Debbora Battaglia

  • Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Debbora Battaglia is the author of On the Bones of the Serpent: Person, Memory, and Mortality in Sabarl Island Society (University of Chicago Press) and of the monograph Bringing Home to Moresby (IASR Press). She is also the editor of collections which include Extreme: Humans at Home in the Cosmos (Anthropological Quarterly), Rhetorics of Self-Making (University of California Press), and E.T. Culture: Anthropology in Outerspaces (Duke University Press). Her current book project is titled Archipe/logics: An Anthropologist's Itinerary through Life and Art. She has also published numerous scholarly articles, including “Cosmos as Commons: An Activation of Cosmic Diplomacy" in the journal E-Flux, “Multiplicities: An Anthropologist's Thoughts on Replicants and Clones in Popular Films," in the journal Critical Inquiry, and "Toward an Ethics of the Open Subject: Writing Culture 'In Good Conscience'," in Henrietta Moore, ed. Anthropological Theory Today (Cambridge: Polity Press).

Professor Battaglia received her doctorate from University of Cambridge in the field of social anthropology and has taught courses in cultural identities and differences, visual anthropology in the material world, peoples of the South Pacific, making class visible, and introduction to anthropology.

She has conducted anthropological fieldwork in the islands off the New Guinea coast and urban fieldwork in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. She has also worked in Quebec Province and on the Internet with a new religious movement focusing on faith-based science.

Her honors include the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. In 2010, Battaglia was awarded the Five College 40th Anniversary Professorship.

A frequent presenter and keynote speaker at national and international conferences and academic institutions, she has served as a member of the editorial board of American EthnologistCultural AnthropologyMaterial CultureAnthropological QuarterlyTheory, Culture, and Society, and HAU, and was Associate Editor of Cambridge Anthropology. She has also served on National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship and American Council of Learned Societies panels.

In addition to teaching at Mount Holyoke, she has been a visiting professor at Stanford University and a visiting researcher at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Los Angeles.

Areas of Expertise

World-making and new climatic regimes, anthropology of science and technology, socioaesthetics, alienness and belonging.


  • Ph.D., MLit, Cambridge University
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara