Dr. Sumi Colligan

Sumi Colligan

Professor, Sociology 


About Me

I was born in Japan and have traveled to many different parts of the world, including China, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, and Western Europe. I feel most engaged when I am seeing new places and meeting new people. I believe that crossing borders enhances opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and positive social change.

My academic interests are varied, ranging from peoples of Asia and the Middle East to gender issues, global activism, and medical anthropology. I have conducted field work in Israel on and off for the last thirty years. Initially, I studied religious minorities there. More recently, I've been doing research on disability rights activism within an Israeli 

Sumi Colligan with class

In my teaching, I try to practice integrated learning, linking concepts and theories to the "real" world. This means that I've taken students on travel courses to Hawaii, and field trips to nearby mosques and Chinese dance performances. It also means that some of my classes require service-learning in which students put on Hunger Banquets and participate in Neighborhood Expos.

Contact Information


Office: Murdock Hall 311


Curriculum Vitae 



M.P.H., University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D., Princeton University

B.A., University of California, Berkeley


Courses Taught

Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology

Peoples of the Middle East

Peoples of China

Culture, Health and Illness

Stigma and Disability

Politics of Culture

Culture, Power and Protest

Women and Health

Culture and the Body 

Office Hours Tuesday and Thursday 2:30-3:30 PM Wednesday: 10:00-11:00 AM