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Dr. Miriam Shakow

Professor of Anthropology

Political and Legal Anthropology, Latin America

Miriam Shakow 001 Phone: (609) 771-2635


Office: Social Science Building 315

Office Hours for Spring 2022:
Mondays 10:30am-11:50am; Thursdays 1:30pm-2:50pm                                                         all appointments will take place on Zoom

To make an appointment, email

Degrees Earned

Harvard University (Ph.D., 2008)

Recent Research & Activities

Miriam Shakow is a sociocultural anthropologist who teaches Introduction to Cultural Anthropology as well as courses on race, political ecology, climate change, and the history and anthropology of Latin America. Her primary research has centered on how new middle classes in Bolivia interpret and respond to dramatic economic and political transformations. She looks at how conflicts over gender, class, and racial inequalities play out in everyday family life and in community and regional politics. Her book, Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2014. Her new research project focuses on the ways in which teenagers and young adults in Latin America and the U.S. are coping with widespread unemployment and public fears of young people as criminals. She is particularly interested in exploring how ideas about youth and their roles in society have changed since the late nineteenth century in both countries.

Courses Taught

• Tutorial: Urban Ethnography/Qualitative Methods (Anthropology)
• Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
• Social Change in Latin America (Anthropology)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           • Climate Change and Society (Anthropology)
• Race and Gender in Latin America (History)
• Readings Seminar: Modern Latin America (History)
• Colonial Latin America (History)


Articles and Books

  • Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class. University of Pennsylvania Press. (June, 2014)
  • “The Peril and Promise of Noodles and Beer: Condemnation of patronage and hybrid political frameworks in ‘post-neoliberal’ Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Political and Legal Anthropology Review. (November, 2011).
  • “Hybridity.” In The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. Wiley. (forthcoming).
  •   “Andean ‘Civil Society’ and political imaginaries in Central Bolivia.” (Under revision).
  •   “Beauty Pageants and Graduation Photos: New Debates over ‘Chola’ Identity in Bolivia.” (Under revision).

Book Reviews

  •  From the Mines to the Streets: A Bolivian Activist’s Life. Linda Farthing and Benjamin Kohl. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012. 263 pp. (For The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History, Forthcoming)
  • Mobilizing Bolivia’s Displaced: Indigenous Politics and the Struggle over Land. Nicole Fabricant. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012. 288 pp. (For The American Anthropologist, March 2014, 16 (1).).
  • Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay. Kregg Hetherington. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 312 pp. (For American Ethnologist, August 2013 40 (3)).
  • Outlawed: Between Security and Rights in a Bolivia City. Daniel M. Goldstein. Durham: Duke University Press, 2012. 327 pp. (For the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, January, 2013, 37(73).)
  •  Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People. Stuart Alexander Rockefeller. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. 306 pp. (For American Anthropologist, June, 2012, 114(2):384-384).
  •  Dilemmas of Modernity: Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism. Mark Goodale. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008. 264 pp. (For American Ethnologist, February 2012, 39(1):226-227)
  • Ethnic Entrepreneurs: Identity and Development Politics in Latin America. Monica DeHart. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2010. 208 pp. (For American Anthropologist, September 2011, 113(3):516-517).
  •  New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia. Bret Darin Gustafson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009. 352 pp. (For Political and Legal Anthropology Review November, 2010, 33(2):400-402).