Cinema & Media Studies

Matthew H. Amster





Campus Box 2985


Plank Gym
Room 308
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Evergreen State College
MA Brandeis University
PhD Brandeis University

I am a cultural anthropologist and filmmaker with extensive experience working in Borneo and, more recently, have started a new project doing research in Denmark. My research in Borneo was among the Kelabit of Sarawak, where I conducted fieldwork in both in both rural and urban settings, exploring many facets of Kelabit life, with special focus on religious conversion and change, urban ethnicity, gossip and social networks, the key role of the international border in Kelabit rural life. In 2008, I completed my first film, “The Internet and the Water Buffalo,” about the introduction of the Internet into the interior highlands of Borneo. Since coming to Gettysburg in 2002, I have also written about Civil War reenactors from an anthropological perspective and began work on a film about Gettysburg. During the 2011-2012 year, I started a new research and film project on Viking reenactment and Norse paganism in Denmark, made possible by a six months Visiting Professor position at Aarhus University. I teach “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology” (ANTH 103), “Natives on Film” (FYS 103), “Ethnographic Film: Theory and Practice” (ANTH 215), “Anthropology of Religion” (ANTH 227) “Cross Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Sex Roles” (ANTH 228), Modernity and Change in Asia/Pacific (ANTH 240), and “Capstone Experience in Anthropology” (ANTH 400).