Photo of Jerome Levi

Jerome Levi

Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology

Education & Professional History

Harvard College, AB; Cambridge University, MPhil; Harvard University, PhD.

Highlights & Recent Activity

Recent Invited Lectures and Conference Papers

2020     Uxwaak: El símbolo de Quebrantamiento en la cosmovisíon kumiai(Uxwaak: The Symbol of Brokenness in Kumeyaay Worldview). “Yumanos: nuevos problemas, nuevos enfoques” special symposium at the VI Congreso Mexicano de Antropología Social y Etnología. October 13-16, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

2018     Rebuilding the Fire: Strategies for Preserving and Renewing Cupeño Culture. Pala Cultural Resource Committee. Pala Indian Reservation, San Diego County, CA. July 19.

2018     Nyawaap Ishesh Uuman, To Heal Our Hearts: Life Lessons from Kumeyaay Cosmology. Using Kumeyaay Culture to Heal Historical Trauma. Viejas Indian Reservation, San Diego County, CA. July 17.

2017     El Río de la Vida en la Tierra del Sol: Conceptos y Colores de Espacio, Tiempo, y Movimiento en la Cosmología Kumiai. XVIII Ecuentro Balances y Perspectivas de la Antropoloía de Baja California. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. CECUTEC, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico. December 1.

2017     El Vuelo de la Serpiente del Cielo: Observaciones sobre la Cosmovisión Yumano-Cochimi en Relación a Mesoamerica y el Suroeste de Estados Unidos. Mesa Lineal, Desierto, XXXI Mesa Redonda de la Sociedad Mexicana de Antropología. Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. October 2.

2016     Space Travel and Time Machines among the Highland Maya: Ancient Cosmology in Modern Towns. Maya Society of Minnesota. April 15.


In prep. Coyote Takes the Heart – Being and Belonging in the Kumeyaay World: Philosophy and Worldview of a Native California People.

At the Risk of Being Heard: Identity, Indigenous, Rights and Postcolonial States, (Co-edited with Bartholomew Dean, forward by Winona LaDuke). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.

Edited Journals (Single Issues)

The Anthropology of Dialectical Observations: Essays by and in Honor of David Maybury-Lewis. Special edition of Anthropological Quarterly, 82 (4), 2009.

Trade, Ethnicity, and Material Culture. (Co-edited with Christopher B. Steiner). Special Edition of Museum Anthropology 16 (3), 1992.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

In press, “Comments” on Daniel Lieberman et al. “Running in Tarahumara (Rarámuri) Culture: Persistence Hunting, Footracing, Dancing, Work, and the Fallacy of the Athletic Savage.” Current Anthropology.

“The River of Life in the Land of the Sun: Concepts and Colors of Space, Time, and Motion in Kumeyaay Cosmology.” Memorias de los Encuentros Binacionales: Balances y Perspectivas de la Antropología e Historia de Baja California 17: 81-98 (2017). Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.

With Elizabeth Durham “Indigeneity and Global Citizenship” in Indigenous Education: Language, Culture and Identity by W. James Jacob, Sheng You Cheng, Maureen K. Porter, Editors. Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2015.

“John Kennedy and the Tarahumara” Anales de Antropología. Revista del Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM Vol. 47-II (2013), 163-171.

“Chicomoztoc: Cuevas, Agricultura, y el Número Siete – Siguiendo un Hilo Cosmogónico desde Mesoamérica al Suroeste de Estados Unidos, a través de la Sierra Tarahumara.” (“Chicomoztoc: Caves, Agriculture, and the Number Seven – Following a Cosmogonic Thread from Mesoamerica to the Southwest through the Sierra Tarahumara.”) In Hilando al Norte: Nudos, Redes, Vestidos, Textiles. Edited by Arturo Gutiérrez del Ángel. Mexico: El Colegio de San Luis. 2013.

With Biorn Maybury-Lewis “Becoming Indigenous: Identity and Heterogeneity in a Global Movement.” In   Indigenous Peoples, Poverty, and Development, Harry Patrinos and Gillette Hall, Editors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2012.

“From Mato Grosso to Millennium: An Introduction to the Anthropology of Dialectical Observations.” Anthropological Quarterly 82(4): 875-889, 2009.

