Lisa Hoffman, Ph.D.

Professor
Phone
253-692-5895
Department: 
Campus Box
358437
Interim Executive Director of Global Affairs
Phone
253-692-5895
Campus Box
357437
Degrees
Ph.D.
Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
2000
M.A.
Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley
1993
M.A.
China Regional Studies
University of Washington
1992
B.A.
Philosophy
Yale University
1988
Introduction

Lisa Hoffman came to UW Tacoma in the fall of 2002. She received her BA in Philosophy from Yale University (1988), her MA in China Regional Studies from UW Seattle's Jackson School of International Studies (1992) and her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley (2000). She has spent extensive time living and working in China, including teaching English in Beijing (1988-1989) and teaching courses on gender theory and the sociology of sexuality at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University.

She defines her interdisciplinary and yet anthropological work as anthropology of the urban.  Broadly speaking, her scholarship has focused on questions of power, governing and social change, with a particular interest in subjectivity.  Geographically, the majority of her work has been located in urban China, with an extension of these organizing questions into other realms in the United States, such as homelessness.  It has been strongly influenced by the work of Michel Foucault – especially in terms of how she thinks about power, technologies of governing, and subject formation processes.  In all research projects, her analytical approach is to examine practices, techniques, and mechanisms of governing that are not confined to institutional or sovereign spaces. In addition, conceptualizing and teaching courses in the urban studies program has impacted the way she approaches intersections of subjectivity and spatiality; the gendering of cities; and the importance of studying non-western urban processes and futures. 

More specifically, her research has focused on the emergence of professionals/ism and volunteers/ism in urban China; questions of neoliberalism through a governmentality lens; the mutual constitutiveness of spatiality and subjectivity in global city-building; experiences of homelessness and citizenship formation; and regimes of green urbanisms.  Her current major research project examines new modes of solving social problems in the city, specifically volunteerism and charitable giving in urban China.  She also has collected over forty oral histories with former students of Tacoma's Japanese Language School (with Mary Hanneman), which address questions of belonging, the social constitution of the built landscape, and paths to citizenship.  This important thread of her work, the relationship between subjectivity and spatiality, has also led most recently to a co-edited volume (with Heather Merrill) that builds on the unique cultural marxist approach of geographer Allan Pred.  The volume, Spaces of Danger: Culture and Power in the Everyday, is currently under review at University of Georgia Press.

Teaching
  • T URB 101 Exploring Cities: An Introduction to Urban Studies
  • T URB 314 Gender and the Urban Landscape
  • T URB 315 Homes, Housing, and Homelessness
  • T URB 316 Cities and Citizenship
  • T URB 430 Pacific Rim Cities
  • T URB 492 Urban Studies Capstone Seminar
  • TSMIN 436 Contemporary Chinese Culture and Society
CV or Resume
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Publication Date Bibliographic Citation
2015

Serving and Providing for Those ‘In Need’: ‘Intermediary’ Spaces and Practices of Liaising, Collaborating, and Mobilizing in Urban China” in New Mentalities of Government in China, edited by David Bray and Elaine Jeffreys, Routledge http://www.tandfebooks.com/doi/book/10.4324/9781315688848

2015

“Partnering for a Seamless Transition to Higher Education: Lessons Learned” co-authored with Mark Brown and Dylan Medina; in Special Edition of The Colloquium for Information System Security Education (CISSE): Educational Approaches to Transition former Military Personnel into the Cybersecurity Field Spring 2015 Edition 2, Issue 2.

2015

"Tacoma's Japanese Language School: An Alternative Path to Citizenship and Belonging in Pre-WWII Urban America," Conflux. Paper 6. http://digitalcommons.tacoma.uw.edu/conflux/6, pp. 1-17. 

2015

Spaces of Danger: Culture and Power in the Everyday, Co-edited volume with Heather Merrill, University of Georgia Press, Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation. Book Series.  http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/index/spaces_of_danger

2014

"The Urban, Politics, and Subject Formation," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5); pp. 1576-1588.

2013

"Decentralization as a Mode of Governing the Urban in China: Reforms in Welfare Provisioning and the Rise of Volunteerism," in Pacific Affairs 86(4); see also, http://www.asiapacificmemo.ca/volunteering-china-transforming-cities .

2011

"Contemporary Technologies of City-Building in China: Urban "Modeling" and Regimes of Green Urbanisms" in Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global, Ananya Roy and Aihwa Ong eds., The Studies in Urban and Social Change Book Series, Blackwell, forthcoming.

2010

Patriotic Professionalism in Urban China: Fostering Talent, Temple University Press, 2010, see http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2036_reg.html

2009

"Governmental Rationalities of Environmental City-Building in Contemporary China" in China's Governmentalities: Governing Change, Changing Government, Elaine Jeffreys, ed., Routledge Studies on China in Transition, 2009.

2008

"Post-Mao Professionalism: Self-Enterprise and Patriotism" in Privatizing China, Socialism from Afar. Li Zhang and Aihwa Ong, eds., Ithica: Cornell University Press, pp. 168-181.

2008

"Dignity and Indignation: How People Experiencing Homelessness View Services and Providers" (with Brian Coffey), The Social Science Journal, Volume 45, Number 2, pp. 207-222, 2008.

2007

"Environment and Value in Dalian, China" () in Chinese language journal (Dalian Real Estate) Vol. 7, September 2007, summary of conference proceedings publication, translation with Wang Xiuping and journal editors, pp. 36-38, 2007.

2006

"Notes on the Anthropology of Neoliberalism," (with Monica DeHart and Stephen J. Collier), in Anthropology Newsletter, Vol. 47, No. 4, September 2006, pp. 9-10, 2006.

2006

"Urban Transformation and Professionalization: Translocality and Rationalities of Enterprise in Post-Mao China" in Translocal China: Linkages, Identities, and the Reimagining of Space. Tim Oakes and Loisa Schein, eds., London and New York: Routledge, pp. 109-137.

2006

"Autonomous Choices and Patriotic Professionalism: On Governmentality in Late-Socialist China" Economy and Society Volume 34, Number 4, pp. 550-570, 2006.

2003

"Enterprising Cities and Citizens: The Re-Figuring of Urban Spaces and the Making of Post-Mao Professionals" in Provincial China, Volume 8, Number 1, pp. 5-26, 2003.

2001

"Guiding College Graduates to Work: Social Constructions of Labor Markets in Dalian" in China Urban: Ethnographies of Contemporary Culture. Nancy Chen, Constance Clark, Suzanne Gottschang and Lyn Jeffery, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 43-66, 2001.

1997

"Rural Urbanization on the Liaodong Peninsula: A Village, A Town, and a Nongmin Cheng" (with Liu Zhongquan), in Farewell to Peasant China: Rural Urbanization and Social Change in the Late Twentieth Century. Gregory Eliyu Guldin, ed. Armonk, New York: ME Sharpe, pp. 151-182, 1997.