Michael Dietler, University of Chicago

Professor Chicago, Illinois mdietler@uchicago.edu Office: (773) 702-7150

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Bio/Research

Professor of Anthropology, associated faculty in Classics, of Social Sciences in the College, and affiliate of the Program on the Ancient Mediterranean World, has conducted archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research projects in Europe and Africa. In addition to his work on alcohol, foo...

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Bio/Research

Professor of Anthropology, associated faculty in Classics, of Social Sciences in the College, and affiliate of the Program on the Ancient Mediterranean World, has conducted archaeological, ethnographic, and historical research projects in Europe and Africa. In addition to his work on alcohol, food, and feasting, a major theoretical focus has been colonialism, and he has been engaged for nearly 30 years in archaeological research in Mediterranean France on the indigenous “Celtic” societies of the region and their colonial encounters with Etruscans, Greeks and Romans during the first millennium BC, including long-term excavations at the port settlement of Lattes in Languedoc. His 2010 book, Archaeologies of Colonialism, provides the most recent synthesis of this material, approaching the process of colonial entanglement through analysis of consumption practices, urban landscapes, and violence. He is also engaged in research exploring the use of the ancient past in the construction of Celtic identities and social memory in modern ethno-nationalist and postmodern transnational contexts, and is currently finishing a book on this subject entitled Celts: Ancient, Modern, Postmodern. A third project is ethnographic research among the Luo people of Kenya, in collaboration with Ingrid Herbich, directed toward the socio-historical understanding of material culture, spatio-temporal concepts, and economics. 
He also teaches courses on the Chicago Blues and has further ethnomusicological interests in Celtic and African popular musics. He is also director of the Migration, Material Culture, and Memory Program, a collaborative project of joint research and graduate training between the University of Chicago and the University of Paris X - Nanterre financed by a grant from the Partner University Fund and the French American Cultural Exchange. He is also co-editor of the journal Archaeological Dialogues, a member of the editorial committee of the Annual Review of Anthropology, and a series editor of the Oxford University Press series Oxford Studies in the History of Archaeology.

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