“Structuralism and Kabbalah: Sciences of Mysticism or Mystifications of Science.” Anthropological Quarterly 82(4):929-984, 2009.

“Symbols.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. William Darity, Editor. Vol. 8, Pp. 249-253. New York: Macmillan Co, 2007.

“Ethnology: Middle America.” In: Handbook of Latin American Studies: No. 61, Social Sciences. Tracy North, acting editor for the social sciences. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2006: 61-81.

“Tarahumara Shamanism (Mexico).” In: Mariko N. Walter and Eva J. N. Fridman, editors. Shamanism: An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture, Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2004: 453-461.

With Kalman Applbaum, “Fluid Signs of Commodity Fetishism: The Cosmologies of Coca-Cola and Tesguino.” Anthopological Perpsectives on Economic Development and Integration. Research in Economic Anthropology; 2003, 22: 283-298.

With Bartholomew Dean, “Introduction.” In: Bartholomew Dean and Jerome M. Levi, editors. At the Risk of Being Heard: Identity, Indigenous Rights, and Postcolonial States. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003: 1-44.

“Indigenous Rights and Representations in Northern Mexico: The Diverse Contexts of Rarámuri Voice and Silence.” In: Bartholomew Dean and Jerome M. Levi, editors. At the Risk of Being Heard: Identity, Indigenous Rights, and Postcolonial States. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2003: 255-292.

“A New Dawn or a Cycle Restored? Regional Dynamics and Cultural Politics in Indigenous Mexico, 1978-2001.” In: David Maybury-Lewis, editor. The Politics of Ethnicity: Indigenous Peoples in Latin American States, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002: 3-49.

“Tarahumara (Rarámuri).” In: David Carrasco, editor-in-chief. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures, Vol. 3. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001: 183-185.

“The Embodiment of a Working Identity: Power and Process in Rarámuri Ritual Healing.” In: Clifford Trafzer and Diane Weiner, editors. Medicine Ways: Native American Health, Disease, and Death. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2001: 134-162.

“La flecha y la cobija. Codificación de la identidad y resistencia en la cultura material rarámuri.” In: Claudia Molinari and Eugeni Porras, editors. Identidad y cultura en la sierra tarahumara. Chihuahua, Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Anthropología e Historia, 2001: 127-153.

“Hidden Transcripts Among the Rarámuri: Culture, Resistance, and Interethnic Relations in Northern Mexico.” American Ethnologist, 1999, 26: 90-113.

“The Embodiment of a Working Identity: Power and Process in Rarámuri Ritual Healing.” American Indian Culture and Research Journal, 1999, 23: 13-46.

“The Bow and the Blanket: Religion, Identity, and Resistance in Rarámuri Material Culture. Journal of Anthropological Research; 1998, 54: 299-324.

“Commoditizing the Vessels of Identity: Transnational Trade and the Reconstruction of Rarámuri Ethnicity.” Museum Anthropology, 1992, 16: 7-24.

“The Social Ecology of Ethnic Differentiation in the Sierra Tarahumara and Chiapas Highlands.” In: V. R. Bricker and G. H. Gossen, editors. Ethnographic Encounters in Southern Mesoamerica: Essays in Honor of Evon Zartman Vogt, Jr. Studies on Culture and Society, Vol. 3. Albany, NY: Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, The University at Albany, State University of New York, 1989.

“Myth and History Reconsidered: Archaeological Implications of Tzotzil-Maya Mythology.” American Antiquity, 1988, 53: 605-619.

“A Preliminary Report in Two Parts. Part I: Hopi and Navajo: A Century of Caricatures. Part II: Navajo Relocation: The Issue is Religion Not Real Estate.” Congressional Records, Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, 97th Congress of the US, First Session, 1981.

“Cover Testimony for Twenty-one Traditional Navajo Religious Leaders on the Impact of Public Law 93-531.” Congressional Records, Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs, 97th Congress of the US, First Session, 1981.

“The Subtler Shades of the Black, the Red, and the White.” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, 1980, 2: 293-298.

“Wii’ipay—The Living Rocks: Ethnographic Notes on Crystal Magic Among Some California Yumans.” Journal of California Anthropology, 1978, 5: 42-52.


American Ethnologist; American Indian Culture and Research Journal; Anthropological QuarterlyCultural Survival Quarterly; Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs; Man; Museum Anthropology; Research in Economic Anthropology.