Tami Blumenfield is an anthropologist of China and documentary film producer who earned her doctorate at the University of Washington in 2010. She has spent more than four years conducting fieldwork in ethnically diverse regions of southwest China. Supported in part by a Fulbright fellowship and a grant from the Association for Asian Studies China and Inner Asia Council, Dr. Blumenfield has researched educational practices, cultural heritage politics, and social change. Much of her research has explored social change in Na villages located in and around tourist zones near Lugu Lake. Her book manuscript Screening Moso: Communities of Media in Southwest China, supported by a publication fellowship from the American Association for University Women, discusses a collaboration and participatory media project with the Moso Folk Museum. Dr. Blumenfield has also begun a project examining growing inequality in tourist areas of northwest Yunnan. She is a founding board member of the Cool Mountain Education Fund, an organization that supports students in Liangshan, China.​

Name Title Description


Cultural Anthropology

Introduction to social and cultural anthropology. Topics include the comparative study of subsistence regimes and economics, stratification and political organization, marriage and kinship, culture and personality, religion, and social and cultural change.


Gender in East Asia

An examination of gender in East Asia from an anthropological perspective. It establishes broad frameworks for analyzing sexuality and gender in Asia and encourages close readings of individuals' life experiences. Past scholarly engagements with gendered Asia and ongoing Orientalist interpretations will be discussed. Specific topics may include gender-based discrimination, activism, kinship systems, regional variations in approaches to sexual orientation, migration, and sex work. Students will analyze media to examine how representations of gender in East Asia are produced.


Anthropology of China

Key concepts and major historical developments within anthropological frameworks in twentieth-century China including ethnographic studies of social change and everyday life during the Mao and Post-Mao eras. Topics examined include nation-building, capitalist development, gender, class, ethnicity, mobility, education and labor.


Visual Anthropology

Theories and methods of visual anthropology considering problems of representation and efforts by ethnographic filmmakers, photographers, and museum exhibit designers to address these problems. Questions of ethics, power and authority examined while exploring media from many parts of the world.


Practicing Anthropology

Exploration and application of ethnographic research strategies through research projects and exercises.


Media in Asia

Media, primarily from and about South Korea, Japan, China, and India, is used to examine globalizing and local images, texts and sounds including the examination of news media coverage, flows of media forms like Japanese manga and Hong Kong martial arts, and interpretations of Asian media forms in the United States and throughout the world.Students will learn how to interpret and analyzevisual images.



The course allows majors to investigate Asia" as a conceptual and geopolitical space and to critically investigate the discipline. Preparation for upper-level courses across the geographic and disciplinary distributions."


Chinese Studies Thesis

Guided research, translation, and writing on a topic in a field of Chinese Studies in which the student has had previous course work. The student will propose a thesis project to a faculty member in the field of Chinese Studies who by approving it becomes the thesis advisor.


Debunking Myths of China

Though Americans from all walks of life are increasingly aware of China's economic, military, and political rise, myths and misperceptions of the People's Republic of China abound. Policy makers, the business community, academics, reporters, and the general public all contribute to American images of China. While some herald the dynamic liberalizing reforms occurring within the country, others denounce the Chinese leadership as fascists" interested only in power and oppression. How are American images of China shaped

  • 2013 (In preparation). Blumenfield, Tami and Helaine Silverman, eds. Cultural Heritage Politics in China. Edited volume with 14 contributors submitted to Springer. Publication anticipated in 2013.
  • 2013 (In preparation). Silverman, Helaine and Tami Blumenfield. "Cultural Heritage Politics in China: An Introduction." Cultural Heritage Politics in China, Tami Blumenfield, and Helaine Silverman, eds. Springer.
  • 2012. Blumenfield, Tami and Maresi Nerad. "Developing a Research Agenda for Assessing International (Post)graduate Education and Collaboration." Australian Universities Review 54(1). Special issue on doctoral education, Anita Devos and Catherine Manathunga, guest eds.
  • 2011a. "Culinary Controversies: Shark Fin Soup and Sea Creatures in the Asian Studies Curriculum." Education about Asia 16(3) theme issue, "Food, Culture, and Asia." Pp. 29-32.
  • 2011b (June 2). "Chinese Tour Groups in Europe, Chinese Tour Groups in Yunnan: Narrating a Nation in the World." The China Beat: Blogging How the East is Read. http://www.thechinabeat.org/?p=3494.
  • 2010a. Scenes from Yongning: Media Creation in China's Na Villages. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington.
  • 2010b. Review of Terence Wesley-Smith & Jon Goss, eds. (University of Hawai'i Press, 2010),
    Remaking Area Studies: Teaching and Learning across Asia and the Pacific. Asia Pacific World 1(2).
  • 2008. "Anthropologists in Motion." Anthropology News 49 (1): 18-19.
  • 2004a. "???, ??????????????????????????
    (Contemporary Moso Adaptations to Mainstream Culture: Examining the Influence of Education and Tourism)." In Zhang Xisheng, ed. ?????????, Market Economy and Legal System on Minority Nationalities?Research Reports from Yunnan Province, P.R.China. Pp. 315-326. Kunming: Yunnan University Press.
  • 2004b. "Walking Marriages." Anthropology News 45 (5): 15.
  • 2003. "Na Education in the Face of Modernity." In Landscapes of Diversity: Indigenous Knowledge, Sustainable Livelihoods and Resource Governance in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia. Xu Jianchu and Stephen Mikesell, eds. Pp. 487-494. Kunming: Yunnan Science and Technology Press.
Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology
University of Washington
M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology
University of Washington
B.A. (East Asian Studies major, History minor)
Oberlin College
International Development Policy and Management Certificate
University of Washington

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