Cultural Anthropology


Maggie Bodemer
Cultural anthropology draws from methodologies across the social sciences and humanities to understand the forces that shape human societies, past and present. The discipline emphasizes interpretive methods as well as participatory fieldwork (ethnography) brought to bear on the comparative study of societies past and present (ethnology). Our Department encompasses a wide range of theoretical orientations and has developed three topical specializations (Ecological Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, and Discursive Practices) as well as geocultural expertise in the cultures of Asia, Oceania (especially Hawai‘i) and the United States.


Andrew Arno, PhD
Legal anthropology, ethnography of communication, kinship and social organization; Pacific <>

C. Fred Blake, PhD
Social theory, ideology, folkloristics, political economy, complex social formations; China <>

Alex Golub, PhD
Cultural anthropology; 'kinship' and identity; governance, indigenous land tenure, mining and natural resources, common and intellectual property, semiotic technologies; Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, massively multiplayer online video games <>

Eirik J Saethre, PhD
Medical anthropology, indigenous health, HIV/AIDS, biomedical interventions; Aboriginal Australia, South Africa <>

Ty P. Kawika Tengan, PhD
Cultural anthropology, indigenous theory and methodology, colonialism, nationalism, identity, gender, cultural politics; Pacific, Hawai`i <>

Geoffrey M. White, PhD
Cultural anthropology, cultural studies, history and memory, self and emotion, ethnographic methods, Pacific Islands, America <>

Christine R. Yano, PhD
Cultural anthropology, popular culture, ethnomusicology, cultural nationalism, emotions; Japan, Japanese-Americans <>

Additional Graduate Faculty

Nicholas Barker (PhD, East-West Ctr Education Prog)
Cultural anthropology, religious self-mortification, culture concept, theory of ritual, self-sacrifice and the body; Philippines, Asia <

Robert Borofsky (PhD, Hawaii Pacific U) 
Public anthropology, the anthropology of anthropology, Pacific history; Oceania <>

Keith Brown (PhD, University of Pittsburgh)
Cultural anthropology; family histories; farmer production decision; religious syncretism; ethnicity and the Emperor; globalization and food, family and car culture; Japan <>

William Chapman (PhD, American Studies) 
Historic preservation, historical archaeology, history of anthropology <

Nancy Cooper (PhD, Lecturer)
Socio-cultural anthropology, performance, gender, expressive culture, ritual and religion; Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Java, Singapore <>

Emanuel Drechsel (PhD, Liberal Studies) 
Historical sociolinguistics, ethnohistory, North American Indians; North America <

Suzanne Falgout ( PhD, University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu ) 
Cultural and historical anthropology; Micronesia <

Jefferson M. Fox (PhD, East-West Center) 
Land use, forest resources and management, GIS and spatial information technology; South Asia, Southeast Asia <

Michael Hamnett (PhD, RCUH) 
Applied policy research, economic development, research management; Oceania <

Pensri Ho ( PhD, Ethnic Studies )
Transnational migration, globalization, asian Americans, ethnographic film; US <>

Nancy Kleiber (PhD, Lecturer)
Women's health care, feminist anthropologies; Pacific Islands <>

Roderick Labrador ( PhD, Director, GEAR UP, Student Affairs)
Cultural anthropology, identity, immigration political economy, globalization and diaspora; Hawai'i/Pacific, Philippines, Filipina/American and Asia Pacific America <>

Lamont Lindstrom (PhD, University of California at Berkeley)
Cultural anthropology, sociolinguistics, ethnohistory, social theory; Oceania, Vanuatu <>

Gregory G Maskarinec (PhD, Family Medicine & Community Health)
Anthropology of language (Nepalese oral texts), western biomedical clinical medicine, mededucation and indigenous medical systems of Soth Asia; religions (belief systems, ritual and performance); <>

Jonathan Y. Okamura (PhD, Ethnic Studies) 
Ethnicity and ethnic relations, Asian American studies, Philippines, Hawai'i <

Jan Rensel, (PhD, Center for Pacific Islands Studies)
Performance, gender, expressive culture, ritual and religion; Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Java, Singapore <

Paul J. Ross, (MA, St. Francis Hospital) 
Quantitative methods, nutritional and medical anthropology, human ecology, medical systems, field methods in cultural anthropology; West Africa <>

Jaida Samudra (PhD, Lecturer)
Cultural anthropology, identity, ethnic-nationalisms, socialities, the body in kinesthetic cultures, experiential ethnography, history of social theory, Chinese diaspora, Southeast Asia, Indonesia <>  

Miriam Sharma (PhD, Ctr for South Asian Studies) 
Agrarian class formation and gender relations, political and economic development, methodology; South Asia <

Eric Wittersheim (PhD, EHESS, Paris)
Political and urban anthropology, visual anthropology and documentary filmmaking, nationhood and state-building, Vanuatu, Melanesia, Oceania <>

David Y.H. Wu (PhD)
Cultural anthropology, ethnicity, anthropology of food; China and Chinese diaspora <>

Heather Young Leslie, (PhD)
Medical and feminist anthropology, culture and health, medicine and modernity, health professionals; Tonga, Oceania <>

Emeritus Faculty

Jack Bilmes, PhD
Linguistic anthropology, social interaction, discourse; Thailand <>

Stephen T. Boggs, PhD
Sociolinguistics and socialization, methods, education, ethnic groups in Hawai`i

Alice G. Dewey, PhD
Economics, kinship, Javanese conceptual frameworks; Southeast Asia, Pacific

Ben R. Finney, PhD
Socio-economic change, cultural adaptation to sea and space; Pacific Islands <>

Alan Howard, PhD 
Cultural anthropology, adaptation to change, ethnological theory; Polynesia, Rotuma <

Robert C. Kiste, PhD
Cultural/social anthropology, cultural change; Oceania <>

Takie S. Lebra, PhD
Culture and self, communication, social organization, women, career, elite; Japan

Leslie E. Sponsel, PhD 
Ecology (cultural, historical, political, spiritual, Buddhist); sacred places and biodiversity; peace, human rights, ethics; Southeast Asia (Thailand), Amazon <>