Columbia College Chicago

Humanities, History and Social Sciences

Andrew Causey

Associate Professor

624 S Michigan, Rm 900B
Phone: (312) 369-7293


Andrew Causey, PhD, is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. He received his PhD from The University of Texas, Austin, in 1997 (working with Professors Steven Feld, Ward Keeler, and Katie Stewart in what is now named the Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies) after having done his ethnographic fieldwork in North Sumatra, Indonesia with the assistance of a Fulbright Scholarship.

Causey’s research interests include the fields of material culture (objects), art, and tourism, all of which came together in his research with the Toba Bataks on Samosir Island. Using theoretical positionings that range from Karl Mannheim to Paul Ricoeur and Louis Marin, he sought to understand the nature of interactions between western backpack travelers and Toba Bataks, particularly how they construct notions of self- (and other-) identities via economic transactions. His ethnographic monograph, Hard Bargaining in Sumatra: Toba Bataks and Western Tourists in a Souvenir Marketplace, was published by the University of Hawai’i Press in 2003. In addition to his book, Causey has published numerous articles on other aspects of Toba Batak life and culture (“Batak Selves: Personal, Spiritual, Collective,” in Everyday Life in Southeast Asia, 2011), on American popular culture (“Travel to a Place Both Sad and Cute,” dealing with the Precious Moments Museum in Carthage, Missouri, in Critical Arts: South-north Cultural and Media Studies, 2012), on research methods (“Using Focused Ethnography in Psychological Research,” in the APA Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology: Quantitative, Qualitative, Neuropsychological, and Biological, 2012), and on anthropology pedagogy (“Objects Possessed, Drawn, Touched, Identified, and Sold,” in Museum Anthropology, 2015). His book "Drawn to See: drawing as an ethnographic method" (University of Toronto Press) was released in November 2016. It describes how line drawing can be used as an ethnographic method.

Dr. Causey teaches “Visual Anthropology,” “Voices, Gestures, Silences: an anthropology of communication,” “Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,” “Ethnographic Films,” "Writing Anthropology," "Social Objects,” and “Anthropology of Tourism.” He is an affiliate of the interdisciplinary Cultural Studies major, and is also an active painter, sculptor, and musician.


Teaching Interests

Social-cultural Anthropology, Ethnography, Linguistics

Research Interests

Art, Visualities, Material Culture, Tourism


B.A., Anthropology University of California, Santa Cruz 1979
M.A., Anthropology University of Texas at Austin 1985
Ph.D., Anthropology University of Texas at Austin 1997

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