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C. Jason Throop

Professor & Department Chair

Contact Information

Email    jthroop@ucla.edu
Office  388 Haines
Phone  310-794-2190

My research and teaching interests are clearly situated at the intersection of the fields of medical and psychological anthropology. Broadly configured, my research agenda sets out to examine human existence as articulated in its cultural, moral, and practical dimensions. Committed to furthering a phenomenological anthropological approach to understanding our distinctly human ways of being-in-the world, my contributions to medical and psychological anthropology span a fairly broad spectrum of theoretical and practical concerns. These include: theoretical and ethnographic work on empathy and intersubjectivity; investigations into the problems of experience in contemporary anthropological theory; explorations of the cultural patterning of pain, sensation, emotion, and mood; analyses of social suffering and illness experience; studies of agency and will in cultural context;  as well as ongoing research on the existential and cultural processes underlying the formation of ethical modes of being. My regional specialization is Oceania where I have conducted over 19 months of research on experiences of pain, suffering, illness, and morality on the island of Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia. 

I have authored one book, Suffering and Sentiment: Exploring the Vicissitudes of Experience and Pain in Yap (2010, University of California Press), and co-edited two others, Toward an Anthropology of the Will (2010, Stanford University Press) and The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies (2011, Berghahn Press). I am currently developing a new empirical project on palliative care.

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Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles (2005)

Selected Publications

Hollan, D.W. and C.J. Throop (Eds.) 2011. The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies. Oxford: Berghahn. 

Throop, C.J. 2010. Suffering and Sentiment: Exploring the Vicissitudes of Experience and Pain in Yap. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

Murphy K.M. and C.J. Throop (eds.) 2010. Toward an Anthropology of the Will. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press. 

Articles/Book Chapters

Throop, C.J. 2014. "Moral Moods." Ethos 42(1): 65-83.

Zigon, J. and C.J. Throop. 2014. "Moral Experience: Introduction." Ethos 42(1): 1-15.

Throop, C.J. 2012 “On the Varieties of Empathic Experience: Tactility, Mental Opacity, and Pain in Yap. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 26(3): 408-430. 

Throop, C.J. 2012. "Moral Sentiments." In Didier Fassin (ed.), A Companion to Moral Anthropology. Wiley-Blackwell. Pg. 150-168. 

Throop, C.J. 2012. "On Inaccessibility and Vulnerability: Some Horizons of Compatibility between Phenomenology and Psychoanalysis." Ethos 40(1): 75-96. 

Desjarlais, R. and C.J. Throop. 2011. “Phenomenological Approaches in Anthropology.” Annual Review of Anthropology. 40: 87-102. 

Throop, C.J. 2010. "Latitudes of Loss: On the Vicissitudes of Empathy." American Ethnologist 37(4): 771-782. 

Throop, C.J. 2009. "Intermediary Varieties of Experience." Ethnos 74(4): 535-558. 

Throop, C.J. 2009. “Interpretation and the Limits of Interpretability: On Rethinking Clifford Geertz’ Semiotics of Religious Experience.” Journal of North African Studies 14(3/4): 369-384. 

Throop, C.J. 2008. “From Pain to Virtue: Dysphoric Sensations and Moral Sensibilities in Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia.” Journal of Transcultural Psychiatry 45(2): 253-286. 

Hollan, D. and C.J. Throop. 2008. “Whatever Happened to Empathy?” Ethos. 36(4): 385-401. 

Throop, C. J. 2003. "Articulating Experience." Anthropological Theory 3(2). 219-241. 

Throop, C. J. and K.M. Murphy. 2002. "Bourdieu and Phenomenology: A critical assessment." Anthropological Theory 2(2):185-207.


Psychological and medical anthropology, phenomenology, sensorial anthropology, theories of experience in anthropology, self and subjective experience, empathy, pain, emotion/mood, morality, temporality, anthropology of the will, Yap (Federated States of Micronesia)

Graduate Students

Courtney Cecale
Devin Flaherty
Clinton Humphrey (Co-Chair)
Matthew McCoy
Aidan Seale-Feldman
Christopher Stephan
Siyat Ulon
Jenny Walton-Wetzel (Co-Chair)