Kristina Wirtz Home | C.V. | Research | Teaching
Employment & Service
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Western Michigan University
University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology
Ph.D. December 2003
Dissertation: "Speaking a sacred world: Discursive practices of skepticism and faith in Cuban Santería."
Dissertation committee chair: Dr. Greg Urban.
Cornell University, Department of Education, Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, NY
M.S. May 1993
Sage University Fellowship Recipient
Masters Thesis: "High school student conceptions of evolution: Epistemological and experiential considerations"
University, College of Arts and Sciences, Ithaca, NY
B.A. summa cum laude, May 1991
Major: Neurobiology and Behavior
Honors Thesis in Marine Ecology
“Enregistered memory and Afro-Cuban historicity in Santería’s ritual speech,” 2007. Language & Communication special issue: “Temporalities of Text.” 27(3). Read Abstract
“Introduction: Ritual Unintelligibility” 2007. Text & Talk Journal Special Issue: “Ritual Unintelligibility,” 27(4): 401-407. Read introduction
“Making sense of unintelligible messages: Co-construction of meaning in Santería rituals,” 2007. Text & Talk Journal Special Issue: “Ritual Unintelligibility,” 27(4): 435-462. Abstract
“Los significados recobrados: Prácticas religiosas que mantienen al lucumí como lengua viva,” in press for late 2007, Del Caribe 50.
Ritual, Discourse, and Religious Community in Cuban Santería: Speaking a Sacred World, 2007. Gainesville: University Press of Florida. Read excerpt
“Divining The Past: The linguistic reconstruction of “African” roots in diasporic ritual registers and songs,” 2007. Journal of Religion in Africa Special Issue: “African diasporic religions.” 27(2): 240-272. Abstract
“Deep language and diasporic culture: Learning to speak the “tongue of the orichas” in Cuban Santería,” 2007. American Ethnologist 34(1): 108-126. Abstract
"'Where obscurity is a virtue':The mystique of unintelligibility in Santería ritual," Language & Communication 25(4): 351-375, 2005. Abstract
"Santería in Cuban national consciousness: A religious case of the 'doble moral'," Journal of Latin American Anthropology 9(2): 409-438, 2004. Abstract
"Las funciones trópicas del parentesco en la santería cubana", Actas de la Conferencia Internacional Lingüístico-Literaria, Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, February 10, 2000, (special issue of Santiago). Separately published in Del Caribe 32 (2000). Abstract
OTHER PUBLISHED WORK
"Light Rumba: Laurence Salzmann's Photographs of Cutumba", in catalog accompanying the show, "Photographing Cutumba Ballet Folklórico", Lafayette College, Easton, PA, October 2002.
Review of Michelle A. Gonzalez, Afro-Cuba Theology (Florida, 2006), American Anthropologist 109(3), 2007.
Review of David H. Brown, Santería Enthroned (Chicago, 2003), Museum Anthropology Review (online supplement to journal Museum Anthropology), http://museumanthropology.wordpress.com/2007/06/12/mar-2007-2-1/, 2007.
Review of Yvonne Daniel, Dancing Wisdom (Indiana, 2004), Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 11(1): 246-248, 2006.
Consulting Ethnographer, Math and Science Partnership of Greater Philadelphia, Joe Merlino, PI (La Salle University, Philadelphia), January-May 2005
MSPGP is an NSF-funded multi-year regional grant to improve secondary science and math education. As project ethnographer, I tracked how higher education faculty recruited to participate interfaced with one another and with high school teachers, and with what effects. My final report was presented to the senior staff of the grant and incorporated into the Annual Report to NSF.
Course Instructor, Anthropology Department, University of Pennsylvania, Spring
Designed and taught Anthro. 280: "Language and Culture".
Instructor, University of Pennsylvania Writing Program, Fall 2003
Designed and taught a writing-intensive anthropology course called "Writing about Language and Identity".
Chimicles Teaching Fellow, University of Pennsylvania
Writing Program, Fall 2002 & Spring 2003
Designed and taught a writing-intensive anthropology course called "Race and Racism in Anthropological Perspective".
Coordinator of Latin American Cultures Program, University of Pennsylvania, Fall 1997-Spring 1998
Science Teacher, Woodward Middle School, Bainbridge Island, Washington, Fall 1993-Spring 1997
English Instructor, Casa Nicaraguense de Español,
Managua, Nicaragua, March-April 1989
Volunteered teaching evening English classes for Nicaraguan journalists.
Research Assistant to Dr. C. D. Harvell, Department
of Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University
Friday Harbor Laboratories, Washington, Summers 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994; Belize, June 1991
Cornell University, Spring 1990, 1992, All 1991
Race, a traveling exhibit of the American Anthropological Association, co-coordinator for planning programming around exhibit in Kalamazoo in Fall 2010, Fall 2006-present
Philadelphia Cuban Festival, Director Laurence Salzmann, Spring 2001-Fall
Festival folklorist and liaison to the Ballet Folklórico Cutumba from Santiago de Cuba. Co-wrote two successful grants from the Pew Foundation's Dance Advance Program to sponsor Cutumba's residency. Helped organize and coordinate logistics of Cutumba's residency, including public performances, school visits, master classes, and host families. Also translated for the ensemble, presented introductions to performances, gave a public lecture on Cuban folkloric dance in historical context at Art Sanctuary on November 7, 2002, and made a presentation at the Festival-sponsored conference, "Crossroads of African Diasporan Dance", held at the Associación de Músicos Latinoamericanos, November 10, 2002.
Kristina Wirtz, Department of Anthropology,
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Updated July 5, 2007