Tami Blumenfield is an anthropologist of China with research interests on participatory media production, tourism, resilience, and the emergence of inequality. Her primary field site is in Southwest China where the Na and Nuosu people live in an ethnically diverse zone. . She produced a film, Some Na Ceremonies, that showcases filming and directorial work of her Na collaborators, Onci Archei and Ruheng Duoji.
At Furman University, Dr. Blumenfield is the James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and teaches courses on the Anthropology of China, Cultural Anthropology, gender, and media. She is also affiliated with the Anthropology Program, the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, the Film Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, and the Shi Center for Sustainability.
Dr. Blumenfield is also a founding board member and vice-president of the Cool Mountain Education Fund.
Experience in Asia
Dr. Blumenfield first traveled to China as a college sophomore, enrolling at Yunnan University as a student of the Chinese language. While there she was recruited to act in the Yunnan Minority Film Studio feature film, Garden of Happiness (Xinfu Huayuan). Spending three weeks on location in the mountains of northwest Yunnan with a Chinese crew boosted her Chinese speaking abilities and planted a fascination with representation, media production, and ethnicity that inspired a senior thesis topic, a postbaccalaureate Fulbright grant, and eventually a doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington.
In addition to several years and many summers in the People's Republic of China spent studying, researching, working on films and leading student tours, Dr. Blumenfield has explored Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong.