Micah F. Morton

Originally from Philadelphia, Professor Morton is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on borders and transnationalism, state-minority relations, social movements, religious and spiritual ecologies, religion and politics, ethnicity and nationalism and the global Indigenous Peoples' movement.

Professor Morton's research highlights the multiple and shifting discursive forms and meanings of the categories of ethnicity, religion and Indigeneity as they travel and encounter diverse interlocutors. Geographically, his work is primarily based in Mainland Southeast Asia and its borderlands with southwest China. His work further examines various dimensions of the sociocultural impacts of China's rise on Southeast Asia.

At NIU, Morton holds joint appointments in the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and serves as a faculty associate in research at Cornell University's Southeast Asia Program.

Selected Publications

Wang, Jianhua and Micah F. Morton. 2020. "Where the Rubber Meets the Road: Shifting State Society Relations and Emerging Resource Frontiers in China's Southwest Borderlands," Asian Ethnology 79 (2): 333-355.

Morton, Micah F. and Ian G. Baird. 2019. "From Hill Tribes to Indigenous Peoples: The Localization of a Global Movement in Thailand," Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 50 (1): 7-31

Morton, Micah F. 2017. "Reframing the Boundaries of Indigeneity: State-based ontologies and assertions of distinction and compatibility in Thailand," American Anthropologist 119 (4): 684-696.

Morton, Micah F. 2017. "The Rising Politics of Indigeneity in Southeast Asia," Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Trends 14/2017.

Morton, Micah F. 2017. "Indigenous Peoples' shifting engagements with the Thai State," International Institute of Asian Studies Newsletter 78, Autumn 2017: 17.

Morton, Micah F. 2017. "Indigenous peoples work to raise their status in a reforming Myanmar," Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Perspective 33, 22 May 2017.

Morton, Micah F. 2016. "The Indigenous peoples' movement in Thailand expands," Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Perspective 68, 16 December 2016.

Morton, Micah F., Jianhua Wang, and Haiying Li. 2016. "Decolonizing Methods: Akha Articulations of Indigeneity in the Upper Mekong Region," Asian Ethnicity 17 (4): 580-595.

Morton, Micah F. 2015. "'All Akha are Hani, but not all Hani are Akha': State-minority articulations of the ‘nation' in the Sino-Southeast Asian borderlands," Chinese Southern Diaspora Studies 7: 37-57.

Morton, Micah F. 2013. " ‘If you come often, we are like relatives; if you come rarely, we are Like strangers': Reformations of Akhaness in the Upper Mekong Region," ASEAS– Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies 6 (1): 29-59.

Morton, Micah F. 2012. "Aqkaq Tseir Kaq Ti Kaq Ma - Ten Akha Are United as One?" Center for Global Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (article and short-film production)

Morton, Micah F. 2010. "Negotiating the Changing Space of ‘Zomia': A Preliminary Discussion on the Role of Language in Akha Identitarian Politics," Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies 3: 97-133.

Morton, Micah F. and E.L. Thomas-Smith (A.K.A. "Mr. Black). 2009. "Talk to the people on the streets, NOT the people in the suites': Reflections on Collaborations with ‘Mr. Black'," Collaborative Anthropologies 2: 147-176.


Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Office Hours

2-3 p.m. on Blackboard Collaborate and by appointment