Stephan Palmié


Contact Information

Office: Haskell 212
Phone: (773) 834-1576
Website: n/a

(D.Phil, U Munich 1989; Habilitation, U Munich 1999) Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College, 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.

Selected Works

Selected Publications

Year Title / Publications PDF
n.d. Molecular Biological Ambivalences Somatosphere (Forthcoming).
n.d. (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.