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Nancy Lutkehaus

Professor of Anthropology and Political Science

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-1917
Office: GFS 126

Princeton University Press


Ph.D. Anthropology, Columbia University, 1/1985
B.A. Anthropology, Barnard College / Smith College, 1/1972
M.A. Anthropology, Columbia University

Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

Tenure Track Appointments

Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California, 2007-2008   

Visiting and Temporary Appointments

Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, University of Michigan, Spring 1995   
Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1992-1993   

PostDoctoral Appointments

Getty Research Scholar, Getty Research Institute, 2009-2010   
National Endowment for the Humanities Research Scholar, School of Advanced Research (formerly School of American Research), 1997-1998   

Description of Research

Summary Statement of Research Interests

Professor Lutkehaus researches Melanesian gender and social organization, political and economic anthropology, religion and symbolic anthropology. Recent research involves the study of women, children, gendered missions, and the maternal behavior of Catholic nuns in Papua New Guinea. In addition to her regional interest in Oceania, she has also begun research on the role of community-based organizations in Kenya concerned with adolescent girls and HIV/AIDS. She is also interested in visual studies, especially in Western representations of Pacific Island peoples and in the display of non-Western art in Western fine art museums.

Research Keywords

Melanesian Gender and Social Organization, Political and Economic Anthropology, Symbolic Anthropology, Art and Cultures of Oceania, Visual Culture, Ethnographic and Documentary Film

Research Specialties

The art and cultures of Oceania. Gender in Melanesia and East Africa (Kenya in particular). Missionaries in Oceania. Margaret Mead and the history of anthropology.

Funded Research

Contracts and Grants Awarded

University-Ngo Coalition-Building Initiative (UNCBI) In Nairobi and Eldoret, Kenya to Strengthen the (American Council of Education/HED), Lutkehaus, Nancy Christine, Kristin Ferguson, Eliz Sanasarian, Grace Dyrness, $125,000, 08/01/2006-10/31/2009  
Nelson A. Rockefeller and the Museum of Primitive Art (Rockefeller Archive Center), Nancy Lutkehaus, $5,000, 2008-2009   

USC Funding

Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences. From Ethnographic Artifact to Object d'Art: Nelson A. Rockefeller, The Metropolitan Museum and the Role of "Primitive Art" in Twenthieth Century American Society: An historical case study of the social, political and cultural factors that transformed ethnographic artifacts into fine art and helped to create a new racially & culturally diverse American identity, $15,000, 2008-2009   

Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

Visual Studies Research Institute, Board of Directors

Conferences and Other Presentations

Conference Presentations

"Camilla Wedgwood's Manam Island Photographs: Temporal Transformations in Manam Islanders' Responses to "Our" Archives as "Their" History", Anthropology and Photography, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, British Museum, London, UK, Royal Anthropological Institute, Invited, 05/31/2014  
"Lives in Limbo: Living on an Island that's an Active Volcano", Small Islands in Peril, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Kona, Hawaii, Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania, Invited, 02/09/2014  
"Rene d'Harnoncourt and the Display of Indigenous Art", The Task of the Curator, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, University of California, Santa Cruz, Museum Studies Program, Invited, 05/13/2010-05/14/2010  

Other Presentations

"Goethe's Color Wheel", Fall 2014 Ingaurual Event USC Harmon Polymathic Institute, Harmon Polymathic Institute, USC Doheny Memorial Library, 09/16/2014  
"From Artifact to Art: The Inevitability of Commodification?", Jensen Memorial Lectures, Froebenius Institute, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, 05/2013-07/2013  
"Rene d'Harnoncourt and the Aestheticization of Indigenous Art", Getty Research Institute Seminar, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 02/23/2010  
"Discovering the World: Collections, Curiosity and Evolution", College Commons Signature Event, College Commons, Leavey Library, USC, 09/17/2009  



Lutkehaus, N. C. (2012). Rene d'Harnoncourt and the Display of Non-Western Art. Collection: A Journal for Museum and Archive Professionals.


Lutkehaus, N. C. (2008). Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Huber, M., Lutkehaus, N. C. (2000). Gendered Missions: Men and Women in Missionary Discourse and Practice, co-edited with Mary Huber, 2000. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (1995). Zaria's Fire: Engendered Moments in Manam Ethnography. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1995. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press.
Lutkehaus, N. C., Roscoe, P. (1995). Gender Rituals: Female Initiation in Melanesia. Including Introduction and Gender Metaphors: female rituals as cultural models in Manam, 1995. New York and London: Routledge.
Bohm, K., Lutkehaus, N. C. (1983). The Life of Some Island People of New Guinea. Berlin: Reimer Verlag.

