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Alan Klima

Alan Klima


Wing Chair

319 Young Hall Department of Anthropology
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, California 95616, USA

Fax: (530) 752-8885

Office Hours for FALL 2013 :

  • Wednesday 2-3 PM : email appt. recommended



1996 Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, Princeton University
1988 M.A., Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
1987 B.A., Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

Research Interests
My research has concerned pro-democracy activism in Thailand, military massacre, and the representation of death in Buddhism, public media and political ritual.

Currently my research concerns the formation of “global moralities” and their political effects as they are furthered in and through local and national communities. In particular, I am concerned with the local application of global moralities of finance, including ideas and practices of debt, reason, and haunting in Thailand since the currency crash of 1997. My film Ghosts and Numbers and current ethnographic writing project, entitled The Nextworld, concern local money-lending, gambling, and other irregular financial instruments among small-time local organizations in Thailand, including spirit-mediumship and other religious phenomena connected with money. I am currently also exploring what I call "The Meditation Machine," a social bio-feedback mechanism in which meditation practice is being reformulated in cultures of Biomedicine and Education.

Recent Publications

2010 Ghosts and Numbers. Documentary Educational Resources: 68 min. (Director, Cinematographer, Writer)

2007 “Ghosts, Numbers, and the Real” in Ghost Entertainment - Entitled: Magazine for the International Exhibit, Goethe Institute: 21-26.

2006  “Spirits of ‘Dark Finance’: A Local Hazard for the International Moral Fund” Cultural Dynamics 18(1): 33-60.

2004 “Thai Love Thai: Financing Emotion in Post-crash Thailand” Ethnos 69(4):445-464.

2002 The Funeral Casino: Meditation, Massacre, and Exchange with the Dead in Thailand. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

2001 “The Telegraphic Abject: Buddhist Meditation and the Redemption of Mechanical Reproduction.” Comparative Studies in Society and History, 43(3):552-582.

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Dept. of Anthropology

328 Young Hall
One Shields Ave.
University of California
Davis, Ca 95616-8522

Ph.  530-752-0745
Fax. 530-752-8885