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Nancy Lutz

Title: Associate Professor

Phone: 650-2746


Office: PH 1224

Degree: PhD UCB 1986

Teaching Philosophy: In general, I take a humanistic approach to anthropology. My courses and research tend to stress qualitative methodologies (participant-observation fieldwork, open-ended and semi-structured or unstructured interviews, reflexivity, and interpretation). I am highly committed to fieldwork, to hands-on research projects, and to personal engagement in teaching and learning.

Research Background and Interests: Since my time as an undergraduate in Anthropology, I have split my research interests between the U.S. and Southeast Asia. I wrote my BA honors thesis on Thai etiquette and politeness, based on interviews with Thai students studying at the University of California, Berkeley. My first extended fieldwork, however, during my first two summers of graduate school, was in Eastern Tennessee.

I then did my Ph.D. fieldwork on language politics and bilingualism on the island of Adonara in Eastern Indonesia. This was followed by research in the U.S. on "the cultural defense" and the U.S. legal system.

Moving east in Southeast Asia to East Timor (today Timor-Leste), I conducted research on language politics and multilingualism, and also worked as an election monitor, and as field office director in East Timor, for The Carter Center. I am also interested in issues of transitional justice, and in the process and effects of truth and reconciliation commissions.

More recently, I have been interested in Burma, especially in Burma's minority cultures, and in the re-emergence of English in contemporary Myanmar. At the same time, I am focusing my U.S. work on issues of law and social justice, as well as beginning work on hunger, social justice, and urban gardens.

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