Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College

D.Phil, University of Munich, 1989; Habilitation, University of Munich, 1999


Stephan Palmié conducts ethnographic and historical research on Afro-Caribbean cultures, with an emphasis on Afro-Cuban religious formations and their relations to the history and cultures of a wider Atlantic world. His other interests include practices of historical representation and knowledge production, systems of slavery and unfree labor, constructions of race and ethnicity, conceptions of embodiment and moral personhood, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of food and cuisine.


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 212
Phone: (773) 834-1576
Email: palmie@uchicago.edu


Selected Publications

n.d.
The Varieties of Historial Experience. (with Charles Stewart, eds.) Under contract with Routledge Press.

n.d.
An Early Nineteenth Century Afro-Cuban Visionary Artist: José Antonio Aponte and his "libro de pinturas." (with Jorge Pavez Ojeda, Ada Ferrer, and Linda Rodriguez.) A critically annotated edition of the 1812 trial records. In preparation.

2018
Molecular Biological Ambivalences. Somatosphere (Forthcoming).

2018
(w/ Paul C. Johnson) Afro-Latin American Religions In George Reid Andrews and Alejandro de la Fuente, eds., Cambridge Handbook of Afro-Latin American Studies (Forthcoming).

2017
Translator's Introduction. In G. Da Coll, ed., The Mythology in Our Own Language: Remarks on Frazer's Golden Bough. University of Chicago Press (Forthcoming).

2016
(w/ Charles Stewart) Towards an Anthropology of History. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 16(1): 207-36.

2016
The Cuban Factors of Humanity/Los factores cubanos de la humanidad. Anthropological Theory 16:3-21

2014
On Talking Past Each Other, Productively: Anthropology and the Black Atlantic, Twenty Years On. In I. Kummels, et al., eds., Transatlantic Caribbean: Dialogues of People, Practices, Ideas. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, pp. 57-75.

2014
The Eyamba of North Fairmount Avenue, the Wizard of Menlo Park, and the Dialectics of Ensoniment: An Episode in the History of an Acoustic Mask. In P.C. Johnson, ed., Spirited Things: The Work of "Possession" in Black Atlantic Religion. University of Chicago Press, pp. 47-78, 288-93.

2014
Historicist Knowledge and Its Conditions of Impossibility. In D. Espirito Santo and R.L. Blanes, eds., The Social Life of Spirits. University of Chicago Press, pp. 218-39, 258-63.

2013
The Cooking of History: How Not to Study "Afro"-"Cuban" "Religion." Winner of the 2014 Clifford Geertz Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. University of Chicago Press.

2013
Mixed Blessings and Sorrowful Mysteries: Second Thoughts about 'Hybridity." Current Anthropology. 54:1-20.

2013
Signal and Noise: Digging up the Dead in Archaeology and Afro-Cuban Palo Monte. Archaeological Journal from Cambridge. Vol.28: 115-131.

2012
Other Powers: Tylor’s Principle, Father Williams’ Temptations and the Power of Banality. In D. Paton & M. Forde, eds., Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing. Duke University Press, 316-340.

2011
(ed. w/ F. Scarano), The Caribbean: A History of the Region and Its Peoples. University of Chicago Press.

2011
From Enchantment by Science to Socialist Sorcery: The Cuban Republic and its Savage Slot. In R. Sansi-Roca & L.N. Parés, eds., Sorcery in the Black Atlantic. University of Chicago Press, 121-144.

2011
Biotechnological Cults of Affliction? Race, Rationality, and Enchantment in Personal Genomic Histories (PGH). In K. Schram, D. Skinner & R. Rottenburg, eds., Identity Politics After DNA. Oxford: Berghan Books, 193-211.

2010
Ekpe/Abakuá in Middle Passage: Time, Space, and Units of Analysis in African American Historical Anthropology. In A. Apter & L. Derby (eds.) Activating the Past: Historical Memory in the Black Atlantic. London: Cambridge Scholars Press.

2010
Slavery, Historicism, and the Poverty of Memorialization. In S. Radstone & B. Schwartz, eds., Memory: History, Theories, Debates. Fordham University Press.

