Faculty & Staff

Tim Sieber, PhD

Professor of Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts


photo of Tim Sieber

Areas of Expertise

Childhood, urban anthropology, applied anthropology, the culture history of Amazonia, and immigrant and minority education.


PhD New York University

Additional Information

Tim is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  He received his PhD in social anthropology from New York University, with specializations in Urban Anthropology and the Anthropology of Education. He has been at UMass Boston since 1974, and teaches courses on childhood, urban anthropology, applied anthropology, the culture history of Amazonia, and immigrant & minority education. He teaches in the University's American Studies and Applied Linguistics programs, as well as in Anthropology. He was a Senior Fulbright Scholar and a PRAXIS XXI Invited Scientist during 1998 at the Open University of Lisbon (Portugal).

Tim has done field research in Boston and New York City, USA, as well as in Caracas, Venezuela and Lisbon, Portugal. His research projects, publications, and consulting have centered on anthropological study of cities and on a variety of urban problems and issues, in the areas of education, child welfare, gentrification, community and urban development, environmental problems, multicultural relations, public culture (including celebration, architecture, and music) and waterfront planning. His most recent project focuses on urban planning and development in Lisbon, especially in the city's Eastern waterfront zone, and issues of urban public culture, national identity, and Europeanization raised by the 1998 Lisbon World Exposition. His most recent publications on this project include "Ruas da cidade e sociabilidade pública: um olhar a partir de Lisboa"  [City Streets and Public Sociability: the View from Lisbon], in press in the volume, O Lugar da Rua [The Street as a Place], Graca Indias Cordeiro and Frederic Vidal, eds.  Lisbon: Livros Horizante, 2007), “Popular Music and Cultural Identity in the Cape Verdean Post-Colonial Diaspora,” Etnografica IX(1): 123-148 (2005), and “Lisbon,” in International Encyclopedia of Urban Cultures, Vol. IV, Melvin Ember and Carolyn Ember, eds. New Haven: HRAF & Grolier, 2004).  

Tim also writes increasingly on the promise and challenge presented by growing student diversity in US higher education, and among other publications is author of “Knowledge, Learning and Teaching: Striving for Conocimento," Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge IV: 355-358 (2006), and “Excelling in the Critical Study of Culture: the Multilingual-Multicultural Student Advantage” (in Crossing the Curriculum: Multilingual Learners in College Classrooms, Vivian Zamel & Ruth Spack, eds.,  Lawrence Erlbaum, 2004).  He is co-editor with Esther Kingston-Mann of a recent anthology, Achieving Against the Odds: How Academics Become Teachers of Diverse Students (Temple University Press, 2001).

At the University, Tim is a long-term member of the board of the Center for the Improvement of Teaching, the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy (http://www.gaston.umb.edu), the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture (http://www.trotter.umb.edu), and the university’s Urban Mission Coordinating Committee (http://umb.edu/chancellor/urbanmission/index.html).  He is a long-term board member of the Society for the Anthropology of North America (http://sananet.org); and, an affiliate and member of the Science Council of CITIDEP: Research Center for New Information Technologies and Participatory Democracy, an NGO based in Lisbon, Portugal.