Ph.D., Comparative Human Development
2017 • University of Chicago
Thesis: Making Monks, Making Men: The Role of Buddhist Monasticism in Shaping Northern Thai Identities
Committee: Jennifer Cole (Chair), Richard Shweder, Steven Collins, & Nancy Eberhardt (Outside Reader)
M.A., Comparative Human Development
2010 • University of Chicago
Thesis: Sowing the Seeds of American Buddhism: Hybridization and Notions of Monkhood at a Chicago Thai Temple
Committee: Jennifer Cole (Chair), Bertram Cohler
B.A., Psychology (cum laude)
2006 • University of Missouri–Columbia
Thesis: Motivational Links among Goal Orientation, Implicit Theories, Lay Dispositionism and Social Comparison
Advisor: Ronald Friedman
Chladek, Michael R. 2018. “Imagined Laity and the Performance of Monastic Selves in Northern Thailand.” Buddhism, Law & Society. 3(1): 157–190.
Friedman, Ronald S; Cooper, M Lynne; Chladek, Michael R; Rudy, Duane. 2007. “Investigating the Link between Validation Seeking and Lay Dispositionism.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 33(4): 463–475. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167206296298
Chladek, Michael R. Under Review. “Defining Manhood: Monastic Masculinity and Effeminacy in Contemporary Thai Buddhism.” Rian Thai: The International Journal of Thai Studies.
Chladek, Michael R. 2017. “Review of Cassaniti, Julia, Living Buddhism: Mind, Self, and Emotion in a Thai Community.” H-Buddhism, H-Net Reviews. http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=49465
Chladek, Michael R. 2015. “A Review of Moral Personhood in a Globalizing World: Dyadic Perspectives in Rural and Urban Thailand, by Jessica McKenzie.” Dissertation Reviews. http://dissertationreviews.org/archives/12724
Qualitative Research Methods, Instructor
2018 (Spring) • University of Chicago
Graduate seminar giving an overall of multiple qualitative research methods, focusing largely on participant-observation ethnography and narrative interviews. Students both read about using these methods and practice them by putting together a small research project that is developed and executed over the course of the term.
Anthropology of Religion, Health, & Healing, Instructor
2018 (Spring) • University of Chicago
Seminar course for undergraduate students focusing on how religion and religious experiences shape understandings of mental and physical health. The first half focuses on the body and how people discipline and alter their bodies to experience religion in particular ways. The second half focuses on how mental disorders like schizophrenia, depression, and addiction are made sense of in relation to religious experience.
Morality across the Life Course, Instructor
2018 (Winter) • University of Chicago
Advanced seminar course for undergraduate students. Read and discussed psychological and anthropological texts on how morality develops in children and adolescents in different cultural contexts as well as how moral personhood changes through adulthood, older life, and what it means to have a morally good death.
Gender, Sexuality, & Religion, Instructor
2018 (Winter) • University of Chicago
Advanced seminar course for undergraduates. Discussed largely anthropological texts and ethnographic monographs on how religions shape the experience of genders and sexualities as well as how gender and sexuality shape the experience of religion in various cultural and religious contexts. Students conducted a small independent research project related to the course’s themes for the final.
Self, Culture, & Society, Instructor
2015 (Spring) • University of Chicago
Introductory discussion based undergraduate course of 18 students. Read foundational social science texts on issues of self, gender, and race. Worked with students on improving writing skills.
Writing Research Proposals in the Social Sciences, Instructor
2015 (Winter) • University of Chicago
Undergraduate course for students writing a BA honors thesis. Helped students develop skills necessary to conduct independent research in the social sciences. Topics covered included doing literature reviews, developing an engaging research question, determining appropriate methods, and navigating institutional review boards.
BA Thesis Advisor, Department of Comparative Human Development
2014–2015 • University of Chicago
Advised about 40 undergraduate students on fulfilling departmental requirements. Acted as liaison between students and the undergraduate chair. Worked with department and university staff and advisors on improving course offerings and advising undergraduate students.
Self, Culture, & Society, Teaching Intern
2011–2012 • University of Chicago
Discussion based course of about 20 students focused on reading core texts within the social sciences, particularly anthropology and human development. Aided professor in leading discussion and grading papers, assisted undergraduate students with reading comprehension and essay assignments, and held regular office hours.
Problems of Policy Implementation, Teaching Assistant
2011 (Spring) • University of Chicago
Led weekly discussion sections of 10–15 students. Assisted undergraduate students with research projects on particular policy implementations. Constructed final exams, and graded final exams and research papers.
