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Brockport / Anthropology / Faculty / Pilapa Esara Carroll

Pilapa Esara Carroll

PhD, Brown University
Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology

Spring 2016 Class Schedule:

ANT 220 Ethnographic Experience: M, W & F 12:20 - 1:10 pm

ANT 315 The Migration Experience: M, W & F 10:10 - 11:00 am

ANT 416/516 Exiled to America: T & R 12:30 - 1:45 pm (Metra Center)

Spring 2016 Office Hours:

MW 1:30-3pm (on-campus); Tu 11:15am-12:15 pm (Metro) & by appt.

Courses Taught:

B - 4, Cooper Hall
Office Phone:
(585) 395-5345
Curriculum vitae:

Courses Taught

  • ANT 201 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 220 Ethnographic Experience
  • ANT 305 Sex, Gender & Power
  • ANT 315 The Migration Experience: a cultural perspective
  • ANT 321 Culture Change and Globalization
  • ANT 368 Forced from Home: Refugees, IDPs & Asylees
  • ANT 383 Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 416/516 Exiled to America: Refugee Resettlement Experiences
  • ANT 470 Anthropology as a Profession
  • ANT 471 Anthropology Theory

Areas of Specialization

Issues of displacement and refugee resettlement; ethnographic documentary production; gender inequality and social difference; social practices of marriage and intimacy; processes of migration and identity negotiations; economic development and globalization; Asia and its diasporas

Current Research Projects

Persons of refugee-status arrive in the U.S. to start their lives anew as survivors of violence and persecution. New York state is ranked fourth in the nation as a destination for newly-arrived refugees. The majority of these arrivals settle in western New York (90% in 2012 according to BRIA) and almost a quarter call Monroe County "home". How do refugees start over in Rochester, NY? What are their adaptation needs and challenges? I am currently analyzing the results of an ethnographic study which asked these questions concerning refugees of Burma origins.

Past research has focused on social change and economic development in Thailand. My ethnographic documentary entitled, "Day In, Day Out: Selling Food in Bangkok" offers a window into Thailand's urban foodscape. Life for the average laborer in Bangkok can be difficult. Many rent single rooms without kitchen facilities. To meet their everyday nutritional and material needs, working class residents turn to the street, to local food vendors and sidewalk merchants. The documentary explores the mundane complexities and challenges of being a small-time Bangkok entrepreneur based in an urban slum. I have also studied social change in Thailand through the lens of intimate relationships and changing notions of marriage and family.


Esara, P. (2014) Loving Warm Families: Exploring gender equality within Thai marriages. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 35.

Esara, P. (2013). The Refugee Adaptation Project: Preliminary Report. Executive Summary (translated into Burmese with English text) with translation by Pri Lahtaw and a photo courtesy of Sarah Ann Jump.

Ferguson, J. (Ch. ed.), Cassaniti, J., Costa, L., Johnson, A., Johsnson, T., Esara, P., Kitiarsa, P., Musikawong, S., and Zeamer, E. (2013) “Thailand Chapter”. In J. Barker, E. Harms, and J. Lindquist (Eds.), Southeast Asian Figures of Modernity. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Esara, P. (2012, June) Moral Scrutiny, Marital Inequality: Cohabitation in Bangkok, Thailand. The Asian Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13:3:211-27. 

P. Esara, (2011, December) [Review of the book Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers, by A. R. Guevarra] Gender & Society, 25:6.

Esara, P. (2009) Imagining the Western Husband: Thai womens desires for matrimony, status and beauty. Ethnos, 74:3:403-426

Esara, P. (2004) Women Will Keep the Household: The Mediation of Work and Family by Female Labor Migrants in Bangkok. Journal of Critical Asian Studies 36:2:199-216.


Esara, P. (Producer, Director). (2012). Day in, Day Out: Selling food in Bangkok. [Motion Picture]

  • Adjudicated Screenings:
    • Nov. 2012 – Brownfish Short Film Festival (New York, NY)
  • Screenings:
    • Jan. 2013 – NYFQ (formerly Emerging Filmmakers Series), (Rochester, NY)
    • Dec. 2012 – 3rd Athens Ethnographic Film Festival (Athens, Greece)
    • Nov. 2012 – SUNY-wide Film Festival  (Fredonia, NY)
    • Sept. 2012 – DocUtah Documentary Film Festival (St. George, UT)
    • June 2012 – 6th Annual Philadelphia Independent Film Festival (Philadelphia, PA)

Last Updated 1/28/16


Dr. Esara Caroll organized/chaired a two-part panel called "Fieldworkers' Insights into Refugee Resettlement" and presented a paper at the Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Vancouver, BC, March 29–31, 2016

Dr. Esara Carroll's project Supporting Adult Refugee Students is being funded by The Reed Foundation Inc. Read all about it.

Dr. Neal Keating (Anthropology) presents paper at the Indigenous Language Conference held on Haudenosaunee Six Nations Grand River Territory in Canada. Check it out.

Dr. Pilapa Esara Carroll shares the activism of a refugee documentary director in the latest issue of (585) Magazine. Read more here.


Please join us on Thursday, April 14, from 5 to 6:15 pm in Edwards 106 for our second lecture in our Marjorie Helen Stewart Speaker series from Dr. Micah Morton, titled, "Reframing the boundaries of indigenism: Akha mobile indigeneities in the Upper Mekong Region."