Position title: Professor of History
Office: 5114 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 5030 Mosse Humanities
I am a historian of religion with research interests in the history of Buddhist ethical ideas and modern religious reform and social justice movements in Southeast Asia, Cold War Buddhism, colonial Buddhism, and religion and visual culture. Much of my work focuses on Buddhist ethics of care and/or “local” interpretations and expressions of Theravada Buddhist thought within larger transnational or transregional networks. My current projects include work on Buddhist visual ethics of care in nineteenth and twentieth century Cambodia, as well as a study of Buddhist temporality during the Cold War in modern Southeast Asia. I regularly teach courses on Buddhism, Asian religions, transnational religion, Southeast Asian colonialisms and modernities, and theory and method in the study of religion.
Ph.D., Harvard University
M.A., Harvard University
M.Div., Harvard Divinity School
B.A ., St. Olaf College
- “Poverty and the Poor in the Buddhist Tradition” (with Jordan Baskerville), in Poverty and the Poor in the World’s Religious Traditions: Religious Responses to the Problem of Poverty, pp. 110-148, edited by William H. Brackney and Rupen Das. (ABC-CLIO 2019).
- “Buddhist Communities of Belonging in Early Twentieth Century Cambodia,” in Buddhist Encounters with Modernity, Theravada Civilizations Project volume 1, edited by Steven Collins and Juliane Schober. (London and New York: Routledge Press, 2017).
- “Painting Ethics: Death, Love, and Moral Vision in the Mahāparinibbāna,” Journal of Religious Ethics 44.1 (2016): 17-50, 2016.
- “Buddhism in Modern Southeast Asia,” The Routledge Handbook on Southeast Asia, edited by Norman G. Owens, pp. 224-234 (Routledge Press, 2013).
- Institute for Research in the Humanities Residential Fellowship, University of Wisconsin Madison (Fall 2016)
- Faculty Development Grant, Practices of Care: Buddhist Ethics and Service Learning in Cambodia, University of Wisconsin Madison (Spring 2013)
- Vilas Associate Fellowship, Visualizing Love & Attachment: Buddhist Ethics of Care in Modern Southeast Asia, University of Wisconsin Madison (2011-2013)
- Graduate School Research Committee Award, Spiritual Friends: Ethics of Love and Attachment in Modern Buddhist Biography, University of Wisconsin Madison (2011-2012)
- National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Project Grant, Suffering and the Prophetic Past and Future in Cambodian Religion and Society: A Study of the Buddh Damnay (2000-2003)
- Harvard University Pluralism Project Grant (2003-2005)
- History/ReligSt/Asian 267 – Asian Religions in Global Perspective – Fall 2018 Course Description (pdf)
- History/ReligSt/Asian 308 – Introduction to Buddhism – Syllabus 2019 (pdf)
- History/ReligSt/Asian 438 – Buddhism and Society in Southeast Asian History
- History/ReligSt/Asian 547 – Religion, Colonialism and Modernity in Asia
- History 706- Topics in Transnational History: Transnational Religion and Social Justice Movements – Spring 2018