Home > Research > Researchers > Hiroko Kawanami

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Hiroko Kawanami supervises 5 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

View graph of relations

Dr Hiroko Kawanami

Senior Lecturer

Hiroko Kawanami

Lancaster University

County South



Office Hours:


Please email me to make an appointment.   

Research overview

I am a social anthropologist and Buddhist studies scholar interested in gender and Buddhism, dissemination of knowledge and moral values, social justice and wellbeing, charismatic power(s) of monastic practitioners, and more recently on Buddhist orthodoxy and how heretical monks are created in Myanmar.

I am fluent in vernacular Myanmar and Japanese, can read classical Chinese and Pali, and have conducted research on the Buddhist monastic community in Myanmar for the last three decades. 

My most recent monographs are The Culture of Giving in Myanmar (2020 Bloomsbury) and Renunciation and Empowerment of Buddhist Nuns in Myanmar-Burma (2013 Brill) http://www.brill.com/renunciation-and-empowerment-buddhist-nuns-myanmar-burma  I have also edited Budddhisn, International Relief Work, and Civil Society (2013 Palgrave Macmillan) and Buddhism and the Political Process (2016 PM).

PhD supervision

Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Japan; Buddhist issues in the contemporary world; Buddhist nuns and female monasticism; Buddhism and the political process; spiritual well-being and the application of mindfulness in Asian societies; anthropology of Buddhism

Research overview

Current Teaching


RST 100 World Religions: Buddhism

PPR 252 Buddhism and Modernity in Asian Societies

PPR 364 Buddhism, State, and Political Monks  


PPR 470 Studying Reliigon (MA core module) 


Research Grants

Career Details

I taught at Sophia University in Tokyo before coming to the UK and was Evans Fellow at Cambridge University for three years before coming to Lancaster University.

Recent Activities and Grants

In 2014, I was awarded the Robert H N Ho Family Foundation Collaborative Grant in Buddhist Studies as a PI to conduct research on 'Communal jurisdiction of non-ordained female renunciants in the Southern Buddhist tradition.'

I attended PG workshops at York (April 2018), SOAS, and Oxford (June 2018) to mentor PhD students in SE Asian/Myanmar studies at their various stages of writing-up and gave seminar talks to PG students at Minzu University in Beijing and at Nanjin University (March 2019). 

Recent conference presentations include: AAS-in-Asia (Kobe 2020; Bangkok 2019; Kyoto 2016), IABS (Toronto 2017), SE Asian Congress (Oxford 2016), EUROSEAS (Oxford, 2017). 

I organized a workshop titled: 'Gender, Buddhism, Development Actors and Civil Society (23-24 February 2013) in Sagaing, Myanmar, hosting it with Dr Monica Lindberg Falk, Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies, Lund University in Sweden, and the Gender Equality Network (GEN) in Myanmar.

I founded Sakyadhita Thilashin Sathin-daik nunnery school in Sagaing, Myanmar in 1998 and 2018 marks its 20th anniversay.

Professional Role

I am currently Guest Editor of the Special Issue: 'Buddhism and Modernity in Asian Societies' for Religion

Fellow of the Amercian Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) since 2014.

Member of the editorial board of Buddhist Studies Review and Journal of Buddhism, Law & Society.

Associate Professor (status only) in the Department for the Study of Religion at University of Toronto (2018-2023).

View all (45) »

View all (34) »

View all (5) »