Fernando Coronil (November 30, 1944 Caracas – August 16, 2011, New York City) was a Venezuelan anthropologist best known for his study of the politics of oil in Venezuela.
Biography and major works
Coronil was born and raised in Caracas, and attended the public high school Liceo Andrés Bello. After early student engagements with politics there, he traveled to the US where he attended Stanford University. There, he met his future wife and frequent coauthor Julie Skurski. He earned a BA from Stanford in 1967 and, after a year at Cornell, he began work towards a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Chicago. There, he studied with Victor Turner, Terrence Turner, Bernard Cohn, and John Coatsworth.
Skurski and Coronil had originally planned to conduct fieldwork in Cuba as part of their Ph.D. fieldwork. After returning from one trip, however, Coronil was expelled from the United States "as a subversive agent, although no specific charges were ever disclosed".:559 As a result, Coronil returned to Venezuela, where taught at the Universidad Católica and focused on writing a dissertation on Venezuela. He earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1987. In 1988 he became a member of the University of Michigan's society of fellows, and was then hired from this postdoctoral position to a faculty position. At Michigan Coronil was known for putting "great efforts into the work of his colleagues and students" and was actively involved in the departments of History and Anthropology, the Program in the Comparative Study of Social Transformations, the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in Anthropology, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. In 1997, Coronil published his best known work, The Magical State. He also coedited a volume entitled States of Violence in 2006.
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