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Ifan (Sophie) Wu


Sophie is a sociocultural anthropologist of Malaysia and China. She is interested in how people develop their potential and personality authentically to function productively in the society.  She won the Young Scholar Award from China Times Cultural Foundation in 2016. 

Sophie has been visiting and conducting anthropological research in Penang, Malaysia since 2005.  She started her research in Hong Kong and Shen Zhen in 2016.  She is currently writing her dissertation in Ithaca, New York, on transnational Chinese Buddhists and qigong meditators in Penang, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Shen Zhen, China. 

The grants and fellowships that have supported her research and training at Cornell include: 
- The Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, New York
- Chiang Ching-Guo Foundation Dissertation Writing Grant, Taiwan
- Academia Sinica Dissertation Writing Grant, Institute of Ethnology, Taiwan
- Milton Barnette Scholarships for Malaysian Studies, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University 
- Hu Shih Fellowship, East Asia Program, Cornell University 
- Lee Teng-Hui World Affairs Fellowship, East Asia Program, Cornell University
- Doctoral Research Travel Grant, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University 
- Indonesian Language Learning Scholarship, Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison  

Her research interests are Religion, Society, and Health; Medical Anthropology; Cultural Psychology and Subjectivity; Globalization and Overseas Chinese;  Aging Society, Psychology, and Technology. 

The courses she would love to offer includes Ethnographic Research Design and Innovation, Theoretical Concepts in Social Sciences, Religions and Politics in Southeast Asia, and Transnational Chinese Religions and Culture. 

She is a certified mindfulness meditation teacher trained in peer counseling and intergroup dialogue communications.  She enjoys cooking and collaborating with people from different disciplines and nationalities.    


P. Steven Sangren, Andrew C. Willford, and Eric Tagliacozzo


Personal Websites:


Transnational Chinese in Malaysia, Sociocultural anthropology, Meditation, Healing, Medical Anthropology, Psychological Anthropology


  • Anthropology