Tom Zuidema (1927-2016)

It is with sadness that we relay the death of Tom Zuidema.

Tom was a towering figure in the field of Andean studies, who trained generations of students who went on to be leading scholars in the archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography of the region. Born in the Netherlands in 1927, Tom joined the Anthropology department at the University of Illinois in Anthropology in 1964 and was a Professor Emeritus since his retirement in 1993. Tom also held appointments at the UIUC Center for Advanced Study and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In 2013 he was honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Science by inclusion in their Centennial Gallery of Excellence.

Tom was appointed by Queen Juliana to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. He received the François Premier Medal of the Collège de France. He is the recipient of multiple doctorates honoris causa, from institutions including the Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Lima, Peru (1993), the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru (2003) and the University Cuzco, Peru (2006). The University of Bologna, Italy, where Tom frequently lectured in recent years, appointed him to life membership in its Center of Advanced Studies. He received a “Mención de Honor” from the International Congress of Americanists. In 2008 he received from the President of the Republic of Peru the Order of “The Sun of Perú” in the rank of Comendador.

An Online conversation was held in June of 2012 through the Open Anthropology Cooperative Press website with Professor Joanna Overing entitled:

An Amazonian Question of Ironies and the Grotesque the arrogance of cosmic deceit, and the humility of everyday life