Dr Christine Mathieu

Christine Mathieu is an author, a professional anthropologist, teacher and independent scholar.  She has taught at primary, secondary and university levels in Australia and in the United States. Christine is the editor at Littlefox Press and will work with authors to bring their manuscripts to best publishable standards. At Alice & Co, Christine teaches French, Chinese, Spanish, ESL, English literature. She prepares students for Sections I and II of the GAMSAT exam (readings in Humanities and Social Sciences and essay writing). She offers academic support for students in anthropology, history, political science and sociology; academic reading, academic writing (including formal grammar), and general cultural background studies. Below is an extract from her curriculum vitae and professional résumé.


EDITOR at Littlefox Press; see  Littlefox Titles.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR for Bread, Wine and Thou: literary food magazine, Melbourne, Yossi Klein editor.



Savoir-vivre in the 21st century, by Nadine de Rothschild, translation and Introduction by Christine Mathieu, Littlefox Press, 2015 (original publication by Editions Laffont, Paris: 1991-2001)

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.

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 in books

“The Bon in Naxi History”, in Andrea Di Castro and David Templeman (eds) On the shoulders of giants: the Tucci legacy in modern scholarship, IIAO, Monash University Press 2015.

“The Dongba Religion”, in Quentin Roosevelt’s China, Christine Mathieu and Cindy Ho (eds), Rubin Museum of Arts, New York and Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt,Stuttgard, 2011

“The Catalogue”, in Quentin Roosevelt’s China, Christine Mathieu and Cindy Ho (eds), Rubin Museum of Arts, New York and Arnoldsche Verlagsanstalt,Stuttgard, 2011

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.

Journal articles

A review of Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs, by Shanshan Du, for Intersections, on line academic journal  Australian National University, 2004.

Magazine articles

What is it about the pig? in Bread, Wine and Thou, first issue: Unloved; literary food magazine edited by Zoltan Klein Melbourne July 2015.

Mothers’ milk in Bread, Wine and Thou, issue # 2: Maternal; 2016.


National and international (last ten years)

May 2011: Naxi Conference at the 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 University Asia Institute, The Italian Institute or Culture (Melbourne) and the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (Rome):

“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.”

Guest speaking

June-November 2015 Alliances Françaises of Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide Brisbane:  Guest speaker presentation of Savoir-Vivre in the 21st century, a discussion of French/Australian differences regarding culture and social etiquette.

September 19 2012 : Free love, marriage and suicide in the making of the Sino-Tibetan frontier in Imperial China, guest speaker, Oxford University Society of Victoria, luncheon series, Melbourne, Australia.


Radio interviews have included National Public Radio and the Leonard Lopate Show in the USA, Europe 1 in France, SBS and Radio Adelaide, among others. Reviews of Christine’s work have appeared in various international print media, including the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, L’Express, le Figaro, Stern, and Hareetz.


National and international exhibitions (last ten years)

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.

Exhibitions at Alice & Co

2013 The Cobbler Mage paintings and drawings by Rebekah Pearson

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 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 on numerous occasions. In 1994, she relocated to San Francisco where she taught anthropology and also worked as a professional anthropologist, developing training programs for Griggs production, a pioneer in the field of diversity and inter-cultural training in the work place. At Griggs,  Christine helped developed multi-media materials for inter-cultural relations, cross-cultural adjustment and cross-cultural effectiveness for the US and international workplace. Since 2006, Christine has worked as a professional anthropologist in Western Australia, conducting surveys with Aboriginal and preparing reports for corporate clients to comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act. She has also conducted research for the Maduwongga Native Title Claim, and continues to work in this field as the Maduwongga’s anthropological expert. Aboriginal clients have included Kalamaia-Kapurn, Koara, Maduwongga, Ngarla, Widgi, Wongatha, Wutha and corporate client companies Xtrata, BHP, Polaris Metals, Barrick Gold, Sinclair, St Barbara, MacArthur Minerals, Emu Nickel, Navigator, Terrain Minerals, Anglogold-Ashanti, Crescent Gold, Integra, jabiru, Mindax, La Mancha, Sirius. For more information, please contact Christine directly at christine@lechido.com or call 0439990271.


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 of Western Australia, JF.Kennedy University (Orinda California USA) and Saint Mary’s College of California (USA).


Courses taught

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Introduction to Contemporary China

Introduction to Chinese Civilisation

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 Mathieu is currently teaching Chinese, Anthropology and Academic Writing at Alice Miller school in Macedon.

She has taught Chinese, English and Drama in Western Australian Schools in the 1980s; from 2004 and 2008, she taught Mandarin and consulted for the Curriculum Council of Western Australia on the development of the Mandarin syllabus for years 11 and 12 (2007-2008). 


Christine Mathieu 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 another in 2011, 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.