Assistant Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College
Associated Faculty, Divinity School; affiliate, Center for the Study of Race, Culture, and Politics, Center for Latin American Studies, and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
PhD, University of California Berkeley, 2015
Mareike Winchell is a political anthropologist focused on the relational, ecological, and legal dimensions of racial and gender vulnerabilities related to ongoing histories of colonial labor subjection and Indigenous land dispossession. Her first book, After Servitude: Elusive Property and the Ethics of Kinship in Bolivia (University of California Press, 2022), traces the ways people call upon and actively repurpose the past in their efforts to navigate legacies of labor subjection and sexual violence. Such engagements reveal a more durative orientation to justice, one that departs notably from utopic projects of property that require disarticulating land and people, and the present from the past.
Winchell is currently at work on two new book projects. The first, "Ghostly Invasions: Political Theologies of Fire in Post-Coup Bolivia," focuses on the racialization of climate politics in Bolivia. The book traces the authoritarian tendencies of environmentalisms that preserve nature's purity and reproduce narratives of racialized guilt and responsibility. Conversely, it considers grounded collaborations—feminist housing projects, anti-imperialist environmental organizing, and land “restoration” efforts—that seek to move past the divide of standard conservation (with the separation of people and nature) and statist approaches that have often seen land redistribution and ecological protection as antithetical.
A second book, "The Servant’s Properties: Materiality, Gender, and More-than-Human Landscapes in 20th Century Bolivia," explores the legal claims of out-of-wedlock children born to indentured laborers after 1953. Based largely on archival materials, the book asks how incommensurate approaches to land and place came to be cemented within institutional knowledges, and what that process reveals about the remaking of property by non-secular orientations to landscapes and/as kin. More broadly, the project shows how marginalized hacienda workers transformed land relations and hierarchies through practices of bureaucratic maneuver and legal subversion.
Winchell’s writing and digital scholarship have appeared in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI), Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Cultural Anthropology, Journal of Peasant Studies, Critical Times, Bolivian Studies Journal, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She has received generous funding from the Josephine de Karman Fellowship Trust, the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, the Center for International Social Science Research (CISSR), and The Townsend Center for the Humanities. In 2021, Winchell was a finalist for the Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award, awarded by the Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Association).
Learn more about Winchell's research & read her published work at:
After Servitude: Elusive Property and the Ethics of Kinship in Bolivia is available for purchase here: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520386440/after-servitude
Office: Haskell 205
Phone: (773) 702-6755
In progress. Ghostly Invasions: Political Theologies of Fire in Post-Coup Bolivia. (book manuscript)
In progress. The Servant’s Properties: Materiality, Gender, and Other-than-Human Landscapes in 20th Century Bolivia. (book manuscript)
In preparation. Unbounding the field: Research reciprocities beyond objectivism. (article manuscript)
In preparation. 'A Future Facing the Past': Indigenous activism, ritual, and decolonial kinships in urban Bolivia. (article manuscript)
In preparation. 'Satan, be gone!': Evangelicalism, Indigeneity, and refusals of hybridity in post-coup Bolivia. (article manuscript)
In preparation. Making killing palatable: Ethical meat production, animal affections, and climate heroism in Bolivia. (article manuscript)
In preparation. Positive ecologies: Earth politics in extractivism’s shadow. (with Cymene Howe). (Introduction to an edited journal volume)
In preparation. Gendering racial capital: Masculinity, minerals, and settler detachment at a Bolivian sodalite mine. (article manuscript)
In Press. Cartographies of struggle after servitude: In/humanity, emancipation, and the spatial poetics of lo abigarrado in Bolivia. Critical Times.
In Press. Indigeneity usurped? Bolivia’s coup and violent deployments of political (un)reason. The Bolivian Studies Journal.
In Press. Critical ontologies: Rethinking relations to other-than-humans from the Bolivian Andes. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
2022. After Servitude: Elusive Property and the Ethics of Kinship in Bolivia. (University of California Press) https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520386440/after-servitude
2021. "What Has Bolivia's Arce Achieved in His First 100 Days?" Inter-American Dialogue's Latin America Advisor, Featured Q&A, www.thediaologue.org Tues February 16th 2021
2020. Liberty time in question: Historical duration and indigenous refusal in post-revolutionary Bolivia. Comparative Studies in Society and History 62(3): 551-587. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0010417520000171
2020. Indigenous Citizenship and Political Action in Bolivia. entreVistas Episode 5. Featured interview. https://clas.uchicago.edu/content/entrevistas-mareike-winchell-transcript
2020. Why Have Bolivians Decided to Bring MAS Back to Power? Latin America Advisor. Featured Q&A. www.thediaologue.org Tues, October 20, 2020.
2019. Ética. Debates do Ner 2(36): 191-199. https://seer.ufrgs.br/debatesdoner/issue/view/3969/showToc
2018. After Servitude: Bonded Histories and the Encumbrances of Exchange in Indigenizing Bolivia. The Journal of Peasant Studies 45(2): 453-473. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2016.1229309
2018. Archival Research in the Digital Age. Dialogo: UChicago Social Sciences. https://dialogo.uchicago.edu/content/archival-research-digital-age.
2017. Economies of Obligation: Patronage as Relational Wealth in Bolivian Gold Mining. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(3): 1-25. https://doi.org/10.14318/hau7.3.011
2017. Remapping. Cultural Anthropology. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1165-remapping
2009. “On Moral Ambitions of Grace.” (with Hannah Appel and Emily Yates-Doerr). Anthropology News. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-3502.2010.51134.x