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
RST 100 World Religions: Buddhism
PPR 252 Buddhism and Modernity in Asian Societies
PPR 354 Reading Buddhism
PPR 475 Construction of Gender in Asian Religions
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.
Recent Activities and Grants
I was elected Secretary of UK Association for Buddhist Studies (July 2014).
I was awarded the Robert H N Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Grant in Buddhist Studies to conduct research on 'Communal jurisdiction of non-ordained female renunciants in the Southern Buddhist tradition.'
I gave an e-lecture on Women and Buddhism Initiative at Hamburg University, Germany (June 2014).
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.
Research output: Book/Report/Proceedings › Book
Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings › Chapter (peer-reviewed)
Research output: Book/Report/Proceedings › Monograph
Activity: Awards › Fellowship awarded competitively
Activity: Conference participation › Participation in conference
Activity: External academic engagement › Invited talk