Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Oregon
Leah Lowthorp completed her dual degree in Folklore and Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, with a dissertation entitled, “Scenarios of Endangered Culture, Shifting Cosmopolitanisms: Kutiyattam and UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kerala, India.” Broadly examining how changes in artistic cultural practice reflect wider social and political changes over time, her work takes a postcolonial approach to cosmopolitanism, UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, and the politics of culture in India through the lens of Kutiyattam Sanskrit theater of Kerala state. As an artist scholar, she studied and performed Nangiar Koothu, the female solo form of Kutiyattam, as part of her research. Leah teaches on a wide range of topics including globalization and the arts, ethnographic fieldwork methods, South Asian folklore, gender and expressive culture, and social justice and the arts. For her next project, she is interested in examining the relationship between arts patronage and processes of commodification in India.