Born and raised in central New York State, life/work/school/travel from there to the Bronx to Fairbanks, Bethel and Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Dalian, China, Asheville, NC, Roanoke, VA, San Francisco, Seattle, Whidbey Island, WA, with sojourns, wanderings and fellowships in several other delightful places….All transdisciplinary, intercultural, hermeneutic and naturalistic in character.
I am the Director of the Doctoral College and Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Plymouth, where I also convene the Performance.Experience.Presence (P.E.P) research group.
Dr Maja Milatovic is Manager, Student Engagement and Internships, at the College of Global Studies, Arcadia University, Australia. Maja holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh (UK), a Master of Arts in Postmodern Fiction from Aberystwyth University (UK) and a Qualified Teacher degree in English and French Language and Literature from the University of Zadar (Croatia). She has previously published on international education, pedagogy, and equality and diversity issues in higher education. Her current research interests are located at the intersections of international education, human rights and pedagogy, with a special focus on disaster risk education and the role of teaching methodologies in preparedness and response activities.
Adam Schembri is Reader in Linguistics in the Department of English Language & Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, UK. He completed a PhD in linguistics at the University of Sydney in 2002, worked at the University of Bristol 2000-2002, at the University of Newcastle (Australia) 2003-2005, and at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London during 2006-2010, where he initiated the British Sign Language Corpus Project (www.bslcorpusproject.org). His research and teaching experience has encompassed a number of areas in sign language linguistics, including work on aspects of the lexicon, grammar and sociolinguistics of Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and British Sign Language. He is the co-author (with Trevor Johnston) of ‘Australian Sign Language (Auslan): An introduction to sign language linguistics’, and co-editor with Ceil Lucas of ‘Sociolinguistics and Deaf Communities’, both published by Cambridge University Press.
– Professor of Biblical Reception and Early Christian Literature. – Scientific Director of the Interdisciplinary Research School Authoritative Texts and Their Reception (ATTR) – Principal Investigator of ERC-project New Contexts for Old Texts: Unorthodox Texts and Monastic Manuscript Culture in Fourth- and Fifth-Century Egypt (NEWCONT) [2012-2016]
Early Modern Drama, English Renaissance, Korean Shakespeare, World Literature, Composition, Gender Studies
I specialize in East Asian religions with a focus on Buddhism in ancient Japan (seventh through ninth centuries). In the most general terms, my research challenges elite-centered narratives that have dominated scholarship on Japanese Buddhism and religious studies more broadly. In contrast, I study Buddhism as it was lived and practiced by individuals and communities from diverse backgrounds. My research and teaching are interdisciplinary; I engage scholarship in history, art history, literature, political science, and book history to explore issues related to ritual studies, material culture, and religion and the state. My first book, Ritualized Writing: Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan , examines the ritual practice of transcribing Buddhist scriptures (sutras). It questions the standard historical narratives of Japanese Buddhism, which have focused exclusively on the ways the state regulated and utilized religion for ideological purposes in the eighth century. Instead, I highlight the activities of individuals from a range of social classes and geographic regions in Japan to show that Buddhist practice was not limited to the throne and fulfilled a variety of social, political, and spiritual roles beyond ideological justification of imperial rule. The book introduces and translates a large number of previously unstudied archival sources in manuscript form, including scriptorium documents and colophons. It argues for a practice-based approach to ritual and reassesses scripture as a category constructed in part through ritual practices. My second book project focuses on provincial preaching in the ninth century. It considers the social and institutional networks that enabled Buddhism to flourish in ancient Japan, as well as the homiletic strategies and particular doctrines taught on the ground in local communities. It aims to overcome the “great man” approach that has dominated the study of early Heian-period (794-1185) Buddhism with most scholarship to date focusing on two esteemed monks, Kūkai (774-835) and Saichō (767-822). In contrast, my project explores the religious life of the nameless masses living and preaching in provincial villages using both manuscript and archaeological data. In addition to these book projects, I have published in English and Japanese on a variety of other topics including the nature and structure of East Asian Buddhist canons, nineteenth- and twentieth- century debates over the state’s position relative to religion, sutras produced in China, and the religious practices of scribes and patrons. I teach undergraduate and graduate students in courses on Japanese religions, mythology, Zen, Buddhism and literature, and theory and method. I completed my undergraduate studies at Middlebury College in Vermont with a double major in Japanese and Religion. After graduating, I spent two years in Japan as a Coordinator for International Relations on the JET program in Nagano prefecture. I did my graduate work at Princeton University and was a research fellow at Otani University in Kyoto from 2010-2011. I have also had extended stays in other parts of Japan including Yokohama, Nagoya, and Himeji. I have received generous support for my research from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright IIE, Japan Foundation, Vanderbilt University Research Scholars Grant, the International College for Postgraduate Buddhist Studies (Tokyo), and others. My 2012 dissertation won the Stanley Weinstein Prize awarded to the best Ph.D. dissertation on East Asian Buddhism written in North America during the two previous years. I also edit an online Guide to Shōsōin Research, where I blog about the Shōsōin. Interviews about my first book can be found in the Authorial Intentions podcast by Chris Benda and on the New Books Network with Luke Thompson.