Rafael Sanchez


TAUGHT IN 2017-2022
Spoken languages
English, Spanish
Areas of expertise
  • Anthropology and history
  • Postcolonial State
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Globalisation
  • Media
  • Modernity
  • Nationalism
  • Populism/neopopulism
  • Religion and politics


PhD, Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
Rafael Sánchez was educated in the United States (master, University of Chicago) and obtained his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He has taught at several universities, including most recently at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University (2007-11) and at Amsterdam University College (2011-15). He was a Research Fellow at the Center for Religion & Media at New York University (2006-7). His publications focus, among other topics, on religion, media, politics, populism, and spirit mediumship. His book Dancing Jacobins 'A Venezuelan Genealogy of Latin American Populism' is forthcoming from Fordham University Press in the spring of 2016. His current project, The Fates of Sovereignty in the Landscape of the City, explores urban imaginaries and territorialising practices under the Chávez regime in Venezuela.



  • Dancing Jacobins 'A Venezuelan Genealogy of Populism in Latin America', Fordham University Press (forthcoming spring 2016)
  • “Le Peuple de l’Amour et Le Peuple de la Merde,” (with Claudio Lomnitz), Vacarme 10(50): 78-81. 2010.
  • “Antisemitismo Bolivariano,” Claudio Lomnitz and Rafael Sánchez, Nexos 380 (August), pp.61-67. 2009.
  • “Seized by the Spirit: The Mystical Foundation of Squatting among Pentecostals in Caracas, Venezuela” in Birgit Meyer, ed. Religion, Media and the Question of Community Palgrave, pp.225-46. 2009.
  • “Bolivarian Antisemitism “ (with Claudio Lomnitz), in The Boston Review of Books, June-July. 2009.
  • “Bones of Contention: Violence, Monumentality, and the State-as-Detective in Chavez’s Venezuela” in Subjetividades Colectivas y Globalizacion: Fronteras, Diasporas y Naciones. Textos de Referencia. XVIII Conferencia de la Academia de la Latinidad. 2008.
  • “Seized by the Spirit: The Mystical Foundation of Squatting among Pentecostals in Caracas, Venezuela” in Public Culture, Volume 20, Number 2, Spring 2008.
  • “Intimate Publicities: Retreating the Politico-Theological in the Chávez Regime in Venezuela” in Lawrence Sullivan and Hent de Vries, eds Political Theologies: Globalization and Post-Secular Reason New York, NY Fordham University Press. 2006.
  • "Channel Surfing: Media, Mediumship, and State Authority in the Maria Lionza Cult, Venezuela" In Hent de Vries and Samuel Weber, eds. Religion and Media. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, pp.388-434. 2000.
  • "The Gomez Effect: State Fetishism in Venezuela since the Turn of the Century," ASCA Brief 2, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Theory, and Interpretation, University of Amsterdam. 1994.

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