1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Roberto Armengol

Postdoctoral College Fellow

Ph.D. University of Virginia 2013

Nau 341



I am a sociocultural anthropologist with extensive field experience in urban Cuba. Broadly speaking, my work analyzes the moral paradigms through which people live out the material demands of life. In my doctoral thesis I looked at how the political economy of late socialism is reshaped in the everyday practices of working-class entrepreneurs. This research has since developed into an ongoing focus on markets, globalization and sustainable alternatives to neoliberal capitalism.

In 2016, I joined UVa faculty from across the liberal arts in the inaugural class of College Fellows. The fellows are collaborating to pilot the first stage of the new undergraduate curriculum in Arts and Sciences. In that capacity, I am developing courses that introduce first-year students to empirical discovery and the aesthetics of truth in the social sciences.

My professional life began in journalism. I’ve worked as a staff writer at daily newspapers, a reporter for Bloomberg News and, most recently, as the editor of BackStory, a podcast and radio show that airs on NPR-affiliates across the country. I continue to freelance as the occasion arises.


Political economy; gift exchange and alternative economies; globalization and development; socialism and postsocialism; language, semiotics, and the media; visual anthropology; science and technology studies; public anthropology. Cuba, the Caribbean, Latin American and the United States.