Dr. Tyler Phan

Tyler Phan received a Ph.D. from University College London (UCL) in 2017. Before obtaining a Ph.D., Phan earned an M.A. in Religions of Asia (now M.A. in Buddhist Studies) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (SOAS) in 2013. Tyler’s research focus is on race and post-colonial studies in intersection with anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), and history with a relationship ontology, religion, and bodies in Asia and North America. Tyler’s previous research included a cross-country ethnography of Chinese medicine in the United States, examining the historical marginalization of Asian-Americans through policy and legislation. Tyler is currently involved with two projects: When White People Took Our Medicine and Counter Culture Orientalism. The former is a material semiotics approach examining the professionalization of Chinese medicine in America with the regulation of the acupuncture needle. Counter Culture Orientalism (CCO) examines the medical, contemplative, and bodily practices found in South and East Asia in the mid-twentieth century that were imported to North American and Europe. When absorbed by the mostly-white counter culture culture of the 1960s and 70s, the practices were distorted to fit the orientalist fantasies of the generation.

Since 2018, Tyler has taught the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Anthropology where has instructed over a dozen courses and supervised both graduate and undergraduate students.

Outside of the University of Pittsburgh, Tyler serves as the Director of Goldman Institute of Social Research chairing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Asian Pacific Islander (AAPI) divisions.