Introduction to Human Development, Teaching Assistant
2010 (Fall) • University of Chicago
Led bi-weekly discussion section of 20–25 students. Lectured one class of about 100 students. Assisted undergraduate students with ethnographic and life narrative research projects, and graded essay assignments.
Research Scientist (Senior Research Associate, 2018–2019), Clinical Outcomes Solutions
Work with pharmaceutical companies to develop and validate patient-reported outcome (PRO), observer-reported outcome (ObsRO), and clinician-reported outcome (ClinRO) measures qualitatively through interviews and surveys
Research Assistant, Departmental Self-Study, Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago
Collaborate with faculty and multiple offices throughout the university to collect information about the department, its faculty, and its students. Research the history of the department. Develop and administer a survey of current and former students. Analyze the survey data and communicate the findings back to department faculty. Assist in writing the final report.
Ethnographic Research, Northern Thailand
Conducted participant-observation research at government schools and Buddhist temples across northern Thailand, including ordaining as a Buddhist monk for about nine months. Recorded, transcribed, and coded for major themes in-depth, unstructured interviews with teachers, monks, novices, parents, and students
Ethnographic Research, Chicago, Illinois
Conducted participant-observation research at a Thai Buddhist temple in Chicago. Conducted structured interviews with monks and lay followers, which I transcribed and coded for major themes
Research Assistant, National Opinion Research Center (NORC), University of Chicago
Worked on a national, longitudinal, population-based, and NIH-funded study on the interactions among physical health, cognitive function, emotional health, and relationship/sexual satisfaction among older adults. Tasks included questionnaire development, literature reviews, and data analysis
Director: Sara Leitsch
Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, New York University
Assisted doctoral candidate with dissertation research on gender identity development by coding and analyzing video data of mother-child interactions. Investigated the relationship between knowledge of gendered language and gender-typed play behavior in children
Director: Diane Ruble
Research Assistant, Memory and Cognitive Aging Laboratory, University of Missouri–Columbia
Conducted experiments and analyzed data in the area of human cognition and memory. Specifically looking at divided attention, specific interference, inhibition, and aging. Assisted in managing subjects and fiscal matters
Director: Moshe Naveh-Benjamin
Research Assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri–Columbia
Conducted experiments and coded data in the area of social-cognition. Focused on two main areas: motivation for creativity and effects of alcohol priming
Director: Ronald S. Friedman
Grants, Awards, & Honors
2016–2017, William Rainey Harper Dissertation Year Fellowship. Division of the Social Sciences, University of Chicago.
2015–2016, Dissertation Fellowship. Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, University of Chicago.
2015, Gianinno Dissertation Fellowship. Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago.
2014, Bernice Neugarten Award. Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago.
2012–2014, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. National Science Foundation.
2012, Rynerson Research Fund. Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago.
2011, Empowering Network for International Thai Studies (ENITS) Scholarship. Institute for Thai Studies, Chulalongkorn University.
2011, Lemelson/SPA Student Fellowship. Society for Psychological Anthropology.
2010, Usha Maha Jani Award Nomination. Southeast Asia Summer Studies Institute (SEASSI), University of Wisconsin–Madison.
2010, Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. University of Wisconsin–Madison.
2010, Pre-Dissertation Travel Fellowship. Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), University of Chicago.
2009, Tuition Fellowship. Southeast Asia Summer Studies Institute (SEASSI), University of Wisconsin–Madison.
2009, Summer Language Study Fellowship. Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), University of Chicago.
2018, Making Monks, Making Men: Adolescent Development and Buddhist Monasticism in Northern Thailand. California State University, Sacramento, February 5.
2016, Queering Buddhism: How Young Monks Enact and Change Buddhism and Masculinity in Northern Thailand. Washington State University, Pullman, WA, April 4.
2015, Coming of Age in Institutions: Youth, Gender, and Bureaucratic Subjectivity. Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA, April 12.
2018, Internalizing Thainess: Moral Education in a Northern Thai Monastery. Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Washington, DC, March 22.
2017, Becoming a “Good Enough” Monk: Youth’s (In)ability to Embody Buddhist Monastic Ideals in Thailand. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, December 3.
2017, Does Religion Mitigate Uncertainty? Aimless Agency and Accepting Unknowable Futures among Young Buddhist Monks. Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meeting, New Orleans, LA, March 12.
