Full-Time Faculty

George Gmelch

Program Director

George Gmelch is professor of Anthropology at the University of San Francisco. He did his undergraduate work at Stanford and his PhD at UCSB. He is a cultural anthropologist who studies culture change, migration, mobile workers, tourism, and sport cultures. He has done long term field research among Irish Travellers, English Gypsies, Alaskan natives, Caribbean villagers and tourism workers, and return migrants in Ireland, Newfoundland and Barbados. He is the author of 13 books and has written...


PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara

Lucia Cantero

Assistant Professor

Lucia Cantero is an anthropologist concerned with the intersection of aesthetics, politics and identity. Her areas of research include Latin America and the Black Atlantic, political economy, visual culture, urban ethnography, transnationalism and globalization, media and cultural studies and critical theory. She is particularly drawn to issues of branding, advertising and markets as sites for the construction of political subjectivity and the ways this process inflects constructions of race,...


PhD in the Department of Anthropology and African American Studies, Yale University., MA Social Sciences, University of Chicago, BA Social Sciences, University of Chicago

Lindsay Gifford

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4135

Lindsay Gifford is an Assistant Professor of International Studies and Anthropology, and she is currently the faculty adviser for the culture, societies and values track for the International Studies major. Prof. Gifford holds a PhD in Anthropology from Boston University, a BA in Anthropology from CSU Northridge, and is a graduate of Middlebury College’s Arabic Language School, as well as Damascus University’s Arabic language program in Syria. She was a Minority Postdoctoral Research Fellow for...


PhD, Anthropology, Boston University, BA, Anthropology, CSU Northridge, graduate of Middlebury College’s Arabic Language School, graduate of Damascus University’s Arabic language program in Syria


Cultural Anthropology of the Middle East

Sharon Gmelch

(415) 422-4453

Sharon Bohn Gmelch earned her PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her interests include visual anthropology, gender, ethnicity, and tourism. She is the author of eight books including Nan: The Life of an Irish Travelling Woman (1986/91), which was a finalist for anthropology's Margaret Mead award, and The Tlingit Encounter with Photography (2008). She also co-produced an ethnographic film on the Tlingit. She has conducted research in Ireland,...


PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara

Marco Jacquemet

(415) 422-5543

Marco Jacquemet teaches courses in communication and culture, intercultural communication, geographies of communication, and justice and social change. His scholarship focuses on the communicative mutations produced by the circulation of migrants and media idioms in the Mediterranean area. His more recent book project is called Transidioma: Language and Power in the 21st Century. He is also present in Italian media activist networks, where he investigates the link between media and power.


PhD, Cultural/Linguistic Anthropology, UC Berkeley, MA, Linguistics/Semiotics, EHESS, Paris, BA, Communication Studies, U. of Bologna

Vijaya Nagarajan

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5837

Vijaya Nagarajan is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and in the Program of Environmental Studies. She is currently Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. In addition to teaching at the University of San Francisco, she has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University. Vijaya's academic interests weave among the fields of Hinduism, Environment, Gender, Ritual, and the Commons. She received her PhD in...


PhD, South Asian Language and Literatures, UC Berkeley, MA, South Asian Studies, UC Berkeley, BS Political Economy of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley, College of Engineering, Honor’s Program, Women’s Studies University of Maryland College Park

John Nelson

(415) 422-5093

John Nelson is Professor of East Asian religions in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Francisco. He is the author of Experimental Buddhism: Innovation and Activism in Contemporary Japan (2013, University of Hawaii; co-winner of the 2014 Numata Prize for 'outstanding book in Buddhist Studies'), two books on Shinto in contemporary Japan (A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine [1996], and Enduring Identities: the Guise of Shinto in Contemporary Japan [2000],...


PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Part-Time Faculty

Mayo Buenafe-Ze

Adjunct Professor

Mayo Buenafe-Ze is a Filipina (Ifugao and Itneg) who was born in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines and who immigrated to the U.S. in 2016.  She is a scholar/educator/researcher, food and cultural events experience curator, and community organizer who aims to decolonize education. As a trained cultural anthropologist, she specializes in indigenous knowledge systems and food and water sovereignty. Since 2007, she has been a researcher and a university instructor in the Philippines,...


Leiden University (the Netherlands), PhD (ABD) in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, MA in Anthropology (Specialization: International Human Rights and Diversity), 2012, University of the Philippines - Baguio, BA in Social Sciences (Major in Social Anthropology; Minor in Political Science), cum laude, 2007

Howard De Nike

Adjunct Professor

Howard J. De Nike graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1964 with a degree in philosophy, and USF School of Law in 1967 with a Juris Doctorate. Following 23 years of law practice with an emphasis in military matters, De Nike obtained a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of New Mexico, with a dissertation on the fate of the jurists of East Germany after German unification. Professor De Nike has taught at San Francisco State University, University of New Mexico, and the...

Pattie Hsu

Adjunct Instructor, Music
(415) 422-2721

Pattie Hsu holds a BA in Music Humanities and a BS in Biology from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley. She arrived at USF in 2009 as adjunct faculty. She teaches musicianship/music theory, popular music, music of the Americas, and music of Asia. Her musical research interests include cultural intersections, community engagement through music, and the interaction of socioeconomics and professionalism.


BA in Music Humanities, University of California, San Diego, BS in Biology, University of California, San Diego, PhD in Ethnomusicology, University of California, Berkeley

Rabia Kamal

Adjunct Professor

Rabia Kamal received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her areas of expertise include cultural and visual anthropology, religious and racial politics in the U.S., and the use of social media and new technologies for identity formation and political engagement. Her dissertation focuses on the cultural politics of belonging and identity among Asian American and African American Muslim artists and activists in post-9/11 America. She has also worked and lived in...