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Christian Alan Anderson has a background in Southeast Asian and Chinese studies with a research focus in Taiwan and Hainan, China. Chris earned his masters in visual anthropology (2004) and doctorate in socio-cultural anthropology (2007) from the University of Southern California. He studies cross-cultural aesthetics, performance, belief systems, medical anthropology, visual anthropology and Austronesian Southeast Asia. He has served as visiting research scholar at Academia Sinica Institute of Ethnology in Taiwan from 2003-05 and at the University of Calcutta Anthropology Department in India 2007.

In 2007, Chris expanded his research into the Indian subcontinent, where he conducted ethnographic fieldwork on gender and spirituality in Hindu pilgrimage and foreign tourism. He is currently continuing research on migration, pilgrimage, tourism and intentional communities. His master's thesis "Austronesian Voyaging from Taiwan: Cultivating Amis Folk Songs on the International Stage" is published in the edited volume Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory, and his doctoral dissertation "Betel Nut Chewing Culture: The Social and Symbolic Life of an Indigenous Commodity" is available through ProQuest.


Education



University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (1996-2007)


Ph.D., Anthropology (Social and Cultural), May 2007.


Dissertation Title: Betel Nut Chewing Culture: The Social and Symbolic Life of an Indigenous Commodity in Taiwan and Hainan


• Research focus: ethnography; Austronesian, Southeast Asian, Chinese area studies; migration and diaspora; tourism; ethnohistory; folklore; belief systems; anthropology of healing; ethnopharmacology; gender and sexuality; ethnicity; social stratification; gift economy; commoditization; consumerism; agency; borders and boundaries.


M.A., Visual Anthropology, May 2004


Thesis Title: The New Austronesian Voyaging: Cultivating Amis Folk Songs for the International Stage


Thesis Film: An Enigma in Taiwan: Amis Folks Songs on the International Stage


• Research focus: Austronesian Taiwan, performance theory, globalization, symbolic capital, Indigenousness, revitalization movements, (auto)exoticization.

• Coursework: anthropological theory and ethnographic practice, ethnographic film, visual anthropology, and medical anthropology


• Training in cinematography and documentary film production at USC School of Cinema, and Mandarin Chinese language at USC East Asian Studies Center.


California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA, 1989-1995


B.A., Anthropology (cum laude honors), Minor in Social Psychology


Thesis title: Eco-Cultural Tourism and Cultural Change among the Amis of Taitung, Taiwan


Training in four sub-fields, specialization in cultural anthropology.

Coursework focus: ethnographic theory and practice, ethnographic film, psychological anthropology, folklore, tourism, symbols, and aesthetics.

Grants and Fellowships



Black Rock Arts Foundation, Burning Man Scholarship (Aug 2008)


Rotary International, Ambassador of Goodwill Scholarship (Jan-Nov 2007)


University of Southern California, Anthropology Department, Conference Travel Grant (April 2006)


Fulbright Student Award to Taiwan, ROC (Feb-Sep 2003) and to Hainan, PRC (Sep 2003-Jan 2004)


Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (Taipei, Taiwan), Research Fellowship (Mar 2003-Feb 2004)


University of Southern California, School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Conference Travel Grant (March 2002)


Association for Asian Studies, Research Travel Grant (Jun-Aug 1999)


University of Southern California, East Asian Studies Center, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship


                       (May-Aug 1998, Aug     1999-May 2000, Aug 2000-May 2001, Aug 2002-May 2003)


         California State University, Northridge, Senior Research Fellowship
(Jun-Aug 1995)


Teaching Experience, Research Affiliations, and Relevant Employment



University of Calcutta, Anthropology Department, Visiting Researcher (Jan-Oct 2007)


• Hosted by Gopalkrishna Chakrabarti (Head) and Ranjana Ray during field research in India



Academia Sinica, Institute of Ethnology, Visiting Scholar (Mar 2003-Jun 2005)


• Hosted by Bien Chiang during ethnographic fieldwork and historical research in Taiwan


Intel Corporation, Digital Home Research Group, Research Partner (Jan-Mar 2006)


• Facilitator for ethnographic research in Taiwan on gender and culture-specific issues in developing hand-held electronic products

University of


Southern California, Anthropology Department

Graduate Teaching Assistant (Jan 1997- Aug 2006)

• Anthropology 315: North American Indians: History, Religion, and Contemporary Culture


• Anthropology 273: Non-Western Religious Traditions: Shamans, Spirits, and Ancestors


• Anthropology 263: Exploring Culture through Film

• Anthropology 254: Cultural Change in Oceania: Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia


• Anthropology 251: Race, Class, and Sexual Politics in Southeast Asia


• Anthropology 100: Introduction to Social Anthropology



University of Southern California, Writing Center, Writing Consultant (Aug 1999-Dec 2001)


• Teaching writing and editing to ESL undergraduate students



Independent Feature Film, Cinematographer (Jan-Dec 2002)


• Director of Photography on “Jack Hammer.” (Sony DV-Cam, comedy/horror, 90 mins.)


