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Douglas W. Hollan


Contact Information

Email    dhollan@anthro.ucla.edu
Office  316B Haines
Phone  310-825-3366
I am a cultural and psychological anthropologist whose primary focus is on how social experience affects health

(including mental and emotional health), emotions, empathy, embodiment, and different states of consciousness and non-consciousness (including sleeping and dreaming).

Using person-centered interviews and observation, I am particularly interested in how emotional health and well-being are conceptualized in different times and places, and the extent to which these conceptualizations feed into the experience of health and well-being per se.

I am currently co-director of the FPR (Foundation for Psychocultural Research)-UCLA Culture, Brain, Development, and Mental Health Program, which attempts to integrate ethnography and neuroscience in the study of global mental health issues. 


Ph.D., University of California San Diego (1984)


UCLA Luckman Distinghished Teaching Award (1995) 

Boyer Prize, Society for Psychological Anthropology (2013)

Selected Publications

2013 Coping in Plain Sight: Work as a Local Response to Event-Related Emotional Distress in Contemporary U.S. Society. Transcultural Psychiatry. 

2013 Sleeping, Dreaming, and Health in Rural Indonesia and the Urban U.S.: A Cultural and Experiential Approach. Social Science and Medicine 79:23-30. 

2012 On the Varieties and Particularities of Cultural Experience. Ethos 40:37-53. 

2012 Emerging Issues in the Cross-Cultural Study of Empathy. Emotion Review 4:70-78. 

2011 The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies (Co-editor with C. Jason Throop). New York: Berghahn Press. 

2010 Willing in Context. In Towards an Anthropology of the Will. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 

2009 The Influence of Culture on the Experience and Interpretation of Disturbing Dreams. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry 33:313-322. 

2008 Selfscapes of Well-Being in a Rural Indonesian Village. In Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective. New York: Berghahn Press. 

2008 Whatever Happened to Empathy? (co-editor with C. Jason Throop). Ethos 36. 

2008 Being There: On the Imaginative Aspects of Understanding Others and Being Understoood. Ethos 36:475-489.


Ethnopsychology and psychoanalysis; psychiatric and medical anthropology; person-centered ethnography; Indonesia, Oceania.

Current Courses by Term

2020 Fall Quarter

Mind, Medicine, and Culture

2021 Winter Quarter

Introduction to Psychological Anthropology: Current Topics and Research

Teaching Apprentice Practicum