C. Todd White, Ph.D.

About Me

I am a broadly trained four-fields anthropologist living in upstate New York with “homes” in New Jersey, Los Angeles, Missouri, Virginia, and Nebraska. I have advanced degrees in English and Anthropology and have had the life-long ambition of securing a full-time teaching position in a liberal arts college or university.

I was awarded my Ph.D in Social Anthropology from the University of Southern California in 2005 and have been teaching courses in anthropology, working for non-profit organizations, and serving as a research consultant for academic libraries since then. I regularly teach courses in Introduction to Anthropology; Biological Anthropology; Cultural Anthropology; Language and Culture; Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion; Queer Anthropology; Sustainable Development; and Qualitative Research Methods.

President Obama visits RU-Newark to discuss criminal justice reform and meets with NJ-STEP studentsFeb. 26, 2016

President Obama visits RU-Newark to discuss criminal justice reform and meet with NJ-STEP students, Feb. 26, 2016

For the past two years, I taught for Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ, and the The New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Consortium (NJ-STEP) program, administered through Rutgers Newark, where I taught Introduction to Anthropology at four different youth correctional facilities throughout the state.

I am the Chair of the Homosexual Information Center, one of the oldest ongoing nonprofit organizations in the nation dedicated to the fight for homosexual rights, and editor of Tangents magazine and Tangents onlineand I serve as HIC’s liaison with Special Collections, Oviatt Library, California State University at Northridge.

As an applied anthropologist, I have served as a professional consultant for the University of Rochester, Colorado State University, and Rutgers University libraries to improve student services. I have served as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; SUNY College at Brockport; James Madison University; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Ethnographic Research

The central goal of my graduate and post-graduate research has been to explore the role of libraries and archives on public education and social activism.

As an applied anthropologist, I have worked to help university libraries to improve the functionality of their online services using participatory and traditional ethnographic methods. I have been studying how advanced undergraduate and graduate students conduct research and utilize technology as they write papers, collaborate with colleagues, and communicate with professors. I am especially interested in the disconnect between what the so called “Net” generation students (or “Millennials”) are said to be doing by their teachers, parents, and peers versus their actual practice and capabilities.

My studies indicate that there needs to be a more concerted effort to train today’s college students in the vast array of technological tools now available, and that university libraries, anthropology programs, and IT divisions can effectively collaborate toward this end.

As a social anthropologists, I bring an ethnographic approach to historical questions and combine in-depth archival research with traditional participant observation in order to view particular people and events within the context of their times. My work is grounded in linguistic anthropology with particular interest in the role of narrative in identity formation and maintenance in both personal and institutional situations. I am also interested in performative aspects of identity formation and maintenance and the role of ritual and symbols in the formation, continuation, and dissolution of special interest associations.

Professional Service

Archive Archaeology

Archives Archaeology<br>Transferring materials to CSUN, June 2010

The son of a field archaeologist, I learned early on to bring an archaeological precision to my work. My doctoral study at USC involved “excavating” the first archives in the United States dedicated to homosexual issues. The first stage of this excavation was to create a virtual reconstruction of the ONE, Inc. library (renamed the Blanche M. Baker Memorial Archives) as it was at the time of ONE’s split in 1965. These materials comprise the heart of the Los Angeles-based homophile movement and provide insight as to what it was like to be a homosexual man or woman in the decades prior to the rise of Gay Liberation in 1969.

I also serve as Chair of the Homosexual Information Center, a non-profit organization established in 1965 by a spin-off faction of ONE, Incorporated. Through the HIC, I work to grow and promote the Homosexual Information Center Library, a part of the Vern and Bonnie Bullough Collection on Sex and Gender, housed within Oviatt Library at CSUN.

I am also interested in the growth and development of the homosexual rights movement in the United States and the fissions and fusions that comprise gay and lesbian institutional history. To this end, I helped to create the OutHistory.org website and was a member of the original OutHistory Advisory Board.

My columns, reviews, articles, and commentary have been published in The Long Beach Blade, The Empty Closet, SOLGAN, Out In Jersey, Tangents, and other media outlets. Between 2014 and 2016, I served Book/Film Review Editor and contributor for Out In Jersey, based in Trenton, New Jersey.

©2016 by C. Todd White. All rights reserved.
Last updated July 29, 2016