Sherry B. Ortner

staff bio picture

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology
UCLA Department of Anthropology
341 Haines Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1553
Campus Mail Code: 155303
Phone: 310-825-5447
Fax: 310-206-7833

Keywords: Religion, Cultural Anthropology

Sherry B. Ortner is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UCLA. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr College, and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. Before coming to UCLA in 2004, she taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Michigan, the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including awards from the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She has done extensive fieldwork with the Sherpas of Nepal, on religion, politics, and the Sherpas’ involvement in Himalayan mountaineering. Her book, Life and Death on Mount Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering, was awarded the J. I. Staley prize as the best anthropology book of 2004.

Ortner has more recently shifted her research to the United States. Her first project focused on class in the United States, using her own high school graduating class as her ethnographic subjects. She is currently completing a project on the relationship between independent film and American culture. She also publishes regularly in the areas of cultural theory and feminist theory. She has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded the Retzius Medal of the Society of Anthropology and Geography of Sweden.

Selected Publications   
Forthcoming: Serious Games: Rethinking Practice Theory. Duke University Press.
2003. New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of E8. Duke University Press
1999 Life and Death on Mount Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan Mountaineering. Princeton University Press.
1999 (ed.) The Fate of CultureE Geertz and Beyond. University of California Press.
1996 Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture. Beacon Press.
1994 Culture/Power/History: A Reader in Contemporary Social Theory (co-edited with N.B. Dirks and G. Eley), Princeton University Press.
1989 High Religion: A Cultural and Political History of Sherpa Buddhism. Princeton University Press.
1981 Sexual Meanings: The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality (co-edited with Harriet Whitehead), Cambridge University Press.
1978 Sherpas through their Rituals. Cambridge University Press.