Book Chapter

Lutkehaus, N. C. Photographs as Relics: Temporality and Touch as Salient Dimensions of Photographs of Manam Islanders. Photography in the Pacific Canberra, ACT: Australian National University Press.
Lutkehaus, N. C. Jack London's Pacific Voyage of Transformation: An Anthropologist Looks at London's "Cruise of the Snark" (1911). From Romance to Reality: Representations of Pacifi New York and London: Berghahn.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2014). Miguel Covarrubias and the Pageant of the Pacific: The Golden Gate International Exposition and the Idea of the Transpacitic, 1939-1940. Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field pp. 109-133.. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2009). The Curious Case of Non-Western Objects—From "Artifician Curiosities to Objects of Identity: A Discussion about Brigitta Hauser-Schaublin, Captain James Cook and Museums. pp. 12 pgs.. Gottingen: University of Gottingen.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2008). Maternalism Imposed: Women, Children and the Maternal Behavior of Catholic Nuns in Papua New Guinea. London: Routledge.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2007). "In the Way": Modernity and the New Woman in Papua New Guinea as Catholic Missionary Sister. pp. 146-167. London: Ashgate.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2005). "Foreword" to Margaret Mead's Ruth Benedict: A Humanist in Anthropology. 30th Anniversary Edition pp. xix-xli. New York, New York: Columbia University Press.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2004). Man, A Course of Study: Situating Timothy Asch's Pedagogical Assumtions About Ethnography Film. Timothy Asch and Ethnographic Film pp. 57-74. London: Harwood Academic Publishers.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (1996). "Identity Crisis": Conflicting Images of Chieftainship in Manam, Papua New Guinea. Chieftainship Reconsidered: Essays in Honor of Sir pp. 343-375. London: Athlone Press, London School of Economics Monographs in Anthropology.

Conference Proceeding

Lutkehaus, N. C. (1990). Sepik Heritage: Tradition and Change in Papua New Guinea Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, co-edited with Christian Kaufmann, William Mitchell, Douglas Newton, Lita Osmundsen, and Meinhard Schuster, 1990.

Journal Article

Lutkehaus, N. C. (2014). Bodily Transformations: The Politics and Art of Men as Pigs and Pigs as Men on Manam Island, Papua New Guinea. Pacific Arts.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2014). The Bowerbird of Collectors: On Nelson A. Rockefeller and "Collecting the Stuff That Wasn't in the Metropolitan". Bulletin of the Buffalo Museum of Science.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2008). The Society of Divine Word Missionaries: Diverse Sources of Ethnographic and Linguistic Data from the Northeast Coast of New Guinea. Ethnology. Vol. 45 (4)
Mattingly, C., Lutkehaus, N. C., Throop, J. (2008). "Introduction" to Special Issue, "Anthropology Meets Psychology: The Role of Athropology in Jerome Bruner's Cultural Psychology. Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology.
Lutkehaus, N. C. (2008). "Putting Culture" into Cultural Psychology: Anthropology's Role in the Development of Jerome Bruner's Cultural Psychology. Ethos: The Journal of the Society of Psychological Anthropology.
Lutkehaus, N. C., Mattingly, C., Throop, J. (2008). Anthropology Meets Psychology: The Role of Anthropology in Jerome Bruner's Cultural Psychology. Ethos: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology.

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Video, "Finishing 'Apui's Name": Death and Mortuary Ritual on Manam Island., 1994-1995   

Honors and Awards

Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities Fellowship, 3/1/2011-3/31/2011  
Residency at the Getty Center for Humanities and Arts, Getty Research Scholar, 2009-2010   
USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, Award for Book: Margaret Mead: The Making of an American Icon, Spring 2010   
Rockefeller Fellowship Recipient, Research at Rockefeller Archives Center, 2008-2009   
Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Member, 2007-2008   
USC Mellon Mentor Award, 2007-2008   
USC Center for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty Fellow, Faculty Fellow, 8/1/2005-5/31/2008  
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Recipient, Research Scholar at the School of Advanced Research, Santa Fe, 1997-1998   
USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, For book, Zaria's Fire: Engendered Moments in Manam Ethnography, 1996-1997   
Fulbright Award, Doctoral Research Award to Australia, 1977-1978   

Service to the University

Administrative Appointments

Department of Anthropology Graduate Program Advisor, 2014-2015   
Department of Anthropology Graduate Program Advisor, 2013-2014   
Chair, Department of Anthropology, 2008-2009   
Director, Gender Studies Program, 09/01/2004-08/15/2007  
Chair, Gender Studies Program, 09/2001-05/2004  


Member, USC WASC Committee, 2007-2008   
Member, USC WASC Committee, 2006-2007   

Review Panels

IIE Fulbright, National Selection Committee for Australia, 2009-2010   
USC Visual Studies Graduate Certificate Program, Summer Research Scholarship Selection Committee, 2008-2009   
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