University of Washington

KEYES, Charles F.

Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology and Jackson School of International Studies 

Appointed:  1965.


  • B.A. 1959 (with "  high distinction"  ), Anthropology and Mathematics, University of Nebraska.
  • Ph.D. 1967, Anthropology, Cornell University.

Teaching Specializations: Anthropological study of religion; Theravada Buddhism and society; ethnicity; ethnographic field methods; areas: mainland Southeast Asia.

Field Experience/Research/Awards:

  • Field Research in Thailand: 9 years total beginning in 1962 through 2010 on economy, development and culture; ethnic group relations, religion and modernity; politics of the past; supported by the Ford Foundation, National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and the University Washington
  • Field Research in Laos and Vietnam: total of about one year beginning in 1989 and continuing through 2000 on ethnic relations and relationship between Laos and Thailand; supported by the Ford Foundation, Fulbright, and the University Washington
  • Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand, honorary PhD, 2004
  • International Thai Studies Conference: invited keynote speaker, in Amsterdam (1999); in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand (2002); in Bangkok, Thailand (2008)
  • University of Washington, Graduate Mentoring Award (one awarded each year) (2003)
  • Association for Asian Studies, elected vice president (2000-2001) and president (2001-2002)
  • Visiting appointments at the University of Social Sciences, National University of Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, Department of Anthropology, visiting lecturer (2009); Mahasarakham University, Thailand, Affiliate faculty member (2005-2008); Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden, Visiting Professor, 2004; Copenhagen University, Visiting Research Professor (1999); National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan, Visiting Professor (1997-98); Harvard University, Center for the Study of World Religions, Visiting Scholar (1984-85)

Recent Publications:

  • (ed. with Shigeharu Tanabe) Cultural Crisis and Social Memory: Modernity and Identity in Thailand and Laos. Richmond, Surrey, UK: Routledge Curzon (2002).
  • “‘The Peoples of Asia’: Science and Politics in Ethnic Classification in Thailand, China and Vietnam,” Journal of Asian Studies, 61.4: 1163-1203, November, 2002.
  • “The Politics of Language in Thailand and Laos,” in Fighting Words: Language Policy and Ethnic Relations in Asia, ed. by Michael E. Brown and Šumit Ganguly. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003. Pp. 177-210.
  • “Monks, Guns and Peace: Theravada Buddhism and Political Violence,” Belief and Bloodshed, edited by James Wellman. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2007. Pp. 147-65.
  • “Ethnicity and the Nation-States of Thailand and Vietnam,” in Challenging the Limits: Indigenous Peoples of the Mekong Region, Prasit Leepreecha, Don McCaskill, and Kwanchewan Buadaeng, eds. Chiangmai, Thailand: Mekong Press, 2007. Pp. 13-54.
  • (ed.) On the Margins of Asia: Diversity In Asian States – Perspectives on Asia: Sixty Years of the Journal of Asian Studies, Ann Arbor: Association for Asian Studies, 2007.
  • “Buddhists, Human Rights, and Non-Buddhist Minorities” in Religion and the Global Politics of Human Rights [tentative title], ed. by Tom Banchoff and Robert Wuthnow. Oxford: Oxford University Press. In press.
  • “Communism, Peasants and Buddhism: The Failure of ‘Peasant Revolutions’ in Thailand in Comparison to Cambodia,” in Community and the Trajectories of Change in Cambodia and Thailand: Anthropological Studies in Honor of May Ebihara, ed. by John Marston. Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute. In Press.