Michael Dietler


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 131
Phone: (773) 702-7150
Email: mdietler@uchicago.edu
Website: n/a

(PhD, UC Berkeley 1990) Professor of Anthropology, associated faculty in Classics, of Social Sciences in the College, and affiliate of the Program on the Ancient Mediterranean World, has conducted archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research projects in Europe and Africa. In addition to his work on alcohol, food, and feasting, a major theoretical focus has been colonialism, and he has been engaged for nearly 30 years in archaeological research in Mediterranean France on the indigenous “Celtic” societies of the region and their colonial encounters with Etruscans, Greeks and Romans during the first millennium BC, including long-term excavations at the port settlement of Lattes in Languedoc. His 2010 book, Archaeologies of Colonialism, provides the most recent synthesis of this material, approaching the process of colonial entanglement through analysis of consumption practices, urban landscapes, and violence. He is also engaged in research exploring the use of the ancient past in the construction of Celtic identities and social memory in modern ethno-nationalist and postmodern transnational contexts, and is currently finishing a book on this subject entitled Celts: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern. A third project is ethnographic research among the Luo people of Kenya, in collaboration with Ingrid Herbich, directed toward the socio-historical understanding of material culture, spatio-temporal concepts, and economics. 
He also teaches courses on the Chicago Blues and has further ethnomusicological interests in Celtic and African popular musics. He is also director of the Migration, Material Culture, and Memory Program, a collaborative project of joint research and graduate training between the University of Chicago and the University of Paris X - Nanterre financed by a grant from the Partner University Fund and the French American Cultural Exchange. He is also co-editor of the journal Archaeological Dialogues, a member of the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Anthropology, and a series editor of the Oxford University Press series Oxford Studies in the History of Archaeology.

