Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology

Peter Thomas ZABIELSKIS, as Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Macau, has continued to offer an international focus that has been warmly welcomed by students that can be seen in the popularity of his courses. His research interests include material culture, art, architecture, religion, heritage, and the urban built environment in Macau and Southeast Asia, especially Malaysia. He spent over two years doing field research in George Town, Penang, Malaysia and received his doctorate from New York University. Recent publications include studies of village festivals in Leizhou, China, civil society, tourism and heritage theory and urban development in Penang and Macau, including “Towards a Moral Ecology of the City: A new form of place-based identity and social action in Penang, Malaysia” in International Development Planning Review and “Faith and property: Pressures of development and change on the Kwan Tai – Tin Hau temple in Cheok Ka Chun, Taipa, Macau,” in Macao: The Formation of a Global City. He is the co-editor of Penang and Its Networks of Knowledge (2017), a volume that brings together many distinguished scholars of Southeast Asia. Other projects include a study of the culture of gambling-related crimes in Macau in Crime, Law and Social Change, studies of tourism in Macau and the material culture of magic and trance in Chinese folk religion, as well as a comparison of past, present and future transformations in the meaning and use of public urban space in Macau and São Paulo, Brazil. Peter has frequently been interviewed about his research and teaching by the media in Macau.

  • Ph.D. in Anthropology, New York University
  • M.Phil in Anthropology, New York University
  • M.A. in Anthropology, New York University
  • Certificate in Culture and Media, New York University
  • B.A. Phi Beta Kappa, Oberlin College
  • Southeast Asia and Malaysia
  • Overseas Chinese
  • Civil society
  • Anthropology of space, place, art, architecture, and urban development
  • Heritage preservation
  • Religion
  • Postcolonialism
  • Popular culture
  • Ethnographic and documentary media/film

2016-2017:

  • SOCB-111 Reading Sociology
  • SOCB-120 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOCY-213 Environment and Humanity
  • SOCB-410 Research Project
  • Applied Thesis

2015-2016:

  • SOCB-111 Reading Sociology
  • SOCY-213 Environment and Humanity

2014 – 2015:

  • SOCB-111 Reading Sociology
  • SOCB-120 Introduction to Anthropology
  • SOCB262 Theory in Anthropology
  • SOCY-213 Environment and Humanity
  • SOCB-410 Research Project
  • SOCY-461 Integrative Seminar and Paper in the Major I
  • SOCY-462 Integrative Seminar and Paper in the MajorII
  • Honours thesis

2012-2013:

  • SOCY-111 Reading Sociology
  • SOCB-262 Theory in Anthropology
  • SOCB-259 Environment and Society
  • SOCY-411 Senior Semina in Anthropology: The Anthropology of Art and Material Culture
  • SOCY-461 Integrative Seminar and Paper in the Major I
  • SOCY-462 Integrative Seminar and Paper in the Major II
  • 2012, Best Research Paper Award, Second Annual International Conference on Political Science, Sociology & International Relations (PSSIR), Bali, Indonesia
  • 2003 – 2004, Luce Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, The Australian National University
  • 2000 – 2001, Dissertation Fellowship, Project on Cities and Urban Knowledges, International Center for Advanced Studies, New York University
  • 1998, Fulbright Fellowship, Malaysia
  • 1997, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Dissertation
  • 1997, Field Research Fellowship
  • 1997, Asian Cultural Council Research Fellowship
  • 1991 – 1994, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Forthcoming:

  1. Academic Freedom Under Siege: Higher Education in East Asia, the US, and Australia, edited by Zhidong Hao and Peter Zabielskis, New York: Springer
  2. “Afterword,” in Academic Freedom Under Siege: Higher Education in East Asia, the US, and Australia, edited by Zhidong Hao and Peter Zabielskis
  3. “The Material Moral Economy of Spirit Possession,” in The Material Culture of Magic, edited by Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie and Leo Ruickbie, Numen Book Series, Studies in the History of Religions, (Leiden and Boston: Brill
  4. “Preface,” Acclimation: The Art of Tang Kuok Hou

2018:

  1. “Challenges of Heritage Development Projects in Macau and Penang: Preservation and Anti-preservation” in Dynamics of Community Formation: Developing Identity and Notions of Home, edited by Robert W. Compton, Jr., Ho Hon Leung, and Yaser Robles, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 135-158

