Anthropology (323) 343-2440

Raquel Ackerman

Associate Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., University of Cambridge-King’s College

Contact: (323) 343-2444


Dr. Ackerman is a specialist in linguistics and South America.

Beth Baker-Cristales

Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., University of New Mexico

Contact: (323) 343-2443


Dr. Baker-Cristales specializes in the study of globalization, transnationalism, nationalism and the nation state, and ethnicity in Latin America and the United States. Her most recent work is on Salvadoran migration to Southern California. She completed fieldwork in El Salvador in 1994 and the Los Angeles area in 1994-2000 studying Salvadoran migration, ethnic identity, national identity, transnationalism, and political organizing. In the past, she has done fieldwork in Ecuador with Quichua-speaking musicians and fieldwork in Southern Mexico with Mayan herbalists.

Fluent in: Spanish.

James Brady

Associate Professor of Anthropology; M.A., Cal State L.A., Ph.D., UCLA

Contact: (323) 343-2024


James Brady, a specialist in Maya cave archaeology, has been recognized for leading the scientific investigation of Cueva de Rio Talgua (Cave of the River Talgua) in Honduras, where he found a remote burial chamber with skeletal remains of perhaps 100 to 200 individuals. The skulls and bones sparkled with tiny calcium crystals from the limestone cave, thus inspiring the site’s nickname, “The Cave of the Glowing Skulls.” Dr. Brady has taught at George Washington University.

Geri-Ann Galanti

Lecturer in Anthropology; Ph.D., UCLA

Contact: 323-343-2444


Dr. Galanti is an expert in the field of medical anthropology, particularly in cultural competence. Other areas of expertise include evolutionary psychology, shamanism, and Oriental dance. She is the author of Caring for Patients From Different Cultures, currently in its 3rd edition.

Fluent in: Spanish.

Patricia Martz

Emerita Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., UC Riverside

Contact: (323) 343-2440


Dr. Martz’s fields of expertise are prehistoric archaeology, California

and cultural resource management. She has conducted archaeological investigations on San Nicolas Island for the past 12 years. She’s familiar with state and federal laws and regulations regarding the protection of historic and archaeological properties and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. She is an advocate for the protection and preservation of archaeological sites.

Elizabeth Miller

Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., Arizona State University

Contact: (323) 343-2442


Dr. Miller’s expertise includes paleopathology, forensic anthropology, skeletal biology, and disease ecology. She has done research and studies on health impacts of European contact on Native Americans and on the interpretation of disease in human skeletal remains. She is a deputized consultant with the Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner on forensic cases.

ChorSwang Ngin

Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., UC Davis

Contact: (323) 343-2440


Dr. Ngin specializes in Asian and Asian-American studies, comparative ethnic studies and Southeast Asia. Her research interests in women’s studies encompasses “racialized” perspective of women’s studies, women and economic development, and Third World feminism-as well as research methodology, including postmodernist, “borderland” and “gendered” perspectives, oral history and ethnographic studies. Dr. Ngin acts as a consultant for the RAND Corporation on issues involving cultural beliefs, Islamic laws on inheritance, living arrangements among Malays, and Chinese and Indians in Malaysia. She was a resettlement and social adjustment consultant for the World Bank in Washington D.C.

Fluent in: Mandarin, Cantonese, Teochew, Malay and Taiwanese.

Elliott Oring

Emeritus Professor of Anthropology; Ph.D., Indiana University

Contact: (323) 343-2440


Elliott Oring has published widely on the topics of folklore, humor, and cultural symbolism. His books include Jokes and Their Relations, The Jokes of Sigmund Freud, and the two-volume series Folk Groups and Folklore Genres. He is particularly interested in the interpretation of modern joke cycles as well as the role of joking in inter-ethnic communication.