University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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Andrew Orta

Department Head, Professor and Head of Anthropology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, LAS Global Studies, and Center for Global Studies

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Office Hours

  • Th 1:00-3:00 and by appt.

Research Associates


  • Andrew Orta (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1996) is a sociocultural anthropologist with research specializations in Bolivia, where he has conducted ethnographic research with Aymara communities since 1989. His most recent research there focuses on the impact of processes of neoliberal political decentralization on the reproduction of local community institutions and identities. Another recent project examines the internationalization of business curricula in the United States through ethnographic research with MBA students and faculty.


  • ANTH 103 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 182 Latin American Cultures
  • ANTH 230 Sociocultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 362 Body, Personhood and Culture
  • ANTH 399 Capitalism, Culture and the World of Business
  • ANTH 430 History of Anthropology
  • ANTH 463 Religion and Society
  • ANTH 481 Andean Ethnography
  • ANTH 502 Ethnicity, Nationalism and the State
  • ANTH 515A Cultures of Capitalism



Book Contributions

  • "Area Studies." Theory in social and cultural anthropology. SAGE Publications, 2013.
  • "Ethnography: South America : Highlands." Handbook of Latin American Studies. 2010.
  • "Misioneros y municipios: la inculturación y la descentralización política en el altiplano boliviano." San Juan Diego y la Pachamama: Nuevas vías del catolicismo y de la religiosidad indígena en América Latina. Ed. Alessandro Lupo and Félix Báez-Jorge. Veracruz, MX: Editorial de la Universidad Veracruzana, 2010. 370-422.
  • Orta, Andrew. "Dusty signs and roots of faith: the limits of Christian meaning in highlands Bolivia." Christian Ritual and the Limits of Meaning. Ed. Matt Tomlinson and Mathew Engelke. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006. 165-188.
  • Orta, Andrew. "From theologies of liberation to theologies of inculturation: Aymara catechists and the second evangelization in highlands Bolivia." Organized religion in the political transformation of Latin America. Ed. Satya R. Pattnayak. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 1995. 97-124.

Journal Articles


  • Putting “flow” in its place. Invited Comment on Stuart A. Rockefeller, Flow. Current Anthropology. 52(4): 572-573. 2011.
  • “Ethnography: South America: Highlands” Handbook of Latin American Studies Volume 65: 138-148. 2010.
  • “Ethnography: South America: Highlands” Handbook of Latin American Studies Volume 63: 150-166. 2008.
  • Neoliberalism and anti-neoliberalism in Bolivia. Interconnect 14(2):8-9 2007.
  • “Ethnography: South America: Highlands” Handbook of Latin American Studies Volume 61: 112-124. 2006.
  • Invited Comment on Bronwen Douglas, From invisible Christians to gothic theatre: the romance of the millennial in Melanesian anthropology. Current Anthropology 42(5): 637-8. 2001