• Director of Photography on “Whigmaleerie.” (Sony DV-Cam, romance/comedy, 90 mins.)



University of Southern California, School of Cinema, Department of Documentary Film, Cinematographer (Jan 1998-Dec 2001)


• Director of Photography on “New Moon.” (2003, Sony DV-Cam color video, 26 mins.), directed by Linlin Wang, produced by Howard Vu


• Director of Photography on “Hook, Line, and Singer.” (2001, Sony BetaCam SP, 26 mins.), directed by Norm Anderson, produced by Howard Vu, screened at 2002 San Francisco International Film Festival

• Director of Photography on “Drowing Man.” (1998, 16mm film, black and white, 6 mins.), produced and directed by Chad Abraham Minnich


ONE Institute, International Gay and Lesbian On-line Book Review, Assistant Editor (Jan-May 1998)



Hauser Design, Inc., Product Design Research Department, Researcher (May-Aug 1997)


• Initiate and produce video interview project



Milken Family Foundation, Museum of Creativity Project, Assistant Researcher

(Jan 1996-Jan 1997)


• Conduct anthropological research for museum exhibit development

• Initiate and produce video interview project

Ethnographic Fieldwork Experience



I

ndependent Postdoctoral Research, Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, U.S.A. (Aug-Sep 2008)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, U.S. National Rainbow Gathering, Big Sandy, Wyoming, U.S.A. (July 2008)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, World Rainbow Gathering, Sanya, Hainan, People’s Republic of China (Apr-May 2008)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, Intergalactic Rainbow Gathering, Veracruz, Mexico (Jan-Feb 2008)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, Sexuality and Spirituality in Hindu Pilgrimage and International Tourism in India and Nepal.

Field sites: Calcutta [Kokata], Darjeeling (West Bengal); Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, Shivaratri in Varanasi, Holi in Mathura (Uttar Pradesh); Rishikesh, Gangotri/Goumokh (Uttarakhand); Parvati Valley/Kheer Ganga, Manali/Vashisht Dharamsala/McCleod Ganj/Baghsu (Himachal Pradesh); Gangtok (Sikkim), Guwahati (Assam), Puri, Konark (Orissa); Tiruvannamalai, Pondicherry, Madurai, Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu); Varkala, Cochin (Kerala), Mysore, Hampi, Gokarna (Karnataka); and Goa in India; Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Janakpur in Nepal (Jan-Oct 2007)


Independent Postdoctoral Research, World Rainbow Gathering, Ranong, Thailand (Dec 2006-Jan 2007)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, Saisiyat Spirits of the Short People Ceremony (Saisiyat Pasida-ay), Hsinchu, Taiwan (Dec 2006)


Independent Postdoctoral Research, on eco-cultural tourism and folk culture in Naha, Nago and Tokashiki Island, Okinawa, Japan (Oct 2006)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, Burning Man, Black Rock City, Nevada, U.S.A. (Aug-Sep 2006)


Independent Postdoctoral Research, on desert dancing gatherings, ‘raves’ including Moontribe, LunarSun, Universal Minds, Southern California, U.S.A. (Jun 2006-Jun 2008)



Independent Postdoctoral Research, on ‘Happy Wanderers’ senior’s travel group, and life-history of Marion Anderson (paternal grandmother), West Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Jun 2005-Aug 2006)



Doctoral Dissertation Research, fieldwork and historical research in primary and secondary Chinese language sources, on betel nut chewing practices in Taiwan, Hainan, and Southern China among Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka, ‘Ping-pu,’ Amis, Puyuma, and Paiwan in Taiwan, Yami (Tawu) in Orchid Island, and Hainanese, Li, Miao, Utstat, and Chinese in Hainan. (Jan 2003-Jun 2005)


Independent Ethnographic Research, on Beijing Opera Clubs with focus on life-histories histories of Chinese Nationalist (KMT) veterans who migrated from Mainland China to Taiwan and then to Monterey Park, CA, U.S.A. (Jan-Dec 2001)



Master’s Thesis Research, on Amis cultural performance in Annual Harvest Festivals and eco-cultural tourism in Taitung, Taiwan and as a volunteer coordinator and videographer on the ‘Amis Folklore Great Singers’ U.S. concert tour in Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Colorado Springs, Denver, Honolulu, U.S.A. (Sep 1997-Aug 1999)



Independent Ethnographic Research, on American folk culture, community and spirituality at Heels and Souls Square Dance Club, focus on life-history of Marion Anderson (paternal grandmother), West Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Jan-May 1998)



Independent Ethnographic Research, on homelessness and spirituality, focus on life-history of Louis ‘Shivananda’ Smith, at Santa Monica Beach and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Venice, California, U.S.A. (Sep-Dec 1997)



Independent Ethnographic Research, on foot reflexology and ‘alternative healing’ culture, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (Jan 1996-Dec 1997)



Bachelor’s Thesis Research, on domestic and international eco-cultural tourism among Amis of Taitung, Taiwan (Jun-Aug 1995)



Independent Undergraduate Research,
on myth and ritual at Vedanta Society, Hollywood, California, U.S.A. (Sep-Dec 1994)


Presentations, Publications and Films

(upcoming)


“Yatra: Foreign Tourists on the Hindu Pilgrimage Trail.”

