Juan Obarrio

Juan Obarrio

Associate Professor

Mergenthaler 461
Personal Website

Video Presentations

Juan Obarrio works in the fields of critical theory and political anthropology, focusing on issues of law, democracy, violence, magic; and the intersections between political economy and political theology. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Southern Africa and South America.

He has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Social Science Research Council, American Council of Learned Societies, and has been a visiting professor in Paris, Bologna, Johannesburg, and Cordoba (Argentina). In 2012 he was a visiting scholar at the Harvard Mahindra Humanities Center and the MIT Center for International Studies.  In 2016-2017 he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). He currently serves on the Board of the International Consortium of Humanities Centers (CHCI).

He received a PhD from Columbia University in 2007.

Current Book Projects

  • A Matter of Time. The state of things in Southern Africa  (historical ethnography), forthcoming, Duke University Press, 2019
  • Foreign Body (memoir, medical humanities), forthcoming Duke University Press, 2020
  • Los Campos Freneticos (poetry) forthcoming, Barcelona, 2019
  • The Event of Appropriation. Temporalities of capital and insurrection. (Under review)
  • Ground: Zero. Law, War, Theology. (In preparation)

Harvard African Studies Workshop, January 30, 2017

Harvard African Studies Conference
Chiefship and the Customary in Southern Africa, 2014

10/13 | From Anti-Imperialism and Independence to Autonomia, Insurrection, and Self-Determination, March 1, 2018

Medical Memoirs and Social Agency in Planetary Perspective
Duke Franklin Humanities Institute, October 2017 

Critical Dialogues, Race and Borders
Sandro Mezzadra, Achille Mbembe, Juan Obarrio

New Cartographies of Knowledge, Global South and Global Education
Bologna, June 2017

The Ends of Democracy
Panel on the Animism of Property and Thoughts for the Time of Democracy and Death

Interview, Juan Obarrio-Premesh Lalu