Michelle Bigenho - Anthropology Faculty - Colgate University

Colgate Directory

Michelle Bigenho University Portrait 2014

Michelle Bigenho

Professor of Anthropology and Africana & Latin American Studies
Sociology & Anthropology, 428 Alumni Hall
p 315-228-7030
I am a sociocultural anthropologist with current research interests in indigeneity, cultural property, performance, transnational cultural work, indigenous heritage, folklorization processes, and the politics of culture. Based on fieldwork in Peru, Bolivia, and Japan, my theoretical frameworks have included intimacies in relation to political subjectivities, ritual analysis as applied to nation-states, performance and performativity, embodiment and memory, phenomenological approaches to the political, and the law in everyday life.

Performance as a musician, a violinist, has significantly shaped my fieldwork encounters and I have participated in numerous recordings with the Bolivian ensemble, Música de Maestros. My work has been published as articles, book chapters, and in two monographs: Intimate Distance: Andean Music in Japan (Duke 2012) and Sounding Indigenous: Authenticity in Bolivian Music Performance (Palgrave 2002).

I am currently working on a collaborative project that received National Science Foundation funding: “Cultural Property, Creativity, and Indigeneity in Bolivia,” with Henry Stobart (Co-PI, Royal Holloway University of London), Juan Carlos Cordero (Bolivia) and Bernardo Rozo (Bolivia).


I hold a Ph.D. in anthropology from Cornell University a “magister” in anthropology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and a B.A. in Political Science and Latin American Studies from UCLA.