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, in the panel “Incredible !ndia: Tourism, Place-making and the Imagination in South Asia.” San Francisco, CA, U.S.A. November 21, 2009.



“Betel Nut Chewing Cultures: The Social and Symbolic Life of an Indigenous Commodity in Taiwan and Hainan.”

Guest lecture, National Tsing Hua University, Anthropology Department. Hsinchu, Taiwan. April 16, 2008.



Reflecting Traditions: Indigenous Belief Systems in Taiwan, Hainan, and India.”

Invited paper presentation, World Summit of Indigenous Cultures Conference. Taipei, Taiwan. April 14, 2008.



“Indigenous Voices: Ghanaian Video Tales and Two Homelands: Cuba and the Night.

Invited discussant, Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival. Taitung, Taiwan. April 13, 2008.



“Methods of Conducting Visual Anthropological Research in Taiwan: From Amis Folk Songs to Betel Nut.”

Guest lecture, National Chengchi University, Taiwan Studies Department. Taipei, Taiwan. November 6, 2007.



“Ambassadorial Scholar Introduction to Host.”

Rotary Club of Chowringhee, Calcutta [Kolkata], India. March 23, 2007.



“Ambassadorial Scholar Introduction to Fellow Scholars.”

University of Puget Sound Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Conference. Tacoma, WA, U.S.A. June 22, 2006.



“Ambassadorial Scholar Introduction to Sponsor.”

Rotary Club of Big Bear Lake, CA, U.S.A. March 16, 2006.



“Symbolic Nature of Betel Nut Chewing in Taiwan and Hainan.”

Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC) Annual Meeting, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA, U.S.A. April 16, 2006.



“Amis of Taitung, Taiwan.”

Guest lecture, Menlo Avenue Elementary School. Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. June 9, 2005.



“Cultural Landscapes of Sanya, Hainan.”

Guest lecture, Zhong Hua University, Department of Architecture and Landscapes. Hsinchu, Taiwan. November 1, 2004.



“Cultural Heritage of Betel Nut Chewing in Taiwan and Hainan.”

Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Meeting, Academia Sinica. Taipei, Taiwan. October 20, 2004.



“Betel Nut Culture in Taiwan and Hainan: Comparative Visual Anthropology on the Borders of the Chinese Empire and the Austronesian World.”

Guest lecture, Academia Sinica, Institute of Ethnology. Taipei, Taiwan. September 29, 2004.


“Developing a Multimedia Cultural Atlas of Taiwan and Hainan.”

Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) Annual Meeting, University of California, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A. May 7-10, 2004.



“Locating Betel Nut Culture in Taiwan and Hainan: GIS Technology and Cultural Research.”

Pacific Neighborhood Consortium (PNC) Annual Meeting. Bangkok, Thailand. November 7-9, 2003.



International Voyaging from Taiwan: Amis Performance on the Global Stage.”

Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), Doctoral Student Conference, National Taiwan University. Taipei, Taiwan. March 24-29, 2002.



“An Enigma in Taiwan: Amis Folk Songs on the International Stage.”

(mini-dv, 35 mins). Produced at the University of Southern California, Center for Visual Anthropology and School of Cinema. Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. December 2002. Screened at the APRU Doctoral Student Conference, National Taiwan University. Taipei, Taiwan. Mar 24-29, 2002.



“The New Austronesian Voyaging: Cultivating Amis Folk Songs for the International Stage.”

Book chapter in Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory, David Blundell, ed. Berkeley: Phoebe Hearst Museum Monographs; Taipei: SMC Publishing, 2000, pp. 282-319.



“Heels and Soul.”

Film about square dancing in U.S. culture, narrated by Marion Anderson. (16mm film, black and white, 6 minutes) University of Southern California, School of Cinema, Department of Documentary Film. Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. March 1998. Screened at Big Bear International Film Festival, September 17, 2000. Screened at USC “Out of Bounds” Student Film Festival, April 18, 1998.



“The New Austronesian Voyaging: Cultivating Amis Folk Songs for the International Stage.”

Conference on Austronesian Studies in Taiwan: Retrospect and Prospect, University of California, Berkeley. October 1997.



“Asylum.”

Film about ‘conscious homelessness’ narrated by Louis ‘Shivananda’ Smith. (Super-8mm film, black and white, 8 minutes). University of Southern California, School of Cinema, Department of Documentary Film. Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. October 1997.


“Whose Culture? Competing Claims to Cultural Ownership: An Amis Enigma in Taiwan.”

Southwestern Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. May 1996.



“Culture in Action: Foot Reflexology, Catholicism, and Culture Change in the Amis Community of Makalahay, Taiwan.”

Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC) Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A. April 1996.