean Studies Association Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award in 2004, as well as an impressive eleven co-authored books and edited volumes. Palmié’s current work is moving ahead in exciting new directions, with his next book, Thinking with Ngangas: What Afro-Cuban Ritual Can Tell Us About Rational Western Expert Praxis and Vice Versa, and the launch of a new book series on The Anthropology of History with Routledge, which includes an inaugural edited collection, The Varieties of Historical Experience (2019).

Palmié has served as President for the Society for the Anthropology of Religion (2007-09), co-edited and authored several articles for encyclopedias, handbooks, and readers, and given numerous invited lectures, among other service to the field. His citizenship at the University includes chairing the Department of Anthropology from 2013-2015 and the Colonizations core sequence from 2006-2010). He received the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2010 and has chaired and served on many dissertation committees over the years.