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Dr. C.R. (Cristobal) Bonelli

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body
Fotograaf: Mariana

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
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  • Profile

    Cristobal Bonelli’s academic and professional journey began with his undergraduate studies in clinical psychology at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile (1994-1999). Following this, he specialized in family therapy through the Milan Approach in Italy (2002-2006). Subsequently, he pursued a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh (2008-2012), followed by postdoctoral research training in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Amsterdam (2012-2016). Currently, he is an Associate Professor in Anthropology of Sustainable Transitions and Territorial Transformations at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and contributes to the “Health, Care, and the Body” research group.

    Throughout the past two decades, Cristobal has cultivated a diverse and interdisciplinary mindset, shaped by his experiences in Chile, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Drawing inspiration from systemic psychotherapy and cyberneticians like Gregory Bateson, Heinz von Förster, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela, he led experimental mental health projects in Italy, engaging with principles of democratic psychiatry advocated by figures such as Franco Basaglia. His Ph.D. training in the UK and ethnographic research in Chile in intercultural communication within public health devices, explored the nuanced understanding of difference beyond conventional cultural analyses, actively participating in debates on "ontology" in decolonial anthropology. More particularly, his Phd analyzed the ways in which public health services respond to particular indigenous illnesses not detectable or treatable by biomedical technicians , shading light on the equivocal
    understandings of health, care, and the body at stake in intercultural relations in Southern Chile.

    Since joining the University of Amsterdam in 2012, he has deepened his understanding of science and technology studies, appreciating the importance of specificity and the transformative potential of world-making practices. More recently, amid contemporary climate and geopolitical uncertainties, Cristobal's research has delved into the conceptualization of crucial materials such as water and lithium in highly extractivist environments In Northern Chile, where globalizing technological strategies for planetary decarbonization are taking (and making) place.

    Currently, Cristobal leads the ERC project titled 'Worlds of Lithium,' investigating the societal impacts of lithium extraction and lithium-ion batteries in global energy transition efforts. Through empirical studies in Chile, China, and Norway, the project sheds light on our  interdependence and co-constitution with these materials and technologies, exploring their transformative implications within the complexities of modern life in times of climate change.

     Current teaching:

    Masters level:

    The Politics of Sustainability: Environments, Cultures, Materials /  Multispecies ecologies and Planetary Matter

    Bachelors level:

    Environments, Alterities and the Anthropological Imagination / Practicing Etnography / Ethnographies and academic writing

    I am also Supervisor at the Master on Cultural and Social Anthropology, at the  Research Master's in Social Sciences, at the  Master in International Development Studies and at the Master in Medical Anthropology and Sociology

  • Publicaties



    • Bonelli, C. (2022). On People, Sensorial Perception, and Potential Affinity in Southern Chile. In M. González Gálvez, P. Di Giminiani, & G. Bacchiddu (Eds.), Theorizing Relations in Indigenous South America (pp. 68-82). (Studies in Social Analysis; Vol. 13). Berghahn. https://doi.org/10.3167/9781800733299, https://doi.org/10.1515/9781800733312-005 [details]
    • Tironi, M., Campos-Knothe, K., Acuña, V., Isola, E., Bonelli, C., Gonzalez Galvez, M., Kelly, S., Juzam, L., Molina, F., Pereira Covarrubias, A., Rivas, R., Undurraga, B., & Valdivieso, S. (2022). Interruptions: imagining an analytical otherwise for disaster studies in Latin America. Disaster Prevention and Management, 31(3), 243-259. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-03-2021-0102 [details]



    • Bonelli, C., & Poirot, L. (2020). Secretos de luz: apuntes para una antropología expuesta. Antípoda : Revista de Antropología y Arqueología, 41(1), 175-201. https://doi.org/10.7440/antipoda41.2020.08 [details]
    • Weinberg, M., González Gálvez, M., & Bonelli, C. (2020). Políticas de la evidencia: entre posverdad, objetividad y etnografía. Antípoda : Revista de Antropología y Arqueología, 41(1), 3-27. https://doi.org/10.7440/antipoda41.2020.01 [details]
    • Weinberg, M., González Gálvez, M., & Bonelli, C. R. (Eds.) (2020). Políticas de la evidencia: Etnografía entre mundos unívocos y mundos múltiples. Antípoda : Revista de Antropología y Arqueología, 41.


    • Bonelli, C. (2019). On People, Sensorial Perception, and Potential Affinity in Southern Chile. Social Analysis, 63(2), 66-80. https://doi.org/10.3167/sa.2019.630204 [details]
    • Bonelli, C. (2019). Spectral forces, time, and excess in Southern Chile. In K. Omura, G. J. Osuki, S. Satsuka, & A. Morita (Eds.), The World Multiple: The Quotidian Politics of Knowing and Generating Entangled Worlds (pp. 123-139). (Routledge Advances in Sociology). Routledge. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429456725-8 [details]





    • Bonelli Iglesias, C. (2015). Trastornos ontológicos: pesadillas, fármacos psicotrópicos y espíritus malignos en el Sur de Chile. In P. Di Giminiani, S. González Varela, M. Murray, & H. Risør (Eds.), Tecnologías en los márgenes: antropología, mundos materiales y téchnicas en América Latina (pp. 233-256). (Colección Heterotopías; No. 4). México: Bonilla Artigas. [details]
    • Bonelli, C. (2015). Eating one's worlds: on foods, metabolic writing and ethnographic humor. Subjectivity, 8(3), 181-200. https://doi.org/10.1057/sub.2015.7 [details]
    • Bonelli, C. (2015). To see that which cannot be seen: ontological differences and public health policies in Southern Chile. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 21(4), 872-891. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12292 [details]







    • Bonelli, C. R. (2008). I frattali e le identità plurali. Rivista Italiana no profit. Communitas.


    • Bonelli, C. R. (2006). Per una epistemologia del mistero. Rivista Italiana no profit. Communitas.
    • Bonelli, C. R., & Notarbartolo, C. (2006). L’epistemologia enattiva come pratica etico-politica, Rivista di Consulenza e ricerca sui sistemi umani. Connessioni, 17.


    • Bonelli, C. R. (2004). I Timbri conflittuali dell’identità: Riflessioni sull’ethnoscape in camminata. Animazione Sociale, 8/9.



    • Bonelli, C. (participant) (4-8-2023). GT 48: Spoilage, extraction and destruction in Latin America: bodies, subjectivities and experiences in everyday life. Reflections on extractive processes, looting and destruction often pay attention to how, through the claim of rights, local populations and social (…) (participating in a conference, workshop, ...).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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