University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Anthropology

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Matti Bunzl

Jewish Culture and Society
Center for Global Studies
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
European Union Center

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Research Interests

The Anthropology of Europe

Modern Jewish History and Culture

The History and Theory of Anthropology

The Contemporary Art World


  • B.A. & M.A. in Anthropology - Stanford University (1993) Ph.D. in Anthropology - University of Chicago (1998)



  • In Search of a Lost Avant-Garde: An Anthropologist Investigates the Contemporary Art Museum. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014.
  • Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Hatreds Old and New in Europe. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press/University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Symptoms of Modernity: Jews and Queers in Late-Twentieth-Century Vienna. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004.

Book Contributions

  • "Introduction." Introduction. On the Social Life of Postsocialism: Memory, Consumption, Germany. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
  • "Queering Austria for the New Europe." Sexuality in Austria. Ed. Günter Bischof, Anton Pelinka, and Dagmar Herzog. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2007. 131-144.
  • "Chasers." Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession. Ed. Don Kulick and Anne Meneley. New York: Jeremy Tarcher/Penguin, 2005. 199-210.
  • "Völkerpsychologie and German-Jewish Emancipation." Worldly Provincialism: German Anthropology in the Age of Empire. Ed. Glenn Penny and Matti Bunzl. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003. 47-85.
  • "Foreword to Johannes Fabian's Time and the Other/ Syntheses of a Critical Anthropology." Introduction. Time and the Other. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
  • "The Prague Experience: Gay Male Sex Tourism and the Neo-Colonial Invention of an Embodied Border." Altering States: Ethnographies of the Transition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Ed. Daphne Berdahl, Matti Bunzl, and Martha Lampland. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000. 70-95.
  • "Theodor Herzl's Zionism as Gendered Discourse." Theodor Herzl and the Origins of Zionism. Ed. Edward Timms and Ritchie Robertson. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997. 74-86.
  • "Franz Boas and the Humboldtian Tradition: From Volksgeist and Nationalcharakter to an Anthropological Concept of Culture." Volksgeist as Method and Ethic: Essays on Boasian Ethnography and the German Anthropological Tradition. Ed. George Stocking. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996. 17-78.

Edited Books

  • Bunzl, Matti. Daphne Berdahl, On the Social Life of Postsocialism: Memory, Consumption, Germany. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.
  • Loomba, Ania, Suvir Kaul, Matti Bunzl, Antoinette Burton, and Jed Esty. Postcolonial Studies and Beyond. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.
  • Penny, Glenn, and Matti Bunzl. Worldly Provincialism: German Anthropology in the Age of Empire. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.
  • Berdahl, Daphne, Matti Bunzl, and Martha Lampland. Altering States: Ethnographies of Transition in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Journal Articles

  • "Anthropologists are Talking’ About Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in the New Europe." Ethnos 72.2 (2010):
  • "The Quest for Anthropological Relevance: Borgesian Maps and Epistemological Pitfalls." American Anthropologist 110.1 (2008): 53-60.
  • "Anti-Islamophobia and Its Others." European Studies Forum 37.1 (2007): 10-13.
  • "Desiderata for a History of Austrian Sexualities." Austrian History Yearbook 38 (2007): 48-57.
  • "Anthropology Beyond Crisis: Toward an Intellectual History of the Extended Present." Anthropology and Humanism 30.2 (2005): 187-195.
  • "Between Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Some Thoughts on the New Europe ." American Ethnologist 32.4 (2005): 499-508.
  • "Boas, Foucault, and the ‘Native Anthropologist’: Notes toward a Neo-Boasian Anthropology." American Anthropologist 106.3 (2004): 435-442.
  • "Austrian Zionism and the Jews of the New Europe." Jewish Social Studies 9.2 (2003): 154-173.
  • "Of Holograms and Storage Areas: Modernity and Postmodernity at Vienna’s Jewish Museum." Cultural Anthropology 18.4 (2003): 435-468.
  • "Inverted Appellation and Discursive Gender Insubordination: An Austrian Case Study in Gay Male Conversation." Discourse & Society 11.2 (2000): 207-236.
  • "Political Inscription, Artistic Reflection: A Recontextualization of Contemporary Viennese-Jewish Literature." The German Quarterly 73.2 (2000): 163-170.
  • "Resistive Play: Sports and the Emergence of Jewish Visibility in Contemporary Vienna." Journal of Sport & Social Issues 24.3 (2000): 232-250.
  • "Outing as Performance/ Outing as Resistance: A Queer Reading of Austrian (Homo)Sexualities." Cultural Anthropology 12.1 (1997): 129-151.
  • "The City and the Self: Narratives of Spatial Belonging among Austrian Jews." City & Society (1996): 50-81.
  • "The Poetics of Politics and the Politics of Poetics: Richard Beer-Hofmann and Theodor Herzl Reconsidered." The German Quarterly 69.3 (1996): 277-304.
  • "On the Politics and Semantics of Austrian Memory: Vienna's Monument against War and Fascism." History and Memory 7.2 (1995): 7-40.