Ph.D., Linguistic and Cultural Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, 2003
Language and culture, religion, ritual, semiotics, discourse analysis, race and nation, language ideologies, historical consciousness, religious community
Regional focus: Cuba, Caribbean, Latin America, African diaspora
Kristina Wirtz is a linguistic and cultural anthropologist who works on Santería in contemporary Cuba. Her research and teaching interests encompass religion, discourse, ritual performance, and negotiations over identity and community (racial, religious, and national). Dr. Wirtz is especially intrigued by Santería’s esoteric ritual register, Lucumí, as an emblem of religiosity and of different strains of historical consciousness in Cuba and the African diaspora. Current projects include editing a journal special issue on the topic of ritual unintelligibility, writing about the commercialization of Afro-Cuban religion in Socialist Cuba, and researching the competing language ideologies that have shaped “racialized” ways of speaking in Cuba, including ritual registers like Lucumí and marginalized sociolects like "bozal."