Kristin Koptiuch is a cultural anthropologist and urban ethnographer who tries to practice anthropology as much performance art as social science. She is emerita 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 retired in December 2018 after 27.5 years with ASU West. Her teaching infused 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," architecture and affect related to Phoenix taquerias conversas, and recent projects probe psychopathic space in London, new mobilities in the Mediterranean, and visualizing immigrant contributions to Phoenix urbanism. 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 two Mexico delegations with Witness for Peace studying the roots of migration, annually took her migration course on a fieldtrip to Nogales, Mexico, and taught Urban Visual Anthropology at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China. She is an advocate for global education and adapted her pedagogy to convey in the 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 included leadership roles and much curriculum work at multiple levels; she 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, which she will continue to pursue at her new home on the Oregon coast…
Check out fascinating student-produced web portfolios:
Cultural anthropology, global urbanism, transnational migration, diversity and inequality, visual ethnography, digital humanities
An Urban Visual Ethnographic Collaborative (2016-2018)
Flying below the radar of official planning instruments and public acknowledgement, migrants have been busily transforming our collective urban environment. They’ve revived stagnant neighborhood economies, brought vibrant, magical-realist redesign to the cityscape, added colorful cultural flair to the city’s subdued design palette, and transnationalized Phoenix urbanism with local outcroppings of global religions, cuisines, cultures. This collaborative project with ASU undergraduates aims to make visible this contribution and bring immigrants squarely to the center of conversations envisioning shared urban futures in Phoenix, Arizona. Launched fall 2016, ongoing NCUIRE project. Presented as an exhibition at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Santa Fe (March 2017) and Glendale Community College (November 2017), and at the 2017 & 2018 ASU West campus Research & Creative Project Symposium (April), and at the virtual conference of the Society for Cultural Anthropology & the Society for Visual Anthropology (April 2018). In 2017 the exhibit was awarded 1st Place for Best NCUIRE Presented Research or Creative Project at ASU!
|Course Number||Course Title|
|ASB 311||Prin of Social Anthropology|
|JHR 593||Applied Project|
|Course Number||Course Title|
|SOC 328||Migration and Culture|
|ASB 340||Migration and Culture|
|ASB 442||Global Cities|
|SBS 460||Global Cities|
|SBS 493||Honors Thesis|
|ASB 499||Individualized Instruction|
|JHR 598||Special Topics|
|MAS 598||Special Topics|