I'm Matthew J. Trew, a Canadian anthropologist currently finishing my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA. Like most academics, I like to say lots of things but secretly harbor self-doubts that I should be saying anything to anyone...ever. Nevertheless, I started this site as a space for me to write casually about a wide range of issues, from the serious to the silly. Acting somewhat as a forum to share opinions that are restricted in my academic career as well as a testing grounds for thinking about subjects and stories I care about, I hope you find amusement, provocation, and dialogue within.
Topics I intend to cover include experiences from my time living and working in Cambodia, adoption (including a discussion of my own adoption), fieldwork problems, reflections on identity and other cultural issues, and lots and lots of discussion of theme parks. Because Disneyland is both awesome and immensely frustrating, and therefore worth talking about. A lot.
Comments, dialogue, and disagreement are encouraged, but hurtful comments and hate speech are not welcome here. All opinions and errors are solely my own and do not reflect the opinions of anyone I work with at any university or field site.
What I'm Up To
My academic research focuses on thematic tourism in the northwestern Cambodian capital of Battambang, where I'm currently living until November 2016 (thanks Fulbright-Hays!).
I've been working in Battambang since 2009 and have studied the Khmer language since 2008, although that probably sounds more impressive than my actual skills would indicate. I also run the website for Battambang's famous tourist attraction, the bamboo train. For more information, please visit BambooTrain.com or click HERE.
I occasionally receive messages from people interested in visiting Cambodia and Battambang in particular, and also rarely from media requesting a comment on regional issues. I'm generally happy to try and help if I have the time, but please know that it may take several days for me to respond considering I spend a lot of time in the field doing research. If you want to contact me, do the obvious thing and head on over to my Contact page.