Matthew Trew

Matthew Trew is a cultural anthropologist who works primarily in Battambang, Cambodia and is interested in tourism studies, urban development, and narratology.  His research focuses specifically on thematic tourism as a strategy for establishing competitive symbolic economies in smaller urban areas of the developing world.  He is also interested in themed spaces, theme park design and strategy, and the Disneyization process.  Other interests include cultural heritage management, postcolonial space, dark tourism (the tourism of death and tragedy), religious tourism, performance and circus, and visual anthropology/ethnographic film.

In addition to his research, he has worked closely with Cambodia's Phare Ponleu Selpak Fine Arts School and Circus, most recently collaborating with their performance school to write a circus show based on his historical research.  He also consults with the government of Battambang regarding tourism management and an ongoing application for UNESCO World Heritage Status and currently runs the website to help promote and preserve Battambang’s endangered bamboo train attraction, the city’s largest tourist draw.  

His teaching interests include tourism and cultural management; history, culture, and gender in Southeast Asia; the art of ethnography; ethnographic film/visual anthropology; and public speaking and technical communications.


Office: SB 183


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison (will complete in 2019)

Fall 2019
Course Schedule

ANTH 220 
TTH 9:30 - 10:45am
SB 186

ANTH 422/522
TTH 11:00 - 12:15pm 
SB 173

Fall 2019
Office Hours

TTH 2:00 - 3:00 
by appt 

Contact Us

Department of Anthropology
Stevens Building Rm 190