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.
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 Understood. Ethos 36:475-489.
UCLA Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award (1995)
Boyer Prize, Society for Psychological Anthropology (2013)