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Renato Rosaldo (born 1941) is an American cultural anthropologist. He has done field research among the Ilongots of northern Luzon, Philippines, and he is the author of Ilongot Headhunting: 1883–1974: A Study in Society and History (1980) and Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (1989).

He is also the editor of Creativity/Anthropology (with Smadar Lavie and Kirin Narayan) (1993), Anthropology of Globalization (with Jon Inda) (2001), and Cultural Citizenship in Island Southeast Asia: National and Belonging in the Hinterlands (2003), among other books.

Rosaldo conducted research on cultural citizenship in San Jose, California, from 1989 to 1998, and he contributed the introduction and an article to Latino Cultural Citizenship: Claiming Identity, Space, and Rights (1997). He is also a poet and has published four volumes of poetry, most recently The Chasers (2019).

Rosaldo has served as president of the American Ethnological Society, director of the Stanford Center for Chicano Research, and chair of the Stanford Department of Anthropology. He now teaches at NYU, where he served as the inaugural Director of Latino Studies.


Renato Rosaldo was born on April 15, 1941, in Champaign, Illinois, US. At a young age, Rosaldo spoke Spanish with his Mexican father and English with his Anglo mother. When he was four, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where his father taught Mexican and Latin American literature at the University of Wisconsin. When he was twelve, they moved to Tucson, Arizona, where his father taught in the Spanish department at the University of Arizona. Rosaldo attended Tucson High School, where he became a member of a "social club" called The Chasers, about which he later wrote an eponymous book of poetry.[1] Living in different cultural settings during his formative years, Rosaldo had to learn and relearn el trato, the interactional social contract underlying participation in social life, "how to treat other guys and girls".[2]

Rosaldo entered Harvard University in 1959, taking classes in anthropology, Spanish history and literature. His teachers included Beatrice Whiting and Laura Nader.[1] Rosaldo graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Spanish History and Literature in 1963. He spent a year, 1963–1964, in Spain but saw no future for Spanish scholarship under Francisco Franco. Returning to Harvard, Rosaldo studied Social Anthropology, receiving his Ph.D. in 1971 for his work in the Philippines on Ilongot social organization.[1]

Rosaldo joined the Stanford University anthropology faculty in 1970.[1] He became the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences (emeritus).[3]

In 2003, Rosaldo left Stanford to teach at New York University.[4][5] He is a New York Institute for the Humanities Fellow.[6]

Rosaldo's published anthropological works include:[7] Ilongot Headhunting, 1883–1974: A Study in Society and History (1980); Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (1989); The Inca and Aztec States, 1400–1800: Anthropology and History co-edited, (1982); Anthropology/Creativity (1993); and The Anthropology of Globalization (2001)

He has also published five volumes of poetry. The first, Prayer to Spider Woman/Rezo a la mujer araña (Rosaldo 2003) in Spanish and English, won an American Book Award of the Before Columbus Foundation.[1] The second, Diego Luna’s Insider Tips (2012) won the Many Mountains Moving book manuscript contest for 2009. The Day of Shelly’s Death appeared in 2014,[8] and The Chasers in 2019.[9] His fifth and most recent work is titled "Into the World Outspread: Notes from A Walker" and was published in 2022. Rosaldo's poetry has also appeared in Bilingual Review, Many Mountains Moving, Prairie Schooner, Puerto del Sol, Texas Observer.[10] He has coined the term antropoeta to describe his movement between anthropology and poetry.[8]

He was married to anthropologist Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo (1944–1981).[11][12] He is currently married to Mary Louise Pratt, a scholar of Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature. He has three children (Sam, Manuel, and Olivia), and three grandchildren.







  1. ^ a b c d e Rosaldo, Renato (21 October 2021). "Doing Fieldwork Without Knowing It". Annual Review of Anthropology. 50 (1): 1–8. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-101819-110327. ISSN 0084-6570. S2CID 237846284. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  2. ^ Brenneis, Don; Strier, Karen B. (21 October 2021). "Sociality, Style, and Paying Attention". Annual Review of Anthropology. 50 (1): v–vi. doi:10.1146/annurev-an-50-081621-100001. ISSN 0084-6570. S2CID 239534858. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Renato Rosaldo Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology". Stanford University. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Rosaldo headed for NYU; daylong farewell set for Saturday". Stanford Report. April 23, 2003. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Renato Rosaldo". New York University. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  6. ^ [1] Archived June 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Video: Interview with Renato Rosaldo [videorecording]". All Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  8. ^ a b Ballí, Cecilia (January 28, 2015). "The Day of Shelly's Death". Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Renato Rosaldo". Community of Writers. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Renato Rosaldo profile". Poets & Writers. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Rosaldo, Renato". Stanford Historical Society. Retrieved 25 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Stanford Scholar Dies In a Fall in Philippines". The New York Times. 13 October 1981. Retrieved 25 January 2022.