Faculty and Staff

Leslie Ashbaugh

Senior Lecturer
Director, Center for University Studies and Programs

B.A. Education, University of Arizona
M.A. Anthropology, Northwestern University
Ph.D. Anthropology, Northwestern University

Office: UW1-167
Phone: 425-352-3304
Email: ashbaugh@uw.edu
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


Students arrive in my courses with a lifetime of personal observations of various cultures and social stimuli at work. I have the privilege of using students' observations as part of the content of my courses, in order to stimulate questions regarding how we think and learn and how we construct knowledge about ourselves and about others.

The courses I contribute to the SEB curriculum lend themselves to learning through experience, which naturally extends beyond the campus of UWB. Students in one course may be required to see firsthand how our education system reproduces class hierarchy by observing schools in Seattle's various neighborhoods. We investigate the nature of "gendered apparel" at Nordstroms, K-Mart and REI, critique the construction of "reality" by comparing news topics in different news sources, examine white women's and black women's magazines for beauty ideals and observe the increased objectification of men's bodies in clothing catalogues. Our search for America's "lost" communities has taken us to Seattle's off-leash dog parks and Oprah Winfrey's monthly book club.

By first engaging students in conversation about current social and political issues, I give them the opportunity to explore social theory through field experience. Offering students the opportunity to see for themselves how our life experiences are shaped by social categories and how such categories are culturally created opens the door to social change.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 333 Individual and Society
BIS 436 Comparative Family Systems
BIS 445 Meanings and Realities of Inequality
BIS 369 Women Across Cultures
BIS 490 Senior Seminar: Cross-Cultural Images of Women
BIS 493 Special Topics: World Cultures and Autobiography


The experience of migration is my central research interest. My work in southern Africa examines the incidence and experience of return migration, as people leave Zambia's larger cities and move toward small provincial towns. Closer to home, I have recently completed research on the experiences of Ghanaians who have migrated from a small village in the Akan areas to the United States. I am interested in how gender, status and identity have been renegotiated in the wake of international migration.

Diane Gillespie, JoAnn DeFiore and I have just published an article about the experience of teaching UW Bothell women about white privilege. "White Women Teaching White Women about White Privilege, Race Cognizance and Social Action: Toward a Pedagogical Pragmatics" Race, Ethnicity and Education, Volume 5, No. 3, 2002.