Faculty Profile

Ann Hill

Professor of Anthropology (1986)

Contact Information


Denny Hall Room 210


Prof. Hill has conducted fieldwork in both Thailand and SW China. As a cultural anthropologist, Prof.Hill has published on a range of topics relevant to understanding ethnicity and inter-ethnic relations in the Sino-SE Asian uplands (e.g. Women Without Talents Are Virtuous, 1988 in Gender, Power and Construction of the Moral Order on the Thai Periphery; Chinese Dominance of the Xishuangbanna Tea Trade: An Inter-Regional Perspective, 1989 Modern China; Captives, Kin and Slaves in Xiao Liangshan, 2001 J. of Asian Studies; Provocative Behavior: Agency and Feuds in SW China, 2004 Am Anthropologist; Fried's Evolutionary Model, Social Stratification, and the Nuosu in SW China, 2012 in the Anthropological Study of Class and Class Consciousness, and other articles). She is the author of Merchants and Migrants: Ethnicity and Trade Among Yunnanese Chinese in SE Asia (1998) and co-editor with Zhou Minglang of Affirmative Action in China and the U.S. Currently she is project director for the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment, a 4-year grant to Dickinson College from the Henry Luce Foundation.


  • B.A., Columbia University, 1971
  • M.A., University of Iowa, 1974
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1982

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

EASN 206 Modern China-Diaspora Comm
Cross-listed with ANTH 232-01. This is a comparative course that examines contemporary Chinese communities in the PRC, as well as Chinese immigrant cultures located in Southeast Asia and the U.S. The focus is on both the structure of these communities and the processes of identity formation and re-imagining the "home" country or "native place" in the midst of considerable flux. The course explicitly uses comparison to deconstruct staid truths about "the Chinese" and monolithic "Chinese culture.

ANTH 232 Modern China-Diaspora Comm
Cross-listed with EASN 206-02.

SOCI 313 China Practicum
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01. Permission of instructor required.

ANTH 336 Theory in Cultural Anthro
This course examines how cultural anthropologists conceptualize their research, the topics and people they study, and their roles as intellectuals. Students read, discuss, and apply primary writings on theories addressing culture, society, power, representation, gender, race, identity, belonging and exclusion, and other experiences in diverse contexts, as well as ethical scholarship. Students join anthropologists in an extended conversation about theories, their uses, and their implications. Prerequisite: 101. Offered every fall.

ANTH 345 China Practicum
Cross-listed with SOCI 313-04.Permission of instructor required.

Spring 2019

EASN 206 State & Ethnicity-Upland Asia
Cross-listed with ANTH 235-01.This course examines the borderlands shared by states in upland Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Burma and Laos, with China. It looks at dimensions of contemporary migrations and transnationalism among populations historically marginalized, such as the Hmong, and among populations that have a strong identification with states. Linked to political economies and global markets, nationalism and other ideologies defining peoples and their cultures are explored with an eye toward understanding how ideas about race and the other take shape.

ANTH 233 Anthropology of Religion
A cross-cultural survey of the functions of religion, magic, and myth in simple and complex societies. Religion and communication. Myth and social structure. A historical summary of the scientific study of religion. Offered every other year.

ANTH 235 State & Ethnicity-Upland Asia
Cross-listed with EASN 206-03.

ANTH 245 Anthropology of Slavery
This course begins with a cross-cultural overview of slavery, examining political economies, past and present, in which slavery and other forms of servitude have thrived. We analyze cultural stereotypes that have emerged in these different contexts. In addition to markets, the course also looks at the specific impact of migration and war on the making of slaves. Case studies are mainly from China, Southeast Asia, Africa and North America.