Jacob Hickman did his undergraduate at Brigham Young University, where he majored in psychology and anthropology. He then pursued graduate study at the University of Chicago in the Department of Comparative Human Development, an interdisciplinary program where psychological anthropology is one core area of specialization. There he was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and later received NSF funding to conduct comparative ethnographic research on the psychocultural dimensions of the Hmong resettlement experience in the United States and Thailand. In 2011 he finished graduate study and took a position in the Department of Anthropology at Brigham Young University.
Research InterestsJacob R. Hickman’s current research interests include understanding how the processes of migration, displacement, and diaspora affect a host of cultural and psychological phenomena. He conducts transnational ethnographic fieldwork with Hmong communities in both Southeast Asia and the West, investigating religion, ritual practice, family life, moral thinking, and personhood. Jacob is particularly interested in understanding how characteristics of various resettlement communities impact these psychocultural dimensions of migrants’ experiences in various ways. His dissertation dealt with a comparative analysis of intergenerational moral discourse among Hmong in Thailand and the United States. For his next project, he is looking at new religious dynamics that are emerging in the Hmong diaspora. These include messianic movements, new forms of transnational ritual networks, and changing religious ideologies.
Teaching InterestsPsychological Anthropology; Ethnographic Research Designs and Methods; Ethnonationalism and Southeast Asia; Moral and Ritual Institutions; Kinship and Gender; Ethnographic Data Analysis; Hmong Culture and Politics; Contemporary Anthropological Theory; Ethnographic Writing
- PhD, Comparative Human Development , Psychological Anthropology / Cultural Psychology, University of Chicago (2011)
- Master of Arts, Comparative Human Development , Psychological Anthropology / Cultural Psychology, University of Chicago (2007)
- BS/BA, Psychology / Sociocultural Anthropology , Brigham Young University (2005)
Honors and Awards
- Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2018 - 2019)
- Mellon Foundation/Social Sciences Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of Chicago, Social Sciences Division (2010 - 2011)
- National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, National Science Foundation (2009 - 2011)
- Society for the Anthropology of Religion (2011 - Present)
- Society for Research on Adolescence (2008 - Present)
- American Anthropological Association (2003 - Present)
- Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Comparative Studies in Society and History (2014 - 2014)
- Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Anthropological Quarterly (2013 - 2013)
- Reviewer, Ad Hoc Reviewer, Cultural Anthropology (Journal of the Society for Cultural Anthropology) (2008 - 2008)