Associate Professor Thomas M. Malaby 


Thomas M. Malaby

Thomas M. Malaby, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
College of Letters and Sciences
Office: Sabin 325
Phone: (414) 229-5247
e-mail: malaby[at]uwm[dot]edu
blog: Terra Nova

curriculum vitae


Welcome to my UWM personal site. I am a sociocultural anthropologist, and my principal research interest is in the relationships among institutions, unpredictability, and technology. I tackle this intersection through research on games and game-like processes in social life. Other areas of interest include social theory, modernity and institutional legitimacy, and performance theory. My first book, Gambling Life: Dealing in Contingency in a Greek City (University of Illinois Press), explored human attitudes toward risk and chance through an examination of the practice of gambling in Crete.

My forthcoming book, Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life (Cornell University Press, forthcoming May 2009), is an ethnographic examination of Linden Lab and its relationship to the virtual world it has created, Second Life.

I am an author at the blog Terra Nova, and my research papers in progress can be found via my author page at the Social Science Research Network.

At UWM, I typically teach the large lecture course of Anthropology 102 in the spring, and my other course is usually an upper-level course on a specific theoretical or ethnographic topic.

Selected Articles and Essays:

Beyond Play: A New Approach to Games. Games and Culture 2(2):95-113. Available here (subscription required).

Command Lines: Control & Contingency Online. Introduction to Command Lines: The Emergence of Governance Online, Sandra Braman and Thomas Malaby, eds. In Preparation. Available here.

Parlaying Value: Capital in and beyond Virtual Worlds. Games & Culture 1(2):141-162, Spring 2006. Available here (subscription required).

Spaces in Tense: History, Contingency, and Place in a Cretan City. In The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories, K. Brown and Yannis Hamilakis, eds. Pp. 171-190. Ranham, MD: Lexington Books. 2003.

The Currency of Proof: Euro Competence and the Refiguring of Value in Greece. Social Analysis 47(1):42-52, Spring 2003.

Odds and Ends: Risk, Mortality, and the Politics of Contingency. Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry, September 2002, 26(3):283-312.


Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Lab and Second Life. Forthcoming May 2009, Cornell University Press.

Gambling Life: Dealing in Contingency in a Greek City. University of Illinois Press, 2003.
Illinois Press website listing
Amazon listing

UWM Affiliations

Center for 21st Century Studies

B.A. in Global Studies


Spring 2009

Anthropology 561: Ethnographic Research Methods
F 9:30a-12:10p, Sabin 281

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