2017:

  1. “槟城:东方之珠与物质主义精神” [“Bin cheng: dong fang zhi zhu yu wu zhi zhu yi jing shen], [“Penang: A Pearl of a Place and The Spirit of Materialism”], in 城市的精神2: 包容与认同 [cheng shi de jing shen 2: bao rong yu ren tong] [The Spirit of Cities 2: Inclusion and Identification] edited by Daniel A. Bell, Chongqing: Chongqing Publishing Group, 373-405
  2. Penang and Its Networks of Knowledge edited by Peter Zabielskis, Yeoh Seng Guan and Kat Fatland, Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books
  3. “At the Crossroads of History and Development: An Urban Kampung as ‘Unseen’ Heritage and a Critique of Development in Penang,” in Penang and Its Networks of Knowledge, edited by Peter Zabielskis, Yeoh Seng Guan and Kat Fatland, Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, 327- 366
  4. “Introduction: Penang’s Networks of Knowledge and Practice,” in Penang and Its Networks of Knowledge, edited by Peter Zabielskis, Yeoh Seng Guan, and Kat Fatland, Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, 11-27

2015:

  1. “Too big to be bad? Implications for theory and review of research on crimes, vices, and misdeeds in the casino culture of Macau,” Crime, Law and Social Change, 64 (2-3), 127-152
  2. LINE – LINK – THREAD – RED – SILK – BLACK: An Elemental Syllabary of Life Art City in Recent Work by Tang Kuok Hou, exhibition catalog essay. Macau: BABEL

2014:

  1. “澳門賭場文化的犯罪、惡習和劣跡” [“Aomen duchang wenhua de fanzui, exi yu lieji”] [“Crimes, Vices and Misdeeds in Macau’s Casinos from a Cultural Perspective”], Journal of Macau Studies, 73 (2), 81-96
  2. “Environmental Problems in China: Issues and Prospects,” in Social Issues in China: Gender, Ethnicity, Labor, and the Environment, edited by Zhidong Hao and Sheying Chen , New York: Springer, 257-280
  3. “Faith and property: Pressures of development and change on the Kwan Tai – Tin Hau temple in Cheok Ka Chun, Taipa, Macau, in Macao: The Formation of a Global City, edited by C.X. George Wei, London and New York: Routledge, 3-31

2012:

  1. “The Significance of Leizhou as a Site for Anthropological Field Research,” in 天南重地:雷州历史文化 Tiān nán zhòng dì: Léi zhōu lì shǐ wén huà [A Search for the Historical and Cultural Heritage of Leizhou], Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou: Lignan Art Press (Lignan Meishu Chuban She), 296-307
  2. “The Environment with Chinese Characteristics: Implications for Policy, Governance, and Political Change,” Journal of Law and Social Sciences, Vol.2, No. 1, December, 99-111.
  3. Winner of Best Research Paper award, 2nd Annual International Conference Political Science, Sociology and International Relations (PSSIR), Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF)

2011:

  1. “Expanding Passions: The fourth Hong Kong International Art fair reaches new levels of recognition,” Macau Closer, July

2010:

  1. “Making Friends, Making Money: Macao’s Traditional VIP Casino System,” co-author: Wuyi Wang, in Global Gambling: Cultural Perspectives on Gambling, edited by Sytze F. Kingma , London: Routledge Criminology, 113-143

2009:

  1. “Always Room for More: Macau Artists in Venice”, Macau Closer, November
  2. “From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’: The second Hong Kong International Art Fair”, Macau Closer, June

2008:

  1. “Towards a moral ecology of the city: A new form of place-based identity and social action in Penang, Malaysia,” Special issue on Place-making and Liveability, edited by K.C. Ho and Mike Douglass, International Development Planning Review, 30 (3) 2008, 267-291
  2. “An International Art Fair in Hong Kong: Why did it take so long?” Macau Closer, June 2008, 64-69
  • Mentioned in “Searching for Overlooked Landscapes: Macao Through the Eyes of UM Alumnus Tang Kuok Hou,” UM Magazine, Issue 16 (Spring/Summer 2017), Interview pages 42-47
    http://www.umac.mo/umagazine/issue16/