Christopher Krupa

Christopher Krupa
Associate Professor
(416) 208-2893


Christopher Krupa is a cultural anthropologist with a PhD from the University of California, Davis. His work is broadly concerned with the social life of power and the ways people come to feel, express, and confront its violence in everyday life. For over 15 years he has been conducting research with indigenous communities in highland Ecuador struggling to contain the racializing force of global agribusiness in their territories. More recently he has worked with ex-guerrilla fighters wrestling with the poetic legacies of state terror and revolutionary violence of post-cold war Latin America. His latest book is a study of the intersections of race and capitalism in the postcolonial world and his previous book sought to reconceptualize political domination by focusing on the intimate, affective, and embodied life of the state. He also continues to research and write about violence itself and its manifestations in and beyond the law.


  • Councilor, American Ethnological Society
  • Co-Editor, Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology

Research Interests: 

violence; racial capitalism; (post)coloniality; state and para-state complexes; political affect; embodiment; plantation systems; labor, debt and finance; critical race theory; political economy; history and historicity; indigeneity; Latin America



In Press. Sub-Rosa: An Anthropology of Postcolonial Capitalism. University of Pennsylvania Press.

2015.   State Theory and Andean Politics: New Approaches to the Study of Rule (co-edited with David Nugent). University of Pennsylvania Press. (Article on the book in UTSC Commons

Special Issues of Journals

2019    Guest Editor “The Counter-Politics of Intellectuals: Three Interventions”. Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 84 (July).

2015      Guest Editor (with Mercedes Prieto) of “Ensayos sobre el estado en América Latina,” a Special Issue of Íconos: Revista de Ciencias Sociales No. 52.

2012. Guest Editor (with Gavin Smith) of a Special Forum on “Spaces of Exception: The Administration of Populations in the North and the South”. In Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 64: 84-128.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

2019    “The Politics of Intellectual Labor under Contemporary Capitalist Restructuring”. In Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 84 (July).

2015      (with Mercedes Prieto) “Corpus Mysticum estatal o ¿cómo podemos pensar el estado en América Latina hoy?” In Íconos: Revista de Ciencias Sociales Num. 52, Quito, mayo 2015, pp. 11-17.

2015 (with David Nugent) “Off-Centered States: Re-thinking State Theory through an Andean Lens.” In State Theory and Andean Politics: New Approaches to the Study of Rule. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Pp 1-31.

2015      “Cadastral Politics: Property Wars and State Realism in Highland Ecuador”. In State Theory and Andean Politics: New Approaches to the Study of Rule. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Pp 99- 125.

2013. “Neoliberal Reckoning: Ecuador’s Truth Commission and the Mythopoetics of Political Violence.” In Neoliberalism, Interrupted: Social Change and Contested Governance in Contemporary Latin America, Mark Goodale and Nancy Grey Postero, eds. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press: 169-194.

2012. “Ghostly Figures outside the Domain of Political Economy: Class Analysis and the Invisiblized Livelihoods of an Andean Export Zone.” In Confronting Capital: Critique and Engagement in Anthropology, Belinda Leach, Pauline Barber, and Winnie Lem, eds. New York: Routledge: 187-207.

2012. “Unfolding the Crease in Liberal Republican Citizenship: An Introduction to the Postcolonial Critique of Andrés Guerrero” Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 63: 85-89.

2011. “Mestizo Mainstream: Reaffirmations of Natural Citizenship in Ecuador.” In Subalternity and Difference: Investigations from the North and the South (Gyanendra Pandey, ed.). New York: Routledge: 149-166.

2010. “State by Proxy: Privatized Government in the Andes.” Comparative Studies in Society and History (52: 2): 319-350.

2009. “Histories in Red: Ways of Seeing Lynching in Ecuador.” American Ethnologist (36: 1): 20-39.

2006. Invited Commentary on Susana Narotzky “The Project in the Model: Reciprocity, Social Capital and the Politics of Ethnographic Realism.” (Special Forum on Anthropological Theory) Current Anthropology (48: 3): 416-417.


2014. Review of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (Rob Nixon). Forthcoming in Environment and Society: Advances in Research.

2005. Review of Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method (Bertell Ollman). Anthropologica (47:2): 310-311.

Teaching Interests: 

  • ANT B01 Political Ecology
  • ANT B18 Development, Inequality, and Social Change in Latin America
  • ANT B36 Anthropology of the End of the World
  • ANTC19 Producing People and Things: Economics and Social Life
  • ANT C32 Political Anthropology; Formations of State and Anti-State
  • ANTD04 The Anthropology of Violence and Suffering