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Christopher James Santiago

Doctoral Lecturer

Christopher Santiago is a sociocultural anthropologist and artist who has taught at several universities and completed years of fieldwork in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. He earned a PhD from Columbia University in 2017 and currently works as a Doctoral Lecturer of Critical Criminology and Social Justice at the College of Staten Island (CUNY). The focus of his career to date has been on social and environmental justice, social movements, indigeneity, Andean studies, gender and sexuality, critical criminology, sovereignty, oral history, avant-garde art, experimental ethnography, ethnographic film, psychoanalysis, shamanism and magic. His courses explore the thought-provoking intersections of art and politics, phantasy and reality, and critical and creative thought, enabling students to challenge assumptions about reality and see their world in new ways. Recent work has been published in The Psychoanalytic Review, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, and Anthropology of Consciousness. Exhibitions and performances in New York include Secret Project Robot, Flowers for All Occasions, The Living Gallery, Pari Passu, Contemporary Petite, HiLo Gallery, An/aesthetics, Flux Factory and ChaShaMa.


PhD, Columbia University

MA, Columbia University

BA, Wesleyan University

Scholarship and Publications

1. Santiago, Christopher J and Kiefer, Melinda, guest editors for “Dream Alliance: Art, Anthropology, & Consciousness.” Anthropology of Consciousness, 2023, 34 (2), 261-615.

2. “A Brief Hystery of the Phantasm.” Anthropology of Consciousness, 2023, 34 (1), 181-228.

3. Santiago, Christopher J and Melmed, Michael. “Blood Magic in the Age of Psychopathy, Mass Shootings and Ecological Catastrophe.” The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2022, 82, 80-111.

4. “Twilight States: Comparing Case Studies of Hysteria and Spirit Possession.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 2021, 11 (2), 635-659.

5. “Hystorize From The Self: D.H. Lawrence and ‘The Lovely Lady’.” The Psychoanalytic Review, 2019, 106 (4), 343-370.

Santiago’s fieldwork focuses on indigenous peasant resistance to transnational gold mining in Cajamarca, Peru. The foundation of his research is based upon an ethnographic method dedicated to deep, engaged fieldwork, community solidarity and a personal commitment to the struggle. He documented the struggle of the peasant communities as told and sung by its protagonists. Peasant arts of resistance reveal the struggle’s shamanic aspects: the power of songs, music, dance, dreams, divination, jokes, and stories of the animistic landscape. These arts are based in experience, transmitting a spirit power in the tradition of Andean utopia. He is working to complete a book manuscript on this topic. He is also writing an article which explains the current unrest in Peru through the lens of the Peruvian indigenous-socialist literary tradition. Previous research has concentrated on the transgenerational repression of the imagination in Western civilization.

  • ANT 100
  • ANT 201
  • SOC 203
  • SOC 200
  • SOC/ANT 240
  • SOC 260
  • SOC/ANT/INT 305
Christopher  James Santiago

Contact Information

Office: Building 4S Room