Hjörleifur Rafn Jónsson (Leif Jonsson) 

Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution and Social Change 

Arizona State University


I am an anthropologist with a focus on the interplay of culture, history, politics, and ritual. My research has generally centered on Mainland Southeast Asia, especially on Mien communities and histories in Thailand. I have spent some time with Iu Mien people in the United States, and done some research also in Cambodia and Vietnam. 

My current/future research concerns diversity and civil pluralism in Southeast Asia and more broadly. One strand looks primarily at popular culture in Thailand past and present (novels, short stories, film, newspapers, old epics, and such). The other aims for an ethnological reconstruction of social diversity in the region over the last 10 thousand years or so, to counter racialized/racist ideas inherited from the 19th century that linger in scholarship and in the public sphere.