Alan Klima Wins 2020 Bateson Prize

Professor Klima was recently awarded the Bateson prize for his new book!
About Professor Alan Klima’s research and his award-winning book, Ethnography #9:

From Duke University Press’s website: "As Alan Klima writes in Ethnography #9, “there are other possible starting places than the earnest realism of anthropological discourse as a method of critical thought.” In this experimental ethnography of capitalism, ghosts, and numbers in mid- and late-twentieth-century Thailand, Klima uses this provocation to deconstruct naive faith in the “real” and in the material in academic discourse that does not recognize that it is, itself, writing. Klima also twists the common narrative that increasing financial abstractions in economic culture are a kind of real horror story, entangling it with other modes of abstraction commonly seen as less “real,” such as spirit consultations, ghost stories, and haunted gambling. His unconventional, distinctive, and literary form of storytelling uses multiple voices, from ethnographic modes to a first-person narrative in which he channels Northern Thai ghostly tales and the story of a young Thai spirit. This genre alchemy creates strange yet compelling new relations between being and not being, presence and absence, fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and reality. In embracing the speculative as a writing form, Klima summons unorthodox possibilities for truth in contemporary anthropology.”


Book Cover imageFrom the Society for Cultural Anthropology’s (SCA) website: "One of anthropology’s most distinguished thinkers, Gregory Bateson (1904–1980) and his diverse body of work are emblematic of what the SCA was founded to promote: rich ethnographic analysis that engages the most current thinking across the arts and sciences. Welcoming a wide range of styles and argument, the Gregory Bateson Book Prize looks to single out work that is theoretically rich, ethnographically grounded, and in the spirit of the tradition for which the SCA has been known: interdisciplinary, experimental, and innovative.”