Orin Starn

Orin Starn

Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
205 Friedl, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 684-3221


Orin Starn is Professor of Cultural Anthropology and History. He has wide-ranging interests including Latin America, Native North America, social movements and indigenous politics, the history of anthropology, activist anthropology, and, more recently, sports and society. His newest book, "The Passion of Tiger Woods: An Anthropologist Reports on Golf, Race, and Celebrity Scandal," examines the superstar golfer's place in American society and culture. Starn is also the author of the award-winning "Ishi's Brain: In Search of America's Last 'Wild' Indian," a chronicle of the life and legend of the last survivor of California's Yahi tribe. Earlier in his career, Starn worked for many years in Andean South America, mostly Peru. His "Nightwatch: The Politics of Protest in the Andes" recounts the history of one of Peru's major 20th century rural movements. Starn is also lead editor of the "The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics" and edits Duke's very successful World Readers Series. In 2005, he won Duke's highest undergraduate teaching award and was awarded the Sally Dalton Robinson Professorship in Cultural Anthropology. Starn is also the co-editor of "Indigenous Experience Today" and "Between Resistance and Revolution: Cultural Politics and SocialProtest" together with three books in Spanish. Starn's essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and many other newspapers, and his work cited in the New York Times, USA Today, and other newspapers. He has also appeared on NPR, ESPN and numerous other radio and tv programs. Starn has served as the Director of Duke's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Duke Human Rights Centers, and chaired the Editorial Advisory Board of Duke University Press. He maintains a blog about golf, sports, and society at www.golfpolitics.blogspot.com). He is beginning research for new books on Peru and on the experience of Latina housecleaners in North Carolina.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Stanford University 1989

  • B.A., University of Chicago 1982

Selected Grants

ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship awarded by American Council of Learned Societies (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017

(95-0499) Wartime Stories in the Andes awarded by Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation (Principal Investigator). 1995

Starn, O. "Ishi’s Spanish Words." Ishi in Three Centuries. Ed. Kroeber, K and Kroeber, C.: University of Nebraska Press. 2003.

Starn, O. "Villagers at Arms: War and Counterrevolution in Peru’s Andes." Between Revolution and Resistance. Ed. Fox, RG and Starn, O.: New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 1997.

Starn, O. "'I Dreamed of Foxes and Hawks': Peasant Protest, New Social Movements and the Rondas Campesinas of Norther Peru." The Making of Social Movements in Latin America. Ed. Escobar, A and Alvarez, S.: Boulder: Westview Press. 1992. 89-111.

Jones, GM, Flamenbaum, R, Buyandelger, M, Downey, G, Starn, O, Laserna, C, Kelkar, S, Rouse, C, and Looser, T. "Anthropology in and of MOOCs." American Anthropologist 116.4 (January 1, 2014): 829-838. Full Text

Starn, O. "Writing culture at 25: Special editor's introduction." Cultural Anthropology 27.3 (August 1, 2012): 411-416. Full Text

Starn, O. "Introduction to Special Issue 'Writing Culture at 25'." Cultural Anthropology 27.3 (2012): 411-416. (Introduction)

Starn, O. "Caddying for the dalai lama: Golf, heritage tourism, and the Pinehurst resort." South Atlantic Quarterly 105.2 (December 1, 2006): 447-463. (Review) Full Text

Starn, O, and Bar, N. "An interview with Richard G. Fox." Current Anthropology 47.1 (February 1, 2006): 155-163. Full Text

Rockafellar, N, and Starn, O. "Ishi's Brain." Current Anthropology 40.4 (August 1999): 413-416. Full Text

Starn, O. "To Revolt against the Revolution: War and Resistance in Peru's Andes." Cultural Anthropology 10.4 (November 1995): 547-580. Full Text

Starn, O, Harris, O, Nugent, D, Nugent, S, Orlove, BS, Reyna, SP, and Smith, G. "Rethinking the Politics of Anthropology: The Case of the Andes [and Comments and Reply]." Current Anthropology 35.1 (February 1994): 13-38. Full Text

Starn, O. "Algunas Palabras Finales." Allpanchis 39 (1992): 123-130. (Academic Article)