Michelle Bigenho, associate professor of anthropology and Latin American studies, holds a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles in political science and Latin American studies; a "magister" in anthropology from the Pontifícia Universidad Católica del Perú; and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Cornell University. Her current research interests include indigeneity, alternatives to intellectual property, transnational cultural work, indigenous heritage, folklorization processes, and the politics of culture. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, Fulbright IIE, and the Whiting Foundation, as well as fellowships from University of Cambridge’s Centre of Latin American Studies and University of Connecticut’s Humanities Institute. She is currently heading up an NSF-funded collaborative project entitled Cultural Property, Creativity, and Indigeneity in Bolivia, with Henry Stobart (Royal Holloway University of London), Juan Carlos Cordero (Bolivia) and Bernardo Rozo (Bolivia).
Her second monograph, Intimate Distance: Andean Music in Japan (Duke 2012) received a prize from the Latin American Studies Association, Asia and the Americas Section. Her other publications include Sounding Indigenous: Authenticity in Bolivian Music Performance (Palgrave 2002), chapters in several edited volumes and articles published in American Ethnologist, Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Anthropological Quarterly, and Journal of Latin American Anthropology.
Music performance on the violin has formed a significant part of her research approach in Peru, Bolivia, and Japan. She has participated in over fourteen recordings with the Bolivian ensemble, Música de Maestros.