2009
Intangible Cultural Property, Semiotic Ideology, and the Vagaries of Ethnoculinary Recognition. African Arts. 42(4): 54-61.

2008
The Cuban Republic and Its Wizards. In T. Kirsch & B. Turner, eds., Permutations of Order: Religion and Law as Contested Sovereignties. Ashgate, 67-84.

2008
On Predications of Africanity. In S. Palmié, ed., Africas of the Americas: Beyond the Search for Origins in the Study of Afro-Atlantic Religions. Leiden: Brill, 1-37.

2007
Ecué‘s Atlantic: An Essay in Method. Journal of Religion in Africa. 37(2): 207-315.

2007
On the C-Word, Again: From Colonial to Postcolonial Semantics. In C. Stewart, ed., Creolization and Diaspora: Historical, Ethnographic, and Theoretical Perspectives. Walnut Creek: Left Shore Press, 66-83.

2007
Is there a Model in the Muddle? ‘Creolization’ in African American History and Anthropology. In C. Stewart, ed., Creolization and Diaspora: Historical, Ethnogrpahic, and Theorietical Perspectives. Walnut Creek: Left Shore Press, 178-200.

2007
Rejoinder: Genomic Moonliighting, Jewish Cyborgs, and Peircian Abduction. American Ethnologist. 34: 243-249.

2007
Genomics, Divination, “Racecraft”. American Ethnologist. 34: 203-220.

2006
Thinking with Ngangas: Reflections on Embodiment and the Limits of ‘Objectively Necessary Appearances’. Comparative Studies in Society and History. 48: 852-86.

2006
The View from Itía Ororó Kande. Social Anthropology. 14: 99-118.

2006
Creolizaton and its Discontents. Annual Reviews in Anthropology. 35: 433-56.

2005
Ackee and Saltfish vs. Amalá con Quimbombó?: Sidney Mintz’ Contribution to the Historical Anthropology of African American Cultures. Journal de la Société des Américanistes 91(2): 89-122.

2005
Santería Grand Slam: Afro-Cuban Religious Studies and the Study of Afro-Cuban Religion. New West Indian Guide. 79, 281-300.

2005
The Cultural Work of Yoruba-Globalization. In T. Falola, ed., Christianity and Social Change in Africa: Essays in Honor of John Peel. Chapel Hill: Carolina Academic Press, 43-81.

2004
Fascinans or Tremendum? Permutations of the State, the Body, and the Divine in Late-Twentieth Century Havana. New West Indian Guide 78:229-268.

2002
The Color of the Gods: Notes on a Question Better Left Unasked. In B. Ostendorf, ed. Transnational America. Heidelberg: C. Winter, pp. 163-175.

2002 Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition. Duke U Press.

2001
Of Pharisees and Snark Hunters: Afro-Cuban Religions as an Object of Knowledge. Culture and Religion. 2:3-19.

1998
“Fernando Ortiz and the Cooking of History” Ibero-Amerikanisches Archiv 24, pp. 353-373.

1998
Conventionalization, Distortion and Plagiarism in the Historiography of Afro-Caribbean Religion in New Orleans. In W. Binder, ed., Creoles and Cajuns. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, pp. 315-344.

1996
Which Center, Whose Margin? Notes Towards an Archaeology of U.S. Supreme Court Case 91-948, 1993. In O. Harris, ed., Inside and Outside the Law. London: Routledge, pp. 184-209.

1995
The Taste for Human Commodities: Experiencing the Atlantic System. In S. Palmié, ed., Slave Cultures and the Cultures of Slavery. Knoxville: U Tennessee Press, pp. 40-54.

1995
Against Syncretism: Africanizing and Cubanizing Discourses in North American Òrìsà-Worship. In R. Fardon, ed., Counterworks: Managing Diverse Knowledge. London: Routledge, pp. 73-104.

1993
Ethnogenetic Processes and Cultural Transfer in Caribbean Slave Populations. In W. Binder, ed., Slavery in the Americas. Würzburg: Königshauser & Neumann, pp. 337-364.

1993
Conceptualizing Cultural Flow: Perspectives on Globalization. In R. Kroes, et al., eds. Cultural Transmissions and Receptions. Amsterdam: VU University Press, pp. 271-301.