Karen Quintiliani

Karen Quintiliani

Title: Professor
Email: Karen.Quintiliani@csulb.edu
Phone: (562) 985-1301
Office: FO3-303

Education History

B.A.: Loyola Marymount University, Sociology, 1985
M.A.: California State University, Long Beach, Applied Anthropology, 1995
Ph.D.: University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology, 2003


Courses Taught

ANTH 560 Ethnographic Research Methods
ANTH 416/516 Urban Anthropology
ANTH 510 Proseminar
ANTH 458 Ethnographic Methods
ANTH 412      Culture and Communication
ANTH 120 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ASAM 334 Cambodian American Experience


Research Focus and Teaching Specialties

Cambodians Transnational diaspora, Applied Anthropology, Community Based Service, Writing and Archival Projects.



Dr. Quintiliani is an applied anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic and applied research in Long Beach since 1988. Her research focuses on refugee and immigrant communities in the United States with a particular focus on the Cambodian community in Long Beach, California. She has worked as an applied anthropologist for community based organizations, specializing in developing and implementing programs focused on community health and education for Southeast Asians and their children. Her areas of research interest, publications, and community engagement projects include: cultural history of the Cambodian immigrant experience; social welfare policy; gender and sexuality; refugee and immigrant health; youth cultures; and program development and evaluation. Her areas of expertise are on utilizing the theories and methods of anthropology in evaluating and developing community programs and examining the implementation of public policies. She is currently working on collaborative research project with the City of Long Beach on homelessness and the outreach experience.


Community Research Projects

Homelessness Ethnographic Research and Education Lab or HERE LAB
~ A place for students, faculty, staff, and the community to share knowledge and develop research projects that can make a difference one person at a time.

Ethnographic Research Project with the City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department, Homeless Services Outreach Team (Current)

  • Collaborative research project with the health department’s homeless outreach team and the continuum of care partners, Police Department, Quality of Life Officers, and Fire Department, HEART team to understand why some homeless individuals do not regularly take up services offered to them.
  • This question is explored from multiple perspectives: a) clients who are currently receiving services; b) clients who pass up services; and, c) the outreach team members who attempt to address and assess each client’s unique circumstances. Additionally, we explore what type of services exist and do not exist that create opportunities and barriers to receiving or accepting services.
  • The research aims to train graduate and undergraduate students in applied ethnographic research methods and design, including BUILD students.


Cambodian Community History and Archive Project Co-Directed with Dr. Susan Needham (CSUDH)
~ Collaboration between California State University Long Beach, California State University Dominguez Hills and the Historical Society of Long Beach.
    • The CamCHAP Archive has over 2000 photographs, and over 1500 English and Khmer newspapers, documents, unpublished manuscripts and reports from researchers, community members, and Cambodian organizations. 
    • The CamCHAP Website – camchap.org is a multilingual (Khmer-English), multimedia website presenting a digital ethnography of the Cambodians in Long Beach and timeline of 2000 year Khmer history. Through photographs, historical documents, short documentaries, this website situates the community’s growth within a particular historical moment at international, national, and local levels. The digital ethnography is in continuous development with Interactive features, short documentaries, and new ethnographic materials in process.


Selected Publication

Needham, Susan and Karen Quintiliani. (2016). Rethinking Local History through Collaboration: The Creation of the Cambodian Community History and Archive Project. Collaborative Anthropologies 8(1-2): 1-20.

Hyatt, Susan and Karen Quintiliani. (2016). Collaborations with Historical Societies, Libraries and Museums: New Directions and Methods in Engaging Community and Institutional Partners. Collaborative Anthropologies 8(1-2): vii-xvii.

Takemoto, Mary Ann, Simon Kim, Karen Nakai, and Karen Quintiliani. (2016). Journey to Success: University-Community Partnerships to Improve Access to and Success in Higher Education for Cambodian American Students in Long Beach. IN Focusing on the Underserved: Immigrant, Refugee, and Indigenous Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education, eds. Ching, D. and Museus, S.D. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc.

Needham, Susan, Karen Quintiliani, and Robert Lemkin. (2015). The Space of Sorrow: A Historic Video Dialogue between Survivors and Perpetrators of the Cambodian Killing Fields. The International Journal of Human Rights 19(5): 628-647.

Quintiliani, Karen and Susan Needham. (2014). Three Decades of Cambodian American Political Activism in Long Beach, California. IN The Age of Asian Migration: Continuity, Diversity, and Susceptibility (Vol. 1), eds, Chan, Y.W., Haines, D., and Lee, J.H.X. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 268-281

Quintiliani, Karen. (2014). A Qualitative Study of the Long Term Impact of Welfare Reform on Cambodian American Families. Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement 9:1-24. https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol9/iss1/

Quintiliani, Karen and Susan Needham. (2014). Three Decades of Cambodian American Political Activism in Long Beach, California. IN The Age of Asian Migration: Continuity, Diversity, and Susceptibility (Vol. 1), eds, Chan, Y.W., Haines, D., and Lee, J.H.X. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Quintiliani, Karen. (2014). Cambodian/Cambodian American Same Sex Identities and Encounters: Possible Research Trajectories. IN Southeast Asian Diaspora in the United States: Memories & Visions, Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow, ed., Lee, J.H.X. London and New York: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Quintiliani, Karen, Susan Needham, Robert Lemkin, & Sambath Thet. (2011). Facilitating
Dialogue between Cambodian American Survivors and Khmer Rouge Perpetrators. Peace
Review: A Journal of Social Justice 23: 506-513.

Quintiliani, Karen. (2010). (Re)Imagining the Meaning of Being Cambodian and Gay. IN Cambodian American Experiences: Histories, Communities, Cultures, and Identities, Pp. 392-408. ed., Lee, J.H.X. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Quintiliani, Karen. (2009). Cambodian Refugee Families in the Shadows of Welfare Reform.
Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 7(2): 129-158.

Needham, Susan and Karen Quintiliani. (2008) Cambodians in Long Beach. Mount Pleasant,
SC: Arcadia Publishing.

Needham, Susan and Karen Quintiliani. (2007) Cambodians in Long Beach, California: The
Making of a Community. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 5(1): 29-53.