Universidad De Los Andes (UNIANDES) Colombia

Juan Camilo Niño Vargas


Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, at UNIANDES, holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). His research focuses on the ontologies and socio-cosmologies of the Chibchan-speaking groups of the Isthmo-Colombian area, notably on the notions of humanity, animality and vegetality, and the interaction between humans and non-humans. He has conducted ethnographic research among northern Colombia’s Ette (Chimila) and collaborated with them in linguistic and cultural revitalization processes. He has written books, articles, and chapters on these subjects, including “Universos Chibchas” (with S. Beckerman, 2024), “Diccionario de la lengua ette” (2018) and “Ooyoriyasa. Cosmología e interpretación onírica entre los ette” (2007).

Alexander Herrera


Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at UNIANDES. He holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge. His archaeological research addresses landscapes and material culture from a long-term perspective, drawing upon ethnohistoric and ethnographic sources integrated with environmental and historical data. He focuses on social interactions across the Andes, from the Pacific to Amazonia, and how economic and political interactions shaped identity politics over time. Recently, he has focused on ritual practices and soundscapes as linkages between mortuary and sacred landscapes and water management systems, especially on indigenous water harvesting technologies and their applications in rural development in the Ancash highlands of Peru.

Carl Langebaek


Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UNIANDES. He holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Pittsburgh. His interest has been in understanding the processes of social complexity and long-term change in the pre-Hispanic societies of northern South America, especially the Muisca, the Tairona of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and the societies of the Aburrá Valley. He has also researched the history of anthropology and archaeology in Colombia and Venezuela, as well as the way the image of the Indian was appropriated by the Creole elites in the context of Latin American state-building projects. 

Katherine Bolañoz


Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Culture at UNIANDES, with a PhD in Linguistics from The University of Amsterdam and an MA from the University of Texas. Her research focuses on linguistic documentation and description of languages spoken in the Amazonian basin, with publications on grammatical descriptions (A Grammar of Kakua 2016; Description of Cabiyarí 2022; Tinigua 2023) and multilingualism and education (Multilingualism, translanguaging and education, with R. Palacio, 2024). She also conducts fieldwork in the Vaupés, Putumayo, and the Orinoco basin. 

Lina Alvarez-Villarreal


Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Sciences in the Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia and associate researcher to the Centre for Philosophy of Law of the Université Catholique de Louvain. Lina holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Université Catholique de Louvain. Her research lies at the crossroads of decolonial thinking, Latin-American feminisms, philosophy of economics and Latin-American political ecology. Since 2018, she has worked on non-state-centred politics and autonomous economies with the Ala Kusrei Ya Misak Universidad, an indigenous university in Cauca, Colombia. She is currently part of Crianzas Mutuas and the Global Tapestry of Alternatives.

Luis Gonzalo Jaramillo


Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UNIANDES. He holds a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Pittsburgh (USA). He focuses on the emergency and development of pre-Hispanic societies in the San Agustín, Quimbaya and Muisca areas. He is also interested in cultural heritage issues. He is the founder of the Observatorio del Patrimonio Cultural y Arqueológico OPCA and general editor of the Boletín OPCA. He has written books, articles and chapters on both topics, including Regional Archaeology in the Cauca Medio: Pre-Hispanic Human Occupation in Filandia (with Elizabeth Ramos & Julián Escobar 2023) and Los “teatros” de la memoria: Espacios y representaciones del patrimonio cultural en Colombia (with Manuel Salge 2012).

Monica Espinosa Arango


Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology at UNIANDES with a PhD in Anthropology from the UMASS (USA). Her research focuses on Manuel Quintin Lame’s thought, the indigenous movement in the Colombian southwestern Andes, and the modern history of the Nasa, Misak and Pijao peoples. She has also researched the Andoque cultural revitalization in the Aduche River (Amazonia) during the twentieth century. She has done research with indigenous leaders and intellectuals such as Juan Carlos Piñacué, Benjamin Jacanamijoy, and Julio César Tunubalá on topics of social memory, indigenous art, and sacred geographies.

Sonia Archila


Associate Professor and Head of the Anthropology Department at UNIANDES. She has a PhD in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL) and is interested in studying human-environmental interactions and constructing social memory. She has extensive experience in archaeological research in several regions of Colombia, including Amazon and Caribbean lowlands and high-altitude valleys in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes. Her research utilizes and values the archaeological and historical information as essential to understanding contemporary communities. Her current research focuses on multi-species archaeology from an interdisciplinary perspective.