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Divisional Dean, Social Sciences

Philip Scher is a professor of anthropology and folklore and has served as director of the folklore program since 2015. Scher came to the UO in 2002 from George Washington University. He served as the director of undergraduate studies in anthropology (2005-2008) and director of graduate studies (2010-2012), and was the graduate awards committee chair (2012-13). Scher has served on the Faculty Senate and the Deans Advisory Committee.

Scher was the David M. and Nancy L. Petrone Faculty Scholar in the social sciences from 2013-2016, and has won John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Wenner-Gren, and Fulbright Senior Scholar fellowships. He is also the recipient of the Fund for Faculty Excellence Award.

He studies the Caribbean, with an emphasis on the politics of heritage and cultural identity, popular and public culture, tourism and global political economy. He has also published on the expressive cultural practices of the Caribbean and its diaspora. Most recently, he has been examining the role of UNESCO, heritage, and historic preservation in Barbados.

Scher is the author of Carnival and the Formation of a Caribbean Transnation, co-editor of Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a Transnational Festival and editor of Perspectives on the Caribbean: A Reader in Representation, Culture and History (Blackwell Publishers, 2010), as well as a number of journal articles. He is currently writing a book called An Economy of Souls: Tourism, Performance and Cultural Politics in a Neoliberal World, as well as co-editing a volume on the representation of Europeans by non-Western artists during the period 1400-1750.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.