People / Faculty

Claudio Lomnitz

Claudio Lomnitz
Affiliated Professor Campbell Family Professor of Anthropology Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Department of Anthropology, Institute for Latin American Studies, Department of History / Director of the Center for Mexican Studies, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
  • Address
    955 Schermerhorn Extension
  • Office Hours
    Tuesday, 2-4pm
  • Phone
    (212) 851-5932
  • Email


I work on the history, politics and culture of Latin America, and particularly of Mexico. I received my PhD from Stanford in 1987, and my first book, Evolución de una sociedad rural (Mexico City, 1982) was a study of politics and cultural change in Tepoztlán, Mexico. After that I developed an interest in conceptualizing the nation-state as a kind of cultural region, a theme that culminated in Exits from the Labyrinth: Culture and Ideology in Mexican National Space (California, 1992). In that work, I also concentrated on the social work of intellectuals, a theme that I developed in various works on the history of public culture in Mexico, including Modernidad Indiana (Mexico City, 1999) and Deep Mexico, Silent Mexico: An Anthropology of Nationalism (Minnesota, 2001). Around 10 years ago I began working on the historical anthropology of crisis and published Death and the Idea of Mexico (Zone Books, 2005), a political and cultural history of death in Mexico from the 16th to the 21st centuries. My most recent book The Return of Comrade Ricardo Flores Magón (Zone Books, 2014) is about exile, ideology and revolution.
I also write in non-academic genres. For some years now I write a bi-weekly column in the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada. I have also written an historical play on intellectuals and power in collaboration with my brother, Alberto Lomnitz, that won Mexico’s National Drama Award in 2010. We are currently working on a play on the fantasies of family and the state, based on my recent research.