Malcolm Collier

Picture of Malcolm Collier

Malcolm Collier, M.A.

Malcolm Collier was born in Taos, New Mexico and raised primarily in New Mexico, Canada, Peru, and the Bay Area. His schooling was in Peru, New Mexico, and California, with a BA and MA in anthropology from San Francisco State.

He was one of the founding members of the Asian American Studies Department in 1969, serving on the Planning Groups that ran the department from 1969 through most of the 1970s, except for a period in 1972-1973 when completing alternative service in Arizona. Unofficially, he first taught courses in AAS in 1970 and 1971. Following formal appointment as a lecturer in 1980, he taught various courses until full retirement in 2009.

His research interests in AAS have centered on the use of photography, film, and video as tools to record, research, and express Asian American experience. In addition to teaching a course on this subject for many years, his work has included documentation and research into bilingual/bicultural schools, visual explorations of the evolution, continuities, and changes of Asian American communities in the Bay Area, as well as both historical and contemporary Asian American experience.

In addition to his work in Asian American Studies, he has had a long association with the Chinatown Community Development Center (formerly Chinatown Resource Center), including serving as Board President and ongoing membership on its Program Committee.

Beyond Asian American Studies, he is a recognized authority and author on visual research methods in anthropology, sociology, and related fields. He has conducted visual research on cross cultural schooling in Alaska, Arizona, and San Francisco, as well as documentary photographic and oral history work in New Mexico, with related work with photographic archives. He has taught courses on cross cultural communication for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and workshops on visual research methods for the Universidad de Las Americas in Cholula, Mexico and the Instituto Mora de Investigacciones in Mexico D.F. He is a past board member and president of the Society for Visual Anthropology, a section of the American Anthropological Association.


Emeritus Faculty Biography

  • 90 Introduction to Methodology AAS
  • 112 Education and Asian Americans
  • 220 Asian in America
  • 200 Asian American History
  • 308 Photographic Exploration of Asian America
  • 680 Asian American Community Change
  • 695 Seminar Asian American Community



  • Nonverbal Factors in the Education of Chinese American Children: A Film Study. Limited edition NIE research report, published by Asian American Studies Dept., SFSU, 1983. Report available through ERIC at


  • Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method. (second edition) Co-author with John Collier Jt., University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1986.


  • Asians in America: A Reader. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company: Dubuque, Iowa, 1993. (editor, primary author) Updated and revised (2009) as an online publication titled Asian American Experience: Personal Accounts with Associated Essays. Available at


  • “Photographic Exploration of Social and Cultural Experience” - Lead chapter in Strong, Mary and Laena Wilder, eds. 2009. Viewpoints: Visual anthropologists at Work. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.


  • Chinatown 2017: Continuity and Change. Limited private publication for community use 2018 – available online at

  • Associated Photographic Exhibit - Chinatown 2017: Continuity and Change held at 41 Ross Alley, September/October 2017, online exhibit version available at



Quick Links