Susan Blum

Contact Information

blumsmaller Susan Blum
Department Chair, Professor
614 Flanner Hall




Ph.D., University of Michigan

M.A., University of Michigan

A.B., Stanford University

Research interests

Cultural, linguistic, and psychological anthropology; deception and truth; multilingualism; person and self; ethnicity, nationalism and identity; childhood and higher education; food; and anthropological theory; China and Asia, the U.S.; cross-cultural comparison.


Susan D. Blum works on the nature of the self and its relation to language, meaning, and society. She has done so in the context of ethnic and national identity in China (Portraits of “Primitives”: Ordering Human Kinds in the Chinese Nation), deception and truth in China and across cultures (Lies that Bind: Chinese Truth, Other Truths), and plagiarism among US college students (My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture). She is currently undertaking a project called Learning versus Schooling: A Professor’s Re-education and a cross-cultural comparison of higher education.

She has edited Making Sense of Language: Readings in Culture and Communication, of which a second edition is now in press, and China Off-Center: Mapping the Margins of the Middle Kingdom (co-edited with Lionel M. Jensen). Chair of the Department of Anthropology, she also served as Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Asian Studies for five years and is a fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies as well as in the Institute for Educational Initaitives. Her courses are on anthropological theory, linguistic anthropology, the anthropology of childhood and education, food and culture, and psychological anthropology