Christopher Loperena
Position: Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Program: Anthropology
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin
M.A. in Latin American Studies from The University of Texas at Austin
B.A. in International Studies from The University of Chicago
Research Interests: Race, Indigeneity, Blackness, ethics, land, environment, extractivism, tourism, Central America, and the Caribbean

Christopher Loperena’s research examines indigenous and black territorial struggles, land, ethicality and subject formation, and the socio-spatial politics of economic development in Honduras.

In addition to his current book project, he recently co-edited two themed issues on the role of cultural evidence in the adjudication of indigenous and afro-descendant rights in Latin America. He has served as an expert witness at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and in support of asylum claimants from Honduras. Loperena’s work has been published in American Anthropologist, American Quarterly, Cultural Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Desacatos, Geoforum, the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, and the Journal of Sustainable Tourism. He was the César Chávez Fellow at Dartmouth College and professor of International Studies at the University of San Francisco before assuming his position at The Graduate Center. His current book project is titled, A Fragmented Paradise: Blackness and the Limits of Progress in Honduras.

Courses Taught

  • Race, Space, and Autonomy (seminar)
  • Anticapitalist Thought & the Politics of Dispossession (seminar)
  • Current Topics in Anthropology (core course)


  • 2020. Introduction: “Cultural Expertise?: Anthropologist as Witness in Defense of Indigenous and Afro-descendant Rights.” Christopher Loperena, Mariana Mora and Aída Hernández Castillo, eds. American Anthropologist. Vol. 122(3):588-594.
  • 2020. “Adjudicating Indigeneity: Anthropologist as Expert Witness in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.” American Anthropologist. Vol. 122(3):595-605.
  • 2018. “Introducción: Los retos del peritaje cultural: El antropólogo como perito en la defensa de los derechos indígenas y afrodescendientes.” Dilemas del Peritaje Cultural, Eds. Christopher Loperena, Rosalva Aida Hernández Castillo, and Mariana Mora. Desacatos, Num. 57.
  • 2017. "Settler Violence: Race and Emergent Frontiers of Progress in Honduras." American Quarterly. Special Forum on Settler Colonialism in Latin America. Vol. 69(4).
  • 2017. "Honduras is Open for Business: Extractivist tourism as sustainable development in the wake of disaster?" Journal of Sustainable Tourism. Vol. 25(5):618-633.
  • 2016. "Conservation by Racialized Dispossession: The Making of an Eco-destination on Honduras’s North Coast." Geoforum. Vol. 69:184-193.
  • 2016. "A Divided Community: The Ethics and Politics of Activist Research." Current Anthropology. Vol. 57(3):332-346. 2016. "Radicalize Multiculturalism? Garifuna Activism and the Double-Bind of Participation in Postcoup Honduras." Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. Vol. 21(3): 517-538.