Nancy Cooper

Nancy I. Cooper

Adjunct Associate Professor and Lecturer

Office: Saunders Hall 346B
Office Hours: click here
Phone: 956-7573

Research Interests


I have a B.A. in Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from UH Manoa.  Since graduating in 1994 I have taught at the National University of Singapore and the University of California, returning to the University of Hawai`i in January of 2005.

Research Interests:

A specialist in Cultural Anthropology, I also teach introductory courses in prehistory and a range of courses in Southeast Asian studies and gender studies.

My primary research focus has been gender relations among Javanese rural dwellers, particularly in contexts of music performed for rites of passage.

When not teaching, I continue work on a book featuring contemporary notions and practices of masculinity and femininity in Java. I also enjoy playing music and singing with the University of Hawai'i Gamelan Ensemble.

I have recently completed a project with Alice Dewey revising and editing the PhD Dissertation of Ann Dunham, Barack Obama's mother and UH Anthropology alumnus, for publication in December 2009 by Duke University Press. The dissertation is titled Peasant Blacksmithing in Indonesia and the new book is titled Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia.

Selected Writings:

"Tohari's Trilogy: Passages of Power and Time in Java1 in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol.35, 2004:531-556.

'Singing and Silences: Transformations of Power in Javanese Seduction Scenarios' in American Ethnologist, Vol.27, No.3, 2000:609-644.

Review of Women in Indonesia: Gender, Equity and Development in the journal, Indonesia.


  • Henry Luce Fellowship
  • Fulbright Scholarship
  • Foreign Language Area Studies
  • National Resource Fellowship
  • Consortium of teaching Indonesian Abroad