Associate Professor, Religious Studies
current focus: collective and ritual creativity associated with social protest movements in urban Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
Old Main, 102
Erik Davis studies and teaches about Buddhism, Asian religions, and the theory of religion. His work has moved from focusing on funerary ritual in contemporary Cambodian society, the subject of his 2015 book "Deathpower," to his current focus: collective and ritual creativity associated with social protest movements in urban Cambodia and Southeast Asia.
He was president of the Thailand/Laos/Cambodia Studies group of the Association of Asian Studies (2010-2013), and currently serves on the Religion in Southeast Asia committee in the American Academy of Religions.
Currently, Erik is writing a book on past life memory accounts in Cambodia from a social perspective, with the working title "Past Life Present, Tense." He is also working on a comparative analysis of 'deathpower', called "How To Do Things With Dead People." He is a contributing member of the Asian Studies, Critical Theory, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies faculties, as well as a member of the Industrial Workers of the World.
Erik received his B.A. at Macalester College (1996), his M.A. at the University of Washington in Seattle (2000), and his doctorate at the University of Chicago Divinity School (2009).
Spring 2017 -- On sabbatical