Christine Mathieu

Dr Christine Mathieu

Academic and teaching fields
anthropology, history, religion, ethnic studies, literature,
Asian studies, languages

English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish

In 2009, Christine Mathieu founded Alice & Co, Purveyors of language arts and other wonders for the provision of academic support, language teaching, and literary publishing. Currently, she is tutoring students in French, ESL and GAMSAT preparation, anthropology, political science and sociology, assisting with academic reading, academic writing (including formal grammar), exam preparation and background studies. Below is an extract from her curriculum vitae, indicating teaching experience and publications, followed by a professional résumé.


University level courses

Christine has taught courses in Anthropology and Cultural Studies at Murdoch University, the University of Western Australia, UWA university extension, the Mature Age Learners Association in Australia, and in the United States, at JF.Kennedy University (Orinda California) and Saint Mary’s College of California.

Courses taught

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Introduction to Contemporary China
Introduction to Chinese Civilization
Anthropology of Religion
Shamans and Sacred Kings: a historical and cross-cultural perspective on the phenomenon of religion.
Anthropology and Religion with a focus on Chinese tradition
Introduction to Contemporary China
Social Issues in Contemporary China
Asia’s New Industrial Revolutions
Traditional Chinese Medicine: history and anthropology
World Geography, a developmental approach
Intercultural relations: opportunities and challenges
Variations on the American family : diversity and multiculturalism
Modern Chinese III (intermediate translation course)

Secondary school teaching

Christine has taught in Australian schools and in Spain. She has taught French, Chinese, English and Drama. She has also consulted for the Curriculum Council of Western Australia on the development of the Mandarin syllabus, years 11 and 12.


Founded Littlefox Press in Dec. 2006

Solitude in IV parts, poems by joseph Bottone, Littlefox press 2011.
Shores of American Memory, poems by Kenneth Trimble, Littlefox Press 2011.
Black Guitar, poems, prose and lyrics, by Robert Lloyd, Littlefox Press, 2010.
Under the Azure, The poetry of Francis Jammes, translated by Janine Canan, Littlefox Press 2010.
A Disastrous Honeymoon, an artist book and “epic poem” by Julia Wakefield, Littlefox Press 2009.
Clouds on Hanover Street, poems by Ken Trimble, Littlefox Press, 2009.
A Frog in the Billabong, Marie-Paule Leroux, translated from the French: Une Grenouille dans le Billabong, Littlefox Press 2007, winner of Gourmet magazine Special International Jury Award in Madrid 2008.



Quentin Roosevelt’s China: Ancestral Realms of the Naxi, co-edited with Cindy Ho, Rubin Museum of Arts, New York and Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt,Stuttgard, 2011.
Goodbye from Vanilla, Littlefox Press, 2010, a satirical novel on loving and thinking in Western Australian academe during the late 1980s.
Adieu au lac mère, French translation of Leaving Mother Lake with a new afterword, Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 2005.
A History and Anthropological Study of the Ancient Kingdoms of the Sino-Tibetan Borderland, Naxi and Mosuo, with a preface by Professor Colin MacKerras, New York, Edwin Mellen Press, 2003.
Leaving Mother Lake, A girlhood at the edge the world,co-authored with Yang Erche Namu, New York: Little, Brown and Company , 2003; second US edition: 2004. This book is now published in 14 languages, and is in second edition in several of those. Leaving Mother Lake was dramatised as a radio play: The Flower Room by Shaun MacLoughlin and broadcasted by BBC4 in London in 2006.

Articles and book chapters

“The Bon in Naxi History”, in Andrea Di Castro and David Templeman (eds) On the shoulders of giants: the Tucci legacy in modern scholarship, Rome, IIAO, 2012 (forthcomng)
A review of Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs, by Shanshan Du, for Intersections, on line academic journal Australian National University, 2004
“Myths of Matriarchy: the Mosuo and the Kingdom of Women”, in Carolyn Brewer and Anne-Marie Medcalf (eds), Researching the Fragments: Histories of Women in the Asian Context, Manilla, Newday, 2000.
“History and Other Metaphors in Chinese-Mosuo Relations Since 1956”, in A. Finnane and A. McLaren (eds.), Dress, Sex and Text in Chinese Culture, Melbourne, Monash University Press, 1999.
“Mosuo Ddaba Religious Specialists”, in Michael Oppitz and Elizabeth Hsü (eds.), Naxi and Moso Ethnography, Zurich, University of Zurich Press, 1998.


