Douglas W. Hollan


Douglas W. Hollan

Distinguished Professor

Office: 306 Haines Hall


Phone: 310-825-3366

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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.

Awards & Grants

UCLA Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award (1995)

Boyer Prize, Society for Psychological Anthropology (2013)


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