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Professor of Anthropology

Richard Handler

University of Virginia

Richard Handler is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Program in Global Development Studies at the University of Virginia.  He was educated at Columbia University and the University of Chicago (PhD, 1979).  His initial field research was in Quebec (1976-1984) where he studied the Québécois nationalist movement.  This led to his enduring interest in nationalism, ethnicity, and the politics of culture.  Upon coming to the University of Virginia in 1986, he pursued the latter topic by looking at history museums.  Beginning in 1990, he conducted an ethnographic study of Colonial Williamsburg, which is both an outdoor museum and a mid-sized nonprofit corporation.   Between 2000 and 2010, Prof. Handler served as dean of the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.