Ellen Oxfeld

Gordon Schuster Professor of Anthropology

 work(802) 443-5300
 Winter Term: Mondays 9:00-11:00, and from 1:00-2:00
 Munroe Hall 204

Ellen Oxfeld's passion for the study of China began in her northern New Jersey high school, where she took a class on Chinese and Indian history. She followed this interest during her undergraduate education at Williams College, and graduated with the intention of becoming a Chinese historian. While on a subsequent Watson Fellowship in Taiwan, Oxfeld was exposed to various anthropologists who introduced her to a new discipline which soon became the focus of her career. After spending one year in East Asia, she returned to the United States to obtain her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.

Professor Oxfeld was offered a position at Middlebury College in 1985, immediately following her graduation from Harvard. She considers herself fortunate to have been given the opportunity to continue her studies of China while sharing her knowledge with students as a professor. She has taught a wide variety of classes, the majority of which relate to her specific interests in anthropology. These include the introductory anthropology class; Race and Ethnicity: Anthropology of China; Global Consumptions: Food, Culture and Power;and Women, Culture and Power.

Throughout her teaching career, Professor Oxfeld has continued to pursue her research interests in China. In the past, she has researched communities of Chinese immigrants in countries such as India and Canada.Since the mid-1990s, she has returned several times to do fieldwork in a village in Meixian, Guangdong Province, China, where she has investigated moral discourse, changes and continuities in life-cycle rituals,changing gender roles, transformations in property and class relations,and most recently, changes in the local food system.

Ellen Oxfeld deems that anthropology is "absolutely essential in today's world," for it helps us to see the world as others see it, and to understand both how we are connected to the rest of the world and yet not to expect that all cultures operate from the same sets of assumptions.

Curriculum Vitae




Course List: 

Program in International and Global Studies

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Middlebury College
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