Medical anthropology; anthropology of religion; social theory; post-structural theory; narratives and practices of health and illness; body politics; ethnomedicine; anthropology of the body; phenomenology; death and dying; self and personhood; shamanism and the nature of the postcolony; indigenous knowledge; experts and non-experts; ritual memory; power and authority; gender and sexuality; the late modern world viewed from the fourth world; materiality and fetishism; historicity; social memory and indigenous histories; indigenous Latin America; Mapuche.
363 Academic Center
Buffalo NY, 14261-0026
Phone: (716) 645-3241
Professor Bacigalupo’s research has focused on cultural transformation, systems of knowledge, and power—all from the perspective of Mapuche shamans from Chile and Argentina, their communities, and their critics. She analyzes how and why powerful outsiders imagine shamans as exotic remnants of a folkloric past, as sorcerers and gender deviants, as savage terrorists, or as lacking historical consciousness, and investigates the complex ways in which shamans and their communities challenge, transform, and play off these stereotypes in their discourses and practices for a variety of ends.
Professor Bacigalupo’s research has expanded into three areas unrelated to Mapuche shamans. First, she in analyzing the intersection of Chilean state violence upon indigenous Mapuche, the emergence of spirit cults around deceased Mapuche victims, and localized history-making and ethnic politics. Second, she is analyzing how the vulnerabilities produced by climate change enable a rethinking of values and a reconciliation between post-human politics and community activism. Poor Peruvian mestizos offer a model of collective ethics that attaches moral agency to the natural world for the purpose of social and environmental transformation and opens a new kind of political debate. By defining “community” and “well-being” as humans-in-relationship-to-places-as-persons, poor mestizos resignify “nature” itself as an anchor for social justice. Third, Bacigalupo’s work has recently taken a legal turn as she has begun to examine the relationships between shamanic notions of justice, LGBT parenting, Chilean family law imbued with Catholic morality, and the discourse of international human rights. Professor Bacigalupo has published five books and more than fifty sole authored articles and chapters.
Dr. Bacigalupo has garnered numerous fellowships to support her research including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a Max Planck Fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, a School of Advanced Research fellowship, a National Humanities Center fellowship, a Rockefeller Fellowship, a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, an American Association of University Women Fellowship, a Fundación Andes Grant, a Fundación Conycit Grant, a Dirección de Investigación (Universidad Católica de Chile) Grant, and fellowships from the Divinity School and the Center for World Religions at Harvard University.
At the University at Buffalo she received Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowship, the Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the UB 2020 award for Excellence in Cultural, Historical and Literary/Textual Studies, the Milton Plesur Teaching Award, the Meyerson Award for Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, the Civic Engagement Fellowship; the Community for Global Health Equity grant; the Research Grant from the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy; the Faculty Internationalization Research Grant, the Gender Institute Faculty Research Award, and the OVPRED/HI Seed Money in the Arts and Humanities grant.
Bacigalupo is a research fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy working on a project titled, “The Law of the Spirit in Chile: Judge Karen Atala’s Transformative Vision and her LGBT Rights Child Custody Case.”
Professor Bacigalupo serves as chair of the section of Religion and Spirituality of the Latin American Studies Association and Program Councilor for the Society for Latin American and the Caribbean Anthropology. She serves on the Board of the Anthropology of Religion section of the American Anthropological Association and on the board of the Indigenous Religions section of the American Academy of Religion among others. Bacigalupo is also the Anthropology Coordinator for the National Institute of Health, Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training Grant in Peru through San Diego State University. She collaborates with Douglas Sharon (San Diego State University), Gail Willsky and Linda Kahn (UB School of Medicine), Rainer Bussman (Missouri Botanical gardens) and others on this project.
Articulos y Capitulos en Castellano y Frances