Kristin Koptiuch is a cultural anthropologist and urban ethnographer who tries to practice anthropology as much performance art as social science. She is associate professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the unique New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at ASU’s West campus in sizzling-but-it's-a-dry-heat Phoenix. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests focus on global urbanism, transnational migration, diversity and inequality--but she's also a bit of a technophile and aficionado of visual ethnography and digital humanities.
Koptiuch’s teaching infuses social justice and human rights themes throughout her courses, and her current work on global cities and transnational migration complements the many pressing social justice issues that confront local and global communities. She has published about her research on Egyptian artisans in Cairo, the "cultural defense" legal strategy used in criminal cases of gender and sexual violence involving U.S. diaspora Asians, the effects of U.S. "third-worlding," and recent projects probe psychopathic space in London, new mobilities in the Mediterranean, taquerias conversas and other modes of visualizing immigrant Phoenix. She voyaged around the world on a ship when she taught on the Semester at Sea in fall 2006, and has scarcely stopped traveling since. Koptiuch directed the Costa Rica and Central American studies summer study abroad program for three years, joined a couple of Mexico delegations with Witness for Peace studying the roots of migration, and taught Urban Visual Anthropology at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. She is an advocate for global education and adapts pedagogy to convey in her classroom the incredible I-was-there immersion experience of global travel and first-hand fieldwork discovery to enrich student understanding about their local/global community.
Her service engagement includes leadership roles and much curriculum work at multiple levels; she has served on community boards such as the Community Outreach and Advocacy for Refugees (COAR) and Ubiquity (ASU faculty and staff supporting LGBTQ issues), was a key contributor to several Border Justice events at West campus, and was proud faculty advisor to @west news, an award-winning, student initiated and directed, independently financed biweekly newspaper at West campus (2010-2012). She fancies herself a cultural sleuth sussing out public secrets…
Check out fascinating student-produced web portfolios: