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William P Mitchell, PhD

Professor

PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Email: mitchell@monmouth.edu

About:

Professor Mitchell has researched and published widely on Peru and many aspects of South American culture and history, including the region's political economy, issues of peace and war, ecological and agropastoral systems, sociocultural evolution, displaced people, migration, social and religious change, and historical religious pictographs. His most recent book is Voices from the Global Margin: Confronting Poverty and Inventing New Lives in the Andes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006), which won the 2007 Lasa Peru Flora Tristan Award of the Latin American Studies Association for the best book on Peru in any language or discipline. 

Dr. Mitchell, who retired in 2015, is emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Freed Foundation Professor in the Social Sciences.  During his career at Monmouth, Professor Mitchell was selected Distinguished Teacher and taught courses on Cultural Anthropology, Civilizations of the Andes, and World/Global History. In addition to his service as a department chair, Professor Mitchell was founding head of the Honors Program and served as Interim Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Interim Dean of the Honors School. A recipient of many grants and awards (NSF, NEH, Fulbright Hayes, among others), Professor Mitchell also has taught as Visiting Professor at the Universidad Católica in Lima Peru. He is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, as well as a member and former chair of its Anthropology Advisory Committee. Currently President Elect of the Association of Senior Anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association, he will begin his two-year term in November 2016.

Research Interests:

Professor Mitchell began research in the Ayacucho region of Peru in the mid-1960s, focusing on ecological systems, farming and irrigation, then followed up in the 1970s and 1980s by examining the pressures on peasant production that underlay economic, social and religious change.  He subsequently worked on the violence of the Shining Path war and is currently working on Andean solidarity rituals found in the everyday intimate relationships of family and friends.

Selected Works:

Books:

Voices from the Global Margin: Confronting Poverty and Inventing New Lives in the Andes. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.
Voices won the 2007 LASA PERU Flora Tristan Award of the Latin American Studies Association for the best book published on Peru.
Reviewer Miguel la Serna calls Voices "inspirational" and "engaging" as well as a "creative and thoughtful" account, adding that Mitchell "offers a unique human element to his analysis that has rarely been matched in Andean studies....". Latin American and Caribbean Studies, vol. 3[2], pp. 205-214.

Picturing Faith: A Facsimile Edition of the Pictographic Catechism in the Huntington Free Library. New York: Huntington Free Library, Distributed by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1999. (With Barbara H. Jaye: Introductory essay, facsimile reproduction, and translation of a pictographic catechism for Quechua Speakers in the collection of the Huntington Free Library).

Irrigation at High Altitudes: The Social Organization of Water Control Systems in the Andes, ed. (with David Guillet). Vol. 12 Society For Latin American Anthropology Publication Series. Washington: American Anthropological Association, 1994.

"A major contribution to our knowledge of the relationship between environment and social organization in the Andes ... An integrated anthology ..." (Joanne Rappaport, Handbook of Latin American Studies 1997:141).

"... covers a multitude of aspects of Andean agriculture and shows the importance of access to irrigation water in the mountains of Peru ..." Maria Benavides, Latin American Research Review, vol. 31 (2).

Peasants on the Edge: Crop, Cult, and Crisis in the Andes. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991.

Scholarly Articles:

Pictographic Catechisms.” in Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies 1530-1900. Pp. 265-271. Joanne Pillsbury, ed. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008. This book was chosen as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2008.

Detour Onto The Shining Path: Obscuring the Social Revolution in the Andes.” in Deadly Developments: Capitalism, States and War. Pp. 235-278. Steven P. Reyna and R. E. Downs, eds. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Publishers, 1999.

Pressures on Peasant Production and the Transformation of Regional and National Identities.” inMigrants, Regional Identities, and Latin American Cities, Teofilo Altamirano and Lane Hirabayashi, eds. Washington: American Anthropological Association, Publication Series of the Society for Latin American Anthropology, 13 (1997): 25-48.

Pictographs in the Andes: The Huntington Free Library Quechua Catechism.” Latin American Indian Literatures Journal 12(1) (1996):1-42 (with Barbara H. Jaye).

“The Transformation of Cultural Anthropology: The Decline of Ecology and Structure and the Rise of Political Economy and the Cultural Construction of Social Reality.” Ecologie Humaine 12(2) (1994): 41-64.

Introduction to High Altitude Irrigation.” Introduction to Irrigation at High Altitudes: The Social Organization of Water Control Systems in the Andes, William P. Mitchell and David Guillet,eds. Pp. 1-20. Vol. 12 Society For Latin American Anthropology Publication Series. Washington: American Anthropological Association, 1994.

Dam the Water: The Ecology and Political Economy of Irrigation in the Ayacucho Valley, Peru.” inIrrigation at High Altitudes: The Social Organization of Water Control Systems in the Andes, William P. Mitchell and David Guillet, eds. Pp. 275-302. Vol. 12 Society For Latin American Anthropology Publication Series. Washington: American Anthropological Association, 1994.

"Some are More Equal than Others: Labor Supply, Reciprocity, and Redistribution in the Andes."Research in Economic Anthropology 13 (1991): 191-219.

"The Only Game in Town: The Latin American Fiesta System and the York Feast of Corpus Christi."Fifteenth Century Studies 13 (1988): 485-503. (With Barbara Jaye).

"The Myth of the Isolated Native Community: A Case Study from Peru." Global Interdependence in the Curriculum: Case Studies for the Social Sciences. Judy Himes, ed. Pp. 35-49. Princeton: Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 1987.

"On Terracing the Andes." Current Anthropology 26 (1985): 288-289.

"Symbols and Structuralism in the Andes: A Case of Theory Obscuring the Facts." Reviews in Anthropology 9 (1982): 87-96.

"Local Ecology and the State: Implications of Contemporary Quechua Land Use for the Inca Sequence of Agricultural Work." In Beyond the Myths of Culture: Essays in Cultural Materialism, Eric B. Ross, ed. Pp. 139-154. New York: Academic Press, 1980.

"Inconsistencia de Status y Dimensiones de Rangos en los Andes Centrales del Peru." Estudios Andinos 15 (1979): 21-31.

"Social Adaptation to the Mountain Environment of an Andean Village." In Hill Lands: Proceedings of an International Symposium. Held at West Virginia University on October 3-9, 1976. John Luchok, John D. Cawthon, and Michael J. Breslin, eds. Pp. 187-198. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 1978.

"Irrigation and Community in the Central Peruvian Highlands." American Anthropologist 78 (1976): 25-44.

"Runakunap Rawsayninkupaq Rurasankunaqa. La Technologia en el Mundo Andino, Tomo 1," Heather Lechtman & Ana Soldi, eds. Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas de la Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. (A revised version of "Irrigation and Community in the Central Peruvian highlands," American Anthropologist 78:25-44.)

"The Hydraulic Hypothesis: A Reappraisal." Current Anthropology 14 (1973): 532-534.

"Review of:Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual and Power.” Lisa J. Lucero and Barbara W. Fash, eds. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2006. In: Journal of Anthropological Research 64 (2008): pp 158-159.

"Review of: Millennial Ecuador: Critical Essays on Cultural Transformations and Cultural Dynamics.” Norman E. Whitten Jr., ed. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2003. In: Tipití 5(1)(2007): pp 99-101.

"Review of: The Articulated Peasant: Household Economies in the Andes.Human Ecology 34(2), (April 2006): 301-303.

"The US War Machine." Anthropology Newsletter, American Anthropological Association 32 (April 1991): 4.