National and international/ last ten years only

May 2011: Naxi Conference, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, NY, panel discussant (Charles McKhann on Naxi religious art), and contributor (The Myth of Matriarchy, and the future of Mosuo culture).
November 2010: Monash University, symposium: On the shoulders of giants: the Tucci legacy in modern scholarship, hosted by Monash Asia Institute, the Italian Institute of Culture (Melbourne) and the Instituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente. “Bon and the history of Dongba religion”
July 2009: The 16th World Congress of the IUAES (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences), Kunming, China:
“A Solution to the Mysteries of the Mu Genealogies”
Feb. 2008: Australia Mythes et Realités, journée d’études organized by AILAE (Académie Itinérente des échanges Arts et Langues Européennes) and the Réseau-Asie, Paris:“A presentation and discussion of the novel Goodbye from Vanilla.”
April. 2008: AAA Annual Conference Atlanta, USA:
“Yang Erche Namu: Femme Fatale or Feminist? The Making of Celebrity, East and West.”
Nov. 2000 AAA Annual Conference San Francisco, USA:
“The Cause of Backwardness: History and Mosuo ethnic identity.”


National and international exhibitions

2011: New York, Rubin Museum of Arts, Co-curator of the exhibition Quentin Roosevelt’s China: Ancestral Realms of the Naxi; responsibilities include the provision of titles; documentation; consultation for exhibition lay out; object list; educational programs; catalogue; Chinese to English translation.
2006: Fremantle, Australia, Photo-Freo, international festival of photography; translated and edited all Chinese language entries for the catalogue section “Transformations : New Chinese Photography”.
2002/2001 – Liège Belgium, Musée d’ Ansembourg: Produced all translations, background documentation and titles for the exhibition “Images et paroles des Mosuo” [Images and poems of the Mosuo] in collaboration with photographer Didier Buttignol, Eric Florence et Xin Ding from the Centre of Chinese Studies at the Université de Liège, and Mosuo poet Lamu Gatusa of the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences.
1992 – Mexico City, Ateneo de la Fotografia: Produced all documentation, titles and a short documentary video film for the exhibition: Retratos de Yunnan [Portraits of Yunnan] in collaboration with photographer Ari Fainchtein.

Exhibitions at Alice & Co

2011 The Elephant of Eastbury, paintings by Laura Mitchell
2010 “The world of Francis Jammes, in the vallée de la Soul, ‘ photographs by Elodie Capin.
2009 “A Rodent Romance”, by Julia Wakefield.
“The Prints of Paul Morgan”, author of Little Piggies (with Sally Morgan) and Cat Balloon.
2008 (October), hosted the international exhibition: Prose Sculpture, on behalf of the Franco-Anglais Poetry Festival.


After residing for a year (1989-90) in Hangzhou where she studied Chinese, Christine Mathieu moved to Western China where she lived from 1991 to 1993 to undertake fieldwork for her PhD, an ethnohistory of the Naxi and Mosuo people of Yunnan. She worked under the supervision of Mosuo scholar and poet Lamu Gatusa and Naxi professors Guo Dalie, He Zhong Hua, Yang Fuquan, and the late He Zhiwu at the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences. Since completing her Ph.D in 1997, Christine has returned to China regularly, though mostly to Beijing. In 1994, she relocated to San Francisco where she taught anthropology and also worked as a professional anthropologist. She was R & D director for award winning diversity training firm Griggs Productions, developing training programs for diversity and inter-cultural relations, cross-cultural adjustment and cross-cultural effectiveness in the US and international workplace. Christine returned to Australia at the end of 2003. She now consults as a professional anthropologist for Warranup, in Western Australia, conducting surveys with Aboriginal and corporate clients in compliance with the Aboriginal Heritage Act.


Christine graduated with university prizes in both her majors, in Anthropology and in French studies, and went on to receive several university and government scholarships and awards in Australia and abroad, including a minor literary award from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, a research award from the Asian Cultural Council in New York in 1998, and an award in 2005 from the Centre National du Livre in Paris for her translation of Leaving Mother Lake.


Ph.D. in Asian Studies (history, anthropology, religion, ethnic studies), Murdoch University Western Australia. Title of thesis: Lost Kingdoms and Forgotten Tribes (Myths, Mysteries and Mother-right and the history of the Naxi Nationality and Mosuo People of Southwest China), an anthropological history of China’s ethnic frontier on the Yunnan-Tibet borderland. Lost Kingdoms uses a comparative and multidisciplinary method to reconstruct the political history of the China-Tibet borderland and the politics of nation building in China. Major original contributions to scholarship include: the translation and documentation of the oral religious and folk literature of the Mosuo people; establishing a political, religious and iconographical connection between the Naxi pictographic script and ancient rock art tradition; the ethno-historical exegesis of local historiography: the genealogical chronicles of the Mu family, who ruled northwest Yunnan between the 13th and the 18th century. The thesis was published with Edwin Mellen Press after further fieldwork and library research (Ref to Publications section).

Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Anthropology (University of Western Australia)
Thesis: An Anthropological History of the Paris Commune of 1871
Bachelor of Arts
Double major:
Anthropology: China (dissertation on the Chinese family), Aboriginal Australia
French: 18th and 19th century literature and literary translation
Minor: English literature, drama and poetry of the 20th century.

Graduate Diploma in Education (University of Western Australia)
Major: Teaching of Languages Other Than English.
Double minors: English and Drama.