Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Southern California

Research Interests

Cultural anthropology; ethnographic film; indigenous rights and the state; religion; exchange; tourism; development; globalization; Southeast Asia; Indonesia

Regional and Thematic Interests

Southeast Asia
Cultural Studies


Christian S. Hammons teaches cultural anthropology and ethnographic film. His research focuses on "societies against the state" and the politics of indigenous religion, exchange, tourism, development, and globalization in Southeast Asia. He has conducted more than three years of fieldwork among the forest-dwelling people on the island of Siberut in the Mentawai Islands off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. His work has been published in American Anthropologist and elsewhere, and he is currently Contributing Editor to Anthropology News. Dr. Hammons has also written, produced, and consulted on numerous documentaries, feature films, and television series. Among other grants, he received a Fulbright for establishing an indigenous media program that linked emerging filmmakers at the Indonesian Art Institute in Sumatra and the people with whom he has worked in the Mentawai Islands. He received his MFA in film production from the University of Southern California in 1998 and his PhD in anthropology from USC in 2010.

Selected Publications

Forthcoming “Shamanism, Tourism, and Secrecy: Revelation and Concealment in Siberut, Western Indonesia.” Ethnos.

2013 “Animism and the Art of Not Being Governed in Sumatra.” Anthropology News.

2013 “Review of Jathilan: Trance and Possession in Java and Ngaben: Emotion and Restraint in a Balinese Heart.” American Anthropologist 115, no. 3: 509-510.