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Kristin Norget

Norget, Kristin, Dr

Associate Professor
Stephen Leacock Building, Room 721
855 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T7

Tel.: 514-398-4286
Fax: 514-398-7476
E-Mail: kristin [dot] norget [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Kristin Norget)

Office Hours

On leave - 2014-2015


[ LongCourse("ANTH 326"); ]

Date & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:35 – 12:55
Location: ENGMD 276
Course Registration Number: #7798


[ LongCourse("ANTH 631"); ]

Date & Time: Fridays 10:00 – 12:30
Location: LEA 819
Course Registration Number: #7893


[ LongCourse("ANTH 318"); ]

Date & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:05 – 11:25
Location: TBA
Course Registration Number: #7101


[ LongCourse("ANTH 422"); ]

Date & Time: Tuesdays & Thursdays 1:05 – 3:55
Location: LEA 917
Course Registration Number: #6539


Education & Research Interests

Ph.D. Cambridge University 1993.

geographical specialization: Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean
research areas & interests: religion; popular culture; discourse; politics of culture;
theorization of ritual and performance; globalization and religion; indigenous and social movements; material culture and aesthetics; ideological and religious syncretisms


My past work, in broad terms, has been concerned with popular religion in relation to social, political and cultural change in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, especially the cultural and symbolic dimensions of religious practice and performance.

Mexico research

My graduate research, for example, focused on the beliefs and practices surrounding death in the dynamic urban setting of Oaxaca City, where popular religion is an ever-changing amalgam of elements from both indigenous “traditional” cultures and more orthodox Catholicism. My current research extends these themes into examining the relation between religiosity, the Catholic Church, social movements, globalization, and processes of identity formation, such as within the complex ‘progressive’ Catholic movements of liberation theology and indigenous theology. I am fascinated by the Catholic Church—both as an institutional actor, and an internally diverse clerical body— as an enduring social and cultural force in Mexico; for example, in the way the Church’s influence shapes many current processes of social transformation such as the indigenous movement, or neoliberalism itself.

Mexico research
Mexico research

More recently I have become interested in community responses to political violence in southern Mexico, especially repression that has targeted indigenous communities in Oaxaca. I am beginning a new research project examining indigenous theology in various regions throughout Mexico as an initiative propelled by both conservative and liberationist wings of the Catholic Church. In my thinking about these issues, I attend to questions of the politics of knowledge; cultural mixing; ethnography; and the cultural dimensions of religious practices.

Mexico research

Representative Publications

The history of religious contact, conflict, and conversion in the Americas, and in the transnational and cultural dimensions of religious practices.

Works under review/ in Progress:

under review Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology


2006 Days of Death, Days of Life: Ritual in the Popular Culture of Oaxaca (New York: Columbia University Press).

Book chapters:

2008 ‘Convergences and Complicities: Local-National Interactions in the 2006 Movement of the Popular Assembly of Oaxacan Peoples (APPO)’. In After the Barricades: The Oaxaca Rebellion and the Future of Mexico. Vancouver: BC Teachers’ Union.
2007 ‘Ritual’. In Scupin, Raymond (ed.) Religion and Culture: an Anthropological Focus, 2nd edition (Prentice Hall), 97-127.
2007 “The Hunt for Inuit Souls: Religion, Colonization, & the Politics of Memory”. In The Journals of Knud Rasmussen: A sixth sense of memory, history and high definition Inuit storytelling, ed. Gillian Robinson. Montreal: Isuma Distribution; 217-236.
2006 “The Drama of Death: Popular Religion and Performing the Good Death in Oaxaca”. In Performing Religion in the Americas: Media, Politics and Devotional Practices of the 21st Century, ed. Alyshia Galvez (NY: Berg); 67-107.
2005 'Caught in the Crossfire: Militarization, Paramilitarization and State Terror in Oaxaca, Mexico'. In When the State Kills: Contemporary State Terror in Latin America, Cecilia Menjivar & Nestor P. Rodriguez, eds. (Austin: University of Texas Press),115-142.
2004 "Knowing Where We Enter": Indigenous Theology and the Catholic Church in Oaxaca, México'. In Resurgent Voice in Latin America: Indigenous Peoples, Political mobilization, and Religious Change. Edward Cleary and Tim Steigenga, eds. (New Brunswick, NJ, Rutgers University Press), 154-186.
1998 'Progressive Theology and Popular Religiosity in Oaxaca, Mexico'. In Smith, Christian and J. Prokopy (ed.) Latin American Religion in Motion: Tracking Innovation, Complexity and Unexpected Change (Routledge); 91-110.

Journal articles:

2008 ‘A Cacophony of Autochthony: Representing Indigeneity in Oaxacan Popular Mobilization’, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, November.
2008 ‘Hard Habits to Baroque: Catholic Church and Popular-Indigenous Religious Dialogue in Oaxaca, Mexico’, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, forthcoming.
2008 ‘Militarización, Paramilitarización y Violencia del Estado en Oaxaca, Mexico’, Conflicto & Sociedad, vol. I: 1, forthcoming.
2007 ‘Dialogues of Religion and Liberation: Decolonization and the Politics of Syncretism’, The International Education Journal, 34:1; 72-97
2001 'Droits des Autochtones et droits de la personne au Méxique: de l’indigénisme et d’État aux mouvements populaires, Récherches Amerindiennes, vol. XXXI, no.1; 29-38.
1997 'The Politics of 'Liberation': The Popular Church, Indigenous Theology and Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca, Mexico', Latin American Perspectives, 24:5; 96-127.
1997 'Progressive Theology and Popular Religiosity in Oaxaca, Mexico', Ethnology 19; 67-83.
1996 'Modernity and its (dis)Contents: Article/Review of Modernity, an Ethnographic Approach: Dualism and Mass Consumption in Trinidad, by Daniel Miller', Culture 16:2; 85-92.
1996 'Beauty and the Feast: aesthetics and the performance of meaning in the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico', Journal of Latin American Lore, 19:1; 53-64.

Book Reviews:

2006 Review of Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico, by Elizabeth Emma Ferry, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 11:2. 473-475.
2006 Review of Jesus in our Wombs: Embodying Modernity in a Mexican Convent, by Rebecca Lester, American Anthropologist, 108:3 (September); 599-600.
2004 Review of Spiritual Encounters: Interactions Between Christianity and Native Religions in Colonial America ed. Nicholas Griffiths, Fernando Cervantes, Transcultural Psychiatry, 41(4): 548-552.
2003 Review of The Festive State: race, ethnicity, and nationalism as Cultural Performance by David M.Guss, American Anthropologist, 105:1 (March); 189-190.
2001 Review of Carnival Song and Society: Gossip, Sexuality and Creativity in Andalusia, by Jerome R. Mintz, and Carnival and Culture: Sex, Symbols and Status in Spain, by David Gilmore, American Ethnologist, 28:3; 681-683.
2001 Review of Primitive Passions: Men, Women and the Quest for Ecstasy, by Mariana Torgovnick, Transcultural Psychiatry, 38:3, 394-397.
2000 Review of Tinujei: los triquis de Copala, by Agustín García Alcaraz', Hispanic Historical Review 80:1; 201-203.
1997 Review of Gender, Practice and Faith in Nicaragua: Constructing the Popular and Making ‘Common Sense’, by Stephanie Linkogle', Bulletin of Latin American Research; 17:1; 117-119.
1997 Review of Indians into Mexicans: History and Identity in a Mexican Town, by David Frye', Bulletin of Latin American Research, 16:3; 421-422.