About me

“Daily life is scattered with marvels, a froth…as dazzling as that of writers and artists. Lacking proper names, all kinds of language give birth to these ephemeral celebrations that surge up, disappear, and return.”

—Michel de Certeau, Culture in the Plural (1997: 142)

I am a sociocultural anthropologist and professor. Being an anthropologist has given me an excuse to follow my curiosity about social life across a wide range of interests. Most of my research has been in China, where I have worked on projects dealing with memory and nostalgia for socialism, the management culture of Wal-Mart stores in China, and the rise of celebrity businesspeople.

Teaching at a liberal arts university affords me the opportunity to also teach a wide variety of classes. I teach on the anthropology of museums and tourism, visual culture, ethnographic film, and globalization. I also teach classes on modern Chinese society and regularly take short term study seminars to China.

Very few of the hundreds of hits on this site ever leave comments. Blogging is enjoyable, but feedback makes it even more interesting. I’d love to hear more from folks and perhaps even get a few conversations going.

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  1. Kris

    Almost an hour into reading, engrossed, I must respond. My initial intent tonight was to ‘stop the Strib ads.’ My west suburban City sent out a postcard re the littering. I haven’t seen any such rubbish in my yard for a good few months. Good. But that topic eventually led me to your blog. Led me to the Mystery Objects. One by one, fascinated, I worked my way back from the most recent. When I ended up at the end— the rear-end— it was just too much! I laughed, after a long time without smiles. In an odd way, thank you. I think.


    • I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading some of the posts on my blog. I really have fun writing them. Also, thank you so much for taking time to leave a message. It’s always nice to get feedback on one’s labors


  2. lisa moy

    Thank you for blogging. I just finished consuming you entire blog in one sitting. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent here today.

    PS Amanda sent me


  3. Andrew

    Thank you for sharing the story of Wang Jinyan. Her story is deeply personal to my family–I am married to her great grandson. The family would like to thank you for your thoughtful words which perfectly captured her enduring spirit. While the family’s ancestral home would later be decimated in the Cultural revolution, the survivors who escaped and eventually returned are proud to remember the intense passion with which Wang Jinyan and Zhang Chaoxie fought for their beliefs. The dichotomy presented by this family leaves so many lessons and intrigue for a cultural view modern China. Best regards, and thank you.


    • Really, is this for real? Are you really related to Wang Jingyan? I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed that post. I wrote it a long time ago now, but I really was from the heart. That photo of her is very haunting even across the many years. Where are you living now? It would be great to meet sometime! Best wishes to you and your family!


  4. Sass

    I’ve enjoyed perusing today. I’m a research fellow with Western Sydney university and Swinburne University and I offer webinars for families during Covid 19. I’ve been thinking about “mess” with Donna Haraway’s staying with the trouble as a staying with mess, and String Figures in particular, and came across your post. I’d like to read some excerpts and reference you. Are you content with the blog site being referenced or would you like to direct me to your publications or name? Thank you for your insights

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Katy

    Thank you for your very interesting site. Preparing a lesson on mystery objects and I think my Chinese students will be very interested in some of the items, especially the “cheating socks”.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Berenice Albertse

    Hi Museum Fatigue, I have the same question as Sass with regards to referencing your blog for my thesis writing. Is there any way to obtain the information needed. Perhaps as a private email? We use Harvard referencing method at my college so I require your name and surname. Thanks so much.


    • Hi, blogs love to be read, so I’m happy to hear this. Whenever I’ve citied blogs I just cite them using the standard webpage format. Since my posts here are on the site and do not have author bylines, it’s entirely appropriate to do this.

      I’m curious what content has attracted your attention! Thanks!


  7. Berenice Albertse

    Hi Museum Fatigue, it was your article and “lecture” on Making String Figures Amid the Troubles. I’m basing a lot of my research on Haraway’s theories and your explanation of some of her key concepts really made me understand them. Thank you 🙂


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