Timothy Y. Loh

| 罗宇乐 | تيموثي لوه |

I am a sociocultural anthropologist-in-training in the Doctoral Program in HASTS (History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology, and Society) at MIT, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States. My current research draws upon medical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and science and technology studies to study deaf and signing communities in Jordan and the broader Middle East, and I am advised by Stefan Helmreich, Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology. I am also a Graduate Fellow in the Language and Technology Lab directed by Graham Jones and Beth Semel. In my doctoral work I hope to explore how advancements in assistive technologies of various kinds (medical-rehabilitative, like hearing aids and cochlear implants, and non-medical, like cellphones and mobile apps) affect how deaf people in Jordan conceive of themselves as deaf—or not—and the role of religion (both Christianity and Islam) in Jordanian interactions with these technologies. As a hearing researcher of deaf communities and a non-Middle Eastern scholar of the Arab world, I am committed to reflexivity in my methodological and theoretical approach. I am also interested in refugee and migrant movements in the Middle East, in addition to the history and anthropology of Arab Christianity in historic Palestine, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Recently, I conducted some research on sign language and the deaf community in Singapore. I am a Young National University of Singapore (NUS) Fellow affiliated with Anthropology at Yale-NUS College for the academic year 2020-21, as well as a member of the American Anthropological Association and of the VL2 Student Network at Gallaudet University.

In 2020, my paper, "Language in Medical Worlds: The Politics of Hearing Technology, Speaking, and Arabic for Deaf Children in Jordan," was awarded the Graduate Student Paper Prize by the Middle East Studies Association.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (Culture & Politics) and a Master of Arts in Arab Studies, earned in an accelerated degree program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. At the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown, I studied with Rochelle Davis, Fida Adely, and Sylvia Önder, and took classes at Gallaudet in sociolinguistics and Deaf Studies through the Consortium. I was also a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace (Arabic) in the summer of 2016. I am most influenced by the work of Michele Friedner, Laura Mauldin, Sherine Hamdy, Karen Nakamura, Marcia Inhorn, among others, and hope to produce work like theirs someday.

Before returning to academia, I worked for Collateral Repair Project through the MENAR Fellowship, taught Middle Eastern history and introductory Chinese at King’s Academy, and coordinated Project SHINE for the LEAP Program. In my free time (hah!), I sing with Boston Found. I was born and raised in Singapore, which I still call home. I am proficient in Levantine Arabic, American Sign Language (ASL), and Mandarin Chinese, and high-intermediate in French.







Thanks to Chris Walley and Chris Boebel's class, DV Lab: Documenting Science through Video and New Media, I have also dabbled in ethnographic film. A Different Medium was made in spring 2019, and focuses on hearing students of American Sign Language and how they negotiate their position as ethical learners of the language and their relationship and responsibilities to the Deaf community.

Curriculum Vitae

Loh Academic CV


You can reach me via email at timloh at mit dot edu or using the form below.

Want to learn more about getting a PhD in anthropology (especially at HASTS)? Please reach out, especially if you are BIPOC, international, first-gen, or from an otherwise disadvantaged minority group! I recommend reading the following to learn more about graduate school: