I am a social anthropologist and Buddhist studies scholar interested in gender and religion, dissemination of knowledge and moral values, social justice and wellbeing, charismatic power(s) of monastic practitioners, and more recently on how natural disasters have affected Buddhist communities and their interactions with both local and international humanitarian organisations in creating civil society. I am fluent in vernacular Myanmar and Japanese (my first degree was in Spanish though) and have conducted research on the Buddhist monastic community in Myanmar for the last 25 years. My most recent publication is Renunciation and Empowerment of Buddhist Nuns in Myanmar-Burma (2013 Brill) http://www.brill.com/renunciation-and-empowerment-buddhist-nuns-myanmar-burma
Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan; Buddhist issues in the contemporary world; Buddhist nuns and female monasticism; Buddhism and political process; spiritual well-being and the application of mindfulness in Asian societies; anthropology of Buddhism
Part One World Religions: Buddhism
PPR 240 Contemporary Issues in Asian Religions
PPR 354 Reading Buddhism
PPR 470 Sudying Religion
PPR 478 Buddhism and Society
I studied international relations and politics as an undergraduate student in Japan and then social anthropology as a postgraduate student in the UK. I spent a few years in Myanmar to study Buddhism and lived as a Buddhist nun for 16 months.
I taught at Sophia University in Japan before coming to the UK and was Evans Fellow at Cambridge University for three years before coming to Lancaster University.
I organized a workshop titled: 'Gender, Buddhism, Development Actors and Civil Society (23-24 February 2013) in Sagaing, Myanmar, and hosted it with Dr Monica Lindberg Falk, Director of the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University, Sweden, and the Gender Equality Network (GEN) in Myanmar.
I was invited to take part in an international conference titled 'Buddhism and the Political Process' at the University of Toronto in Canada (13-15 April 2012). It was funded by the Tung Lin Kok Yuen Foundation.
I co-organized an international conference: ‘Asian Religious Values and Social Justice’ at Lancaster University (26-28 September 2011)
I worked on a project; 'Buddhism and Violence', for the summer of 2010 at the Institute of Asian Culture, Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. I gave several public talks related to the project.
I was awarded Numata Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies in 2009 and taught a semester in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
Research output: Book/Report/Proceedings › Scholarly edition
Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings › Chapter (peer-reviewed)
Research output: Book/Report/Proceedings › Monograph
Activity: External academic engagement › Research and Teaching at External Organisation
Activity: Business and community › Work on advisory panel to industry or government or non-government organisation
Activity: External academic engagement › Invited talk