Anne L Schiller

Anne L Schiller

Anne L Schiller


Anthropology: Identity, religion and ritual, tourism, Italy, Indonesia


Professor Schiller’s scholarly interests include identity, tourism and religion. Her geographic foci are Italy and Indonesia. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Virginia and M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology at Cornell University. Her field researches among indigenous peoples in the rain forests of Indonesian Borneo and in local communities in Italy were supported by fellowships and grants from Fulbright, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and others. She published Small Sacrifices: Religious Change and Cultural Identity Among the Ngaju of Indonesia (Oxford 1997) and many scholarly articles based on her findings. Her research was the subject of the National Geographic Society film, Borneo Beyond the Grave. The results of Professor Schiller's fieldwork on social change and identity in Florence, Italy is the subject of her most recent books, Merchants in the City of Art: Work, Identity, and Social Change in a Florentine Neighborhood (University of Toronto Press 2016), and Commercianti a Firenze. Identità e Cambiamento nel Quartiere di San Lorenzo (Carocci Editore 2016). Her current ethnographic projects, based in Southern Italy, concern the representation to outside audiences of southern Puglia's material and immaterial cultures, and the role of cross-cultural social organizations and networks in migration experiences.

In 2016 Dr. Schiller was selected as a Fulbright-Fondazione CON IL SUD Awardee  to conduct research and teach in the southern Italian region of Puglia. As Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Universitá del Salento in Lecce, she lectured on qualitative research methodology and on writing in the social sciences.

Dr. Schiller joined Mason in 2009 as Associate Provost for International Programs and Professor of Anthropology.  She was founding Vice President of Mason’s Office of Global Strategies. Before coming to Mason, Professor Schiller served as founding Director of the Anthropology Graduate Program and as Director of the International Studies Program at North Carolina State University where she received the Rigby Award for International Service. Also at NC State, she was named Alumni Distinguished Professor for her teaching, a title which she held at the university until her departure for Mason.

Since 2014, Dr. Schiller has been a Fulbright Faculty Liaison for George Mason University.


2023 "More Seats at the 'Philosopher's Table': The Reinvigoration of a Multicultural Community Organization in Southern Italy During and Post-Pandemic." With M. Zingraff. Rivista della Società Italiana di Antropologia Culturale 12 (2): 95-110.

2023 “Learning How to Wash Your Hands in Anthropology Class.” Royal Anthropological Institute Journal of Teaching Anthropology Blog, February.

2022    "Kaharingan or Hindu Kaharingan: What's in a Name in Indonesian Borneo?" With T. Etika. Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions 25 (4): 64-87.

2022  Informal Social Organizations, Friendship and Belonging: New Research on Expatriates in Puglia, Italy. Journal of Intercultural Studies, (online version) April: 1-11.

2021     "International Development and Poetic Practice: An Online Classroom Activity." Royal Anthropological Institute Journal of Teaching Anthropology Blog Post. November.

2021    "Building Language Skills and Social Networks in an Advanced Conversation Club: English Practice in Lecce." SiSAL Journal 12 (1): 70-78.

2019     Conference Summary: "International Seminar on Hinduism in the Millennium Era, Hindu State Institute of Religion-Tampung Penyang, Palangka Raya, Indonesia.” Borneo Research Bulletin 50: 191-193.

2019     "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Saint Orsola? Urban Space and Neighborhood Renewal in Florence’s Historic Center."  Human Organization 78 (4): 288-297.

2016     Merchants in the City of Art: Work, Identity, Social Change in a Florentine Neighborhood. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

2016   Commercianti a Firenze. Identità e Cambiamento nel Quartiere di San Lorenzo Rome: Carocci Editore 2016.

2014  “The International Campus as Prototype for International Collaboration”. With Min Park. Global Partners in Education 4(1):33-40.

2010    “Reflessioni sul Patrimonio Culturale ed Identita’ al Mercato di San Lorenzo, Firenze,” in Schianchi, Lucia, ed., Citta’ e Mercati.  Parma: Soprintendenza Beni Storici Artistici Etnoantropologici di Parma e Piacenza. pp. 34-49. 

2008    “Heritage and Perceptions of Ethnicity in an “Italian” Market: The Case of San Lorenzo.” Journal of Heritage Tourism 3 (4):277-288.

2007    “Activism and Identity in an East Kalimantan Dayak Organization.” Journal of Asian Studies 66 (1):63-95.

2002    “Religion and Interethnic Violence in Indonesia.” With Bambang Garang.  Journal of Contemporary Asia 32 (2):244-254.

2001    “Pampang Culture Village and International Tourism in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo,” in Human Organization 60 (4):414-422.

2001 “Talking Heads: Capturing Dayak Deathways on Film,” in American Ethnologist 28(1):32-55.




Recent Presentations

Place-making at the Philosopher's Table: Informal Voluntary Groups and Conviviality in the Salento

AAA Poster Presentation, Fall 2023

Schiller AAA Poster Image Fall 2023