Department of Anthropology

Renato Rosaldo: Notes on Poetry and Ethnography

Mon, February 18, 2013 | SAC 2.120

12:00 PM

"Notes on Poetry and Ethnography: Context for Poems on the Day of Shelly's Death"

A talk by Renato Rosaldo, Anthropology, New York University  

This talk explores the relations between poetry and ethnography by reflecting on the author's poetry collection, "The Day of Shelly's Death."  What would it mean to write poetry with an ethnographic sensibility – what the author calls antropoesía?  In what ways is this series of poems like and not like an ethnographic arrival scene?  Rosaldo will read a set of poems to accompany the lecture.  That evening, he will do a reading at Resistencia Books in South Austin from his latest collection, Diego Luna’s Insider Tips.  Books will be for sale at both events, which are free and open to the public.

An internationally known cultural anthropologist, Renato Rosaldo started writing poetry in English and Spanish while recovering from a stroke in 1996. His first book of poetry, Prayer to Spider Woman/Rezo a la mujer araña (ICOCULT, Saltillo, MX), received an American Book Award (2004). This collection, Diego Luna’s Insider Tips, won the Many Mountains Moving poetry book prize for 2009. Individual poems won the El Andar contest (2000) and the Many Mountains Moving contest (2005). He is currently a Professor of Cultural Anthropology at New York University and Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences Emeritus at Stanford University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The author of Culture and Truth and Ilongot Headhunting, 1883-1974, Rosaldo found “bridges” between anthropology and poetry and coined a term—“antropoeta”—to describe the way he can move back and forth between the two modes of writing.

For further information please contact Adriana Dingman at

Sponsored by: The Department of Anthropology, The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and The Center for Mexican American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

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