Robert M Oppenheim

Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of Chicago


  • Phone: 512-471-7279
  • Office: WCH 5.134
  • Office Hours: Spring 2016: Tuesday 12:30-2; Thursday 3:30-5
  • Campus Mail Code: G9300


Korean anthropology and history; science/tech/society; heritage; objects/materiality; history of anthropology


Courses taught:

Undergraduate: Introduction to Korean Culture and History; Two Koreas and the US; Ritual and Religion in Korea; Science, Technology, and Society in Contemporary Asia; Capitalism, Consumption, and Civil Society in Korea; Korean Anthropologies; Self and Culture in North Korea; Big Asian Histories; Transnational Korea

Graduate: Space-/Place-Making in East Asia; Anthropology of East Asia; Colonialism and Korea; Proseminar in Asian Studies; Frames of Korean Studies


Oppenheim, R.M. (2016) An Asian Frontier: American Anthropology and Korea, 1882-1945.  Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology Series.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2015) "Asia, Sociocultural Overviews: Korea."  In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, vol. 2, James D. Wright editor-in-chief, pp. 71-75.  Oxford: Elsevier.

Hindman, H., and R.M. Oppenheim (2014) "Lines of Labor and Desire: 'Korean Quality' in Contemporary Kathmandu."  Anthropological Quarterly 87(2):465-96.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2014) "Current Trends in the Anthropology and Cultural Studies of Korea in North America."  In Intellectual and Institutional Trends of Korean Studies in North America 2013, Center for International Affairs ed., pp. 97-112.  Seongnam: Academy of Korean Studies.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2013) "Thinking Through Place and Late Actor-Network-Theory Spatialities."  In Objects and Materials: A Routledge Companion, Penny Harvey, Eleanor Conlin Casella, Gillian Evans, Hannah Knox, Christine McLean, Elisabeth B. Silva, Nicholas Thoburn, and Kath Woodward eds., pp. 391-98.  London: Routledge.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2013) "Writing Sokkuram: An Archaeology of Inscription around 1911." positions: asia critique 21(3), 547-577.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2011) "Fictional Displacements: Stewart Culin's Heaven and Earth."  Anthropology and Humanism, 36(2), 164-177.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2011) "Introduction to the JAS Mini-Forum 'Regarding North Korea.'"  Journal of Asian Studies, 70(2), 333-335.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2011) "Crafting the Consumability of Place: Tapsa and Paenang Yohaeng as Travel Goods."  In L. Kendall (ed.), Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism, and Performance (pp. 105-126).  Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2010) "Revisiting Hrdlicka and Boas: Asymmetries of Race and Anti-Imperialism in Interwar Anthropology."  American Anthropologist, 112(1), 92-103.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2008) Kyongju Things: Assembling Place. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2008) "On the Locations of Korean War and Cold War Anthropology." Histories of Anthropology Annual, 4, 220-259.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2008) "Kyongju Namsan: Heterotopia, Place-Agency, and Historiographic Leverage." In T.R. Tangherlini & S. Yea (Eds.), Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography (pp.141-156). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2007) "Actor-network Theory and Anthropology after Science, Technology, and Society." Anthropological Theory, 7(4), 471-493.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2005) "Consistencies and Contradictions: Anthropological Anti-Imperialism and Frederick Starr's Letter to Baron Ishii." Histories of Anthropology Annual, 1, 1-26.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2005) "'The West' and the Anthropology of Other People's Colonialism: Frederick Starr in Korea, 1911-1930." Journal of Asian Studies, 64(3), 677-703.

Oppenheim, R.M. (2005) "Legitimating Rhetorics and Factual Economies in a South Korean Development Dispute." In L.T. White (Ed.), Legitimacy: Ambiguities of Political Success and Failure in East and Southeast Asia (pp.215-252). Singapore: World Scientific.

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