2016, “Nothing is Certain”: How Young Buddhist Monks Enact Aimless Agency and Unknowable Futures in Northern Thailand. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, November 18.
2016, Asymmetrical Orientations to the Buddhist Monastic Code: Imagined Laity and the Performance of Monasticism in Northern Thailand. Buddhist Law and State Law in Comparative Perspective, University at Buffalo, September 30.
2016, Buddhist Monasticism in Thailand and the Processing of Morality through Gender | Publics | Panics. Gender, Publics, Panics in the Global South, University of Chicago, May 6.
2015, Buddhist Novice Monks Learning & Resisting Monastic Expectations in Northern Thailand. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 22.
2014, Constructing Lanna Buddhism in Contemporary Northern Thailand. Council on Thai Studies Annual Meeting, University of Wisconsin–Madison, October 18.
2014, Why Understanding Buddhist Monasticism is Important for Understanding Gender/Sexuality in Thailand. International Thai Studies Conference, University of Sydney, April 23.
2012, Recent Media Depictions and Popular Imaginings of the Relationship between Buddhist Monasticism and Manhood in Thailand. SEASSI Student Conference, University of Wisconsin–Madison, July 28.
2012, Becoming a Man: Effeminacy and the Guarding of Buddhist Masculinity in Thailand. Engendering Change Gender and Sexualities Conference, University of Chicago, April 27.
2011, “Are you a Man?": Buddhist Monkhood and the Construction of Masculinity in Thailand. Council on Thai Studies Annual Meeting, University of Wisconsin–Madison, October 8.
2011, Buddhist Monkhood as a Site for the Construction of Ideal Masculine Agents of Change in Thailand. Society for Psychological Anthropology Biennial Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, April 2.
2010, Translating Buddhism: Monks as Mediators at a Chicago Thai Temple. SEASSI Student Conference, University of Wisconsin–Madison, July 24.
2010, Sowing the Seeds of American Buddhism: Hybridization at a Chicago Thai Temple. Comparative Human Development Conference, University of Chicago, May 7.
2015, Panel on Institutions. Comparative Human Development Annual Student Conference, University of Chicago, May 8.
2016, “Are You a Man?": The Role of Buddhist Monasticism in Shaping the Moral Contours of Thai Masculinity. Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop, University of Chicago, October 4.
2015, Becoming Like Diamonds: Novice Summer Camps, Being Riaproi, and Adjusting Selves. Theory and Practice of South Asia, University of Chicago, October 29.
2015, Finding “The Middle”: Negotiating Ideals of Monastic Aesthetics and the Construction of Identity in Northern Thailand. Theory and Practice of South Asia, University of Chicago, February 19.
2014, Learning to Dress: How Young Buddhist Monks Convey Gender, Sexuality, & Morality With Their Robes. Gender and Sexuality Studies Working Group, University of Chicago, October 21.
2011, Activist Monks and Gay Monks: The Buddhist Sangha as a Site for Political and Social Change in Thailand. Comparative Human Development Workshop on Culture, University of Chicago, January 11.
2008, Children’s Knowledge of Gendered Words: A Test of Self-Socialization Theories of Gender Development. Gender Development Research Conference, San Francisco, CA, April.
2006, A Motivational Link between Implicit Theories and Lay Dispositionism. Psi Chi Midwestern Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, May.
2006, Motivational Links among Goal Orientation, Implicit Theories, Lay Dispositionism and Social Comparison. Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference, Stanford University, May.
University & Community Service
2014–2018, IT Administrator. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.
April 2017, Discussant. African Studies Workshop.
2014–2018, Graduate Student Mentor. Comparative Human Development.
May 2011, Coordinator. Comparative Human Development Conference.
2010–2012, Coordinator. Buddhist Studies Group.
2009–2010, Treasurer. Human Development Student Association.
2009–2010, Coordinator. Comparative Human Development Workshop.
2008–2010, Representative. Graduate Student Activities Committee, University of Chicago.
2017–Present, Web Developer. Chicago Justice Project, Chicago.
2013–2018, Advisor. Charity School Project for Disadvantaged Youth, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
2012–2014, Translator (Thai-English). FutureSense Foundation, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
2012–2014, English Language Tutor. Various Schools & Temples, Northern Thailand.
2009–2012, English Language Tutor. Wat Phrasriratanamahadhatu Buddhist Temple, Chicago, IL.
2009–2012, Treasurer. University of Chicago Student Buddhist Association.