Sam Pack is a professor of cultural anthropology at Kenyon. His research interests address the relationship between media and culture and specifically focus on an anthropological approach to the production and reception of television, film, photographs and new media. In this capacity, he has conducted ethnographic studies among school-aged children in inner city Philadelphia, middle-class families in suburban Pennsylvania and New Mexico and adults in two different Native American communities (Navajo Nation and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community).
More recently, he has undertaken research and/or film projects in Central America (Honduras and Costa Rica), the Arctic (Labrador, Canada), the Middle East (West Bank, Palestine), Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines) and East Asia (South Korea and Japan). Dr. Pack has held visiting appointments in universities and research institutes in India, Costa Rica, Palestine, Iceland, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea. He will serve as the resident director of the Japan Study Program at Waseda University in Tokyo during the 2019-20 academic year.
Pack has authored almost fifty articles published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. He has completed two manuscripts ("Television Through Navajo Eyes: Situating Reception in Everyday Life" and "Vis-à-Vis: The Life History as Dialogue") as well as two films ("Celebrating Semana Santa: Change, Conflict and Continuity in Rural Honduras" (with Said Zagha '11) and "Water Puppetry in Vietnam: An Ancient Tradition in a Modern World" (with Caleb Bissinger '13). Another manuscript titled "Ethnographic Media: History and Practice" (co-authored with Jayasinhji Jhala) is under contract with the University of Toronto Press.
Pack teaches a wide variety of courses in cultural anthropology, visual anthropology, Native American studies, Asian studies and narrative history. He currently serves as the book review editor for Visual Anthropology, the flagship journal in the field. Pack is the grateful recipient of the ASIANetwork Freeman Award for Faculty-Student Collaborative Research (2010 and 2016), Alpha Delta Phi's Outstanding Teaching Award (2011), Next Generation Libraries Grant (2012), GLCA New Directions Initiative Grant (2013), Fulbright Specialists Grant (2013 and 2016), POSCO TJ Park Foundation Research Grant for Asian Studies (2014), Academy of Korean Studies Research Grant (2015) and Ohio Five Digital Scholarship Initiative (2018).
Areas of Expertise
Cultural identity formation and contestation, global and local dynamics of mass media, media ethnography, reception studies, indigenous modes of (self-re)presentation, subject-generated imagery, life history, Native North America, Southeast and East Asia.
— Master of Arts from Temple University
— Doctor of Philosophy from Temple University
— Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College