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Publications in VIVO

McGranahan, Carole



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • I am a cultural anthropologist and historian specializing in contemporary Tibet and the USA. My research focuses on issues of colonialism and empire, history and memory, power and politics, refugees and citizenship, truth and lies, nationalism, senses of belonging, gender, war, and anthropology as theoretical storytelling. Since 1994, I have conducted research in Tibetan refugee communities in India and Nepal on the history and politics of the guerrilla army Chushi Gangdrug, culminating in my book 'Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Histories of a Forgotten War.' My research on empire can be found in my co-edited books 'Imperial Formations' and 'Ethnographies of US Empire.' Currently, I am conducting research on citizenship with Tibetans in Paris, Switzerland, New York City, Toronto, India, and Nepal.


  • cultural anthropology, history, Tibet, Himalayas, history and memory, empire and colonialism, feminist studies, political anthropology, refugees and citizenship, memories of war, US empire


selected publications

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courses taught

  • ANTH 1105 - Exploring a Non-Western Culture: Tibet
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Spring 2023
    Introduction to Tibetan culture, history, religion, and society from an anthropological perspective, including traditional as well as contemporary dimensions. Topics will include Tibetan Buddhism, politics, nomadism, gender, refugee issues, and the global Tibetan diaspora, all framed within the larger methods and concepts of cultural anthropology.
  • ANTH 1125 - Exploring Cultural Diversity in the U.S.
    Primary Instructor - Summer 2020
    Examines the geography, kinship, politics and religious values of various cultures in the United States in historical and contemporary context through an anthropological perspective. Check with department for semester offerings. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.
  • ANTH 2100 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Fall 2021
    Covers current theories in cultural anthropology and discusses the nature of field work. Explores major schools of thought and ethnographic fieldwork in a range of cultures studied by anthropologists. Required for Anthropology majors.
  • ANTH 4020 - Explorations in Anthropology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2022
    Special topics in cultural and physical anthropology, as well as archaeology. Check with the department for semester offerings. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours. Same as ANTH 5020.
  • ANTH 4690 - Anthropology of Tibet
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Explores the culture of Tibet in both historical and thematic manners, considering the long-term development of Tibetan cultural practices and institutions as well as many of the abrupt changes introduced to Tibet in the 20th century. Topics covered include region, politics, gender, warfare, poetry and literature, and life under Chinese rule and as refugees around the world. Recommended prerequisite: ANTH 2100.
  • ANTH 5785 - Advanced Seminar in Cultural Anthropology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Details the history of theory and practice in contemporary cultural anthropology, considering the development of major theoretical schools of thought and the integration of general social theory within anthropology. Required of masters students in cultural anthropology.
  • ANTH 7000 - Seminar: Current Research Topics in Cultural Anthropology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Fall 2021
    Discusses current research and theoretical issues in the field of cultural anthropology. May be repeated up to 18 total credit hours.
  • ANTH 7620 - Seminar: Ethnography and Cultural Theory
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2023
    Explores how ethnographic writing has evolved over the past century to incorporate different forms of cross-cultural representation and to accommodate new theoretical paradigms. Includes ethnographic authority and reflexivity, as well as embedded theories and blurred genres of cultural research.
  • ARSC 5040 - Arts and Sciences Special Topics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2021
    Same as ARSC 4040. May be repeated up to 3 total credit hours.


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