Andrew Carruthers

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

University Museum Room 426 


Andrew M. Carruthers is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist specializing in Malay-speaking archipelagic Southeast Asia. He studies the relation between language, movement, and mobilities as a source of insight into the ways people co-create — and so navigate — shifting fields of possibility in their everyday lives.


Ph.D., Yale University (2016)

M.Phil., Yale University (2012)

Visiting, Fakultas Ilmu Bahasa, Universitas Hasanuddin, Indonesia (2010)

A.B., Cornell University (2009)

Visiting, Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore (2008)

Research Interests

Linguistic and sociocultural anthropology; semiotics; pragmatics and speculative pragmatism; borders, mobilities, and infrastructures; commensuration and contrastive evaluation; Southeast Asian studies; Indonesia and Malaysia.

Selected Publications

2020. "Intensity, Infrastructure, Aquatectonics." Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space. Volume 38, Issue 5, pp. 820-825. 

2019. "Policing Intensity." Public Culture. Volume 31, Number 3, pp. 469-496.

2018. “Living on the Edge: Being Malay (and Bugis) in the Riau Islands.” Trends in Southeast Asia. Number 12, pp. 1-54. 

2017b. “Grading Qualities and (Un)settling Equivalences: Undocumented Migration, Commensuration, and Intrusive Phonosonics in the Indonesia-Malaysia Borderlands.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. Volume 27, Issue 2, pp. 124-150. 

2017a. “‘Their Accent Would Betray Them’: Undocumented Immigrants and the Sound of ‘Illegality’ in the Malaysian Borderlands.” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, Volume 32, Number 2, pp. 221-259.

Courses Taught

ANTH 642: Ethnographies in Linguistic Anthropology

ANTH 628: Language in Culture and Society: Special Topics 

ANTH 626: Intensity 

ANTH 550: Movement, Mobility, Migration 

ANTH 255: Southeast Asia 

ANTH 202: Language, Migration, Diaspora 

ANTH 114: Migration and Borders



Faculty Status