Selected Works

Selected Publications

Year Title / Publications PDF
2016 Anthropological Reflections on the Koine Concept: Linguistic Analogies and Material Worlds In Material Koinai in the Greek Early Iron Age and Archaic Period, edited by Søren Handberg. Athens: Danish Institute at Athens’ Monograph Series, vol. 22
2016 Material Culture: Perspectives from American Archaeology and Anthropology. Ateliers. Revue d'anthropologie.
2015 Rencontres culinaires: Colonialisme et la culture matérielle incarnée. In Contacts et acculturations en Méditerranée occidentale. Hommages à Michel Bats, Actes du colloque de Hyères, edited by Réjane Roure, pp. 153-159.
2011 Feasting and Fasting. In The Oxford Handbook on the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion, edited by T. Ingersoll, pp. 179-194. Oxford University Press.
2010 Archaeologies of Colonialism: Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Winner of the Archaeological Institute of America's James R. Wiseman Book Award, 2012).
2010 Cocina y colonialismo. Encuentros culinarios en la Francia mediterránea protohistórica. In De la Cuina a la Taula: IV Reunió d’Economia en el Primer Milenio., edited by C. Mata Pareño, G. Pérez Jordà, and J. Vives-Ferrándiz Sánchez, pp. 11-26. Universitat de Valencia, Saguntum.
2010 Consumption. In The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies, edited by D. Hicks and M. Beaudry, pp. 207-226. Oxford University Press.
2009 Colonial Encounters in Ancient Iberia: Phoenician, Greek, and Indigenous Relations, edited with C. López-Ruiz. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2009 Domestic Space, Social Life, and Settlement Biography: Theoretical Reflections from the Ethnography of a Rural African Landscape (with I. Herbich). In L’espai domestic i l’organizacio de la societat a la protohistoria de la Mediterrania occidental (Ier milleni aC), Actes de la IV Reunio Internacional d’Arqueologia de Calafell, edited by C. Belarte, pp. 11-23. Barcelona: Arqueo Mediterrania, 10.
2008 France et États-Unis: comparaison des institutions archéologiques (with I. Herbich). In Constructions de l’archéologie, edited by A. Coudart, pp. 111-116. Archéopages, numéro hors série.
2008 Les maisons à cour des IIIe-IIe s. av. n. è. à Lattes: émergence d’une différentiation dans l’habitat indigene (with A. Kohn, A. Moya i Garra, and A. Rivalan). Gallia, 65: 111-122.
2008 ‘The Long Arm of the Mother-in-Law’: Post-Marital Resocialization, Cultural Transmission, and Material Style (with I. Herbich). In Breaking Down Boundaries: Anthropological Approaches to Cultural Transmission and Material Culture, edited by B. Bowser, A. Horne and M. Stark, pp. 23-244. Tucson: U. Arizona Press
2007 The Iron Age in the Western Mediterranean. In The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World, edited by W. Scheidel, I. Morris & R. Saller, pp. 242-276. Cambridge Univ. Press.
2007 Culinary Encounters: Food, Identity, and Colonialism. In The Archaeology of Food and Identity, edited by K. Twiss, pp. 218-242. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
2006 Alcohol: Anthropological/Archaeological Perspective. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35: 229-249
2006 Celticism, Celtitude, and Celticity: The Consumption of the Past in the Age of Globalization. In Celtes et Gaulois dans l’histoire, l’historiographie et l’idéologie moderne, edited by S. Rieckhoff. Actes de la table ronde de Leipzig, 16-17 juin 2005, pp. 237-248. Glux-en-Glenne: Bibracte, Centre Archéologique Européen (Bibracte 12/1).
2006 Feasting und kommensale Politik in der Eisenzeit Europas. Theoretische Reflexionen und empirische Fallstudien. Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift, 47(4):541-568.
2006 Liquid Material Culture: Following the Flow of Beer Among the Luo of Kenya (with I. Herbich). In Grundlegungen. Beiträge zur europäischen und afrikanischen Archäologie für Manfred K.H. Eggert, edited by H.-P. Wotzka, pp. 395-408. Tübingen: Francke Verlag.
2005 The Archaeology of Colonization and the Colonization of Archaeology: Theoretical Challenges from an Ancient Mediterranean Colonial Encounter. In The Archaeology of Colonial Encounters: Comparative Perspectives, edited by G. Stein, pp. 33-68. Santa Fe: SAR Press.
2005 Consumption and Colonial Encounters in the Rhône Basin of France: A Study of Early Iron Age Political Economy. CNRS, Monographies d’Archéologie Meditérranéenne 21.
2004 La société lattoise à l’aube de la conquête romaine: Réflexions sur le colonialisme et la vie quotidienne dans une ville portuaire indigène. In Lattara 17. Le quartier 30-35 de la ville de Lattara (fin IIIe – Ier siècles av. n. è.): Regards sur la vie urbaine à la fin de la Protohistoire, edited by M. Py, pp. 403-412. Lattes: ARALO.
2003 The warrior of Lattes: An Iron Age statue discovered in Mediterranean France (with M. Py). Antiquity, 77: 870-795.
2002 L’Archéologie du colonialisme: consommation, emmêlement culturel, et rencontres coloniales en Méditerranée. In Regards croisés sur le métissage, edited by L. Turgeon, pp. 135-184 Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval.
2001 American archaeology at the Millennium: a user’s guide. Revista d’Arqueologia de Ponent, 11:7-20.
2001 Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power, edited with B. Hayden. Washington, DC: Smithsonian. (Reprinted by the University of Alabama Press 2010).
1999 Rituals of commensality and the politics of state formation in the “princely” societies of Early Iron Age Europe. In Les princes de la Protohistoire et l‘émergence de l‘état, edited by P. Ruby, pp. 135-152. Naples: Collection de l‘École Française de Rome 252
1999 Reflections on Lattois Society During the 4th Century BC. In Lattara 12: Recherches sur le quatrième siècle avant notre ère à Lattes, edited by M. Py, pp. 663-680. ARALO.
1998 Consumption, agency, and cultural entanglement: theoretical implications of a Mediterranean colonial encounter. In Studies in Culture Contact: Interaction, Culture Change and Archaeology, edited by J. Cusick, pp. 288-315. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press.
1998 Habitus, techniques, style: An integrated approach to the social understanding of material culture and boundaries (with I. Herbich). In The Archaeology of Social Boundaries, edited by M. Stark, pp. 232-263. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Press.
1998 A tale of three sites: the monumentalization of Celtic oppida and the politics of collective memory and identity. World Archaeology, 30: 72-89
1997 The Iron Age in Mediterranean France: colonial encounters, entanglements, and transformations. Journal of World Prehistory, 11: 269-358
1996 Feasts and Commensal Politics in the Political Economy: Food, Power, and Status in Prehistoric Europe. In Food and the Status Quest: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, edited by P. Wiessner and W. Schiefenhövel, pp. 87-125. Oxford: Berghahn.
1994 “Our ancestors the Gauls”: archaeology, ethnic nationalism, and the manipulation of Celtic identity in modern Europe. American Anthropologist, 96: 584-605.
1994 Habitus et reproduction sociale des techniques: l’intelligence du style en archéologie et en ethnoarchéologie (with I. Herbich). In De la préhistoire aux missiles balistiques: l’intelligence sociale des techniques, edited by B. Latour and P. Lemonnier, pp. 202-227. Paris: La Découverte.
1993 Living on Luo time: reckoning sequence, duration, history, and biography in a rural African Society (with I. Herbich). World Archaeology, 25: 248-260.
1990 Driven by drink: the role of drinking in the political economy and the case of Early Iron Age France. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 9: 352-406.