Barbara Ambros

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Barbara Ambros

Professor

EDUCATION

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002
M.A., Harvard University, 1995
M.A., Columbia University, 1993

RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Gender Studies
  • Human-Animal Relationships
  • Place and Space
  • Pilgrimage

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY

Barbara Rossetti Ambros is a professor in East Asian Religions in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research on Japanese Religions has focused on issues in gender studies; human-animal relationships; place and space; and pilgrimage.

She has published articles in journals such as the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, Monumenta Nipponica, Asian Ethnology, Material Religion, and Asian Cultural Studies. Her monographs include Women in Japanese Religions (New York University Press, 2015), Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012), and Emplacing a Pilgrimage: The Early Modern Ōyama Cult and Regional Religion (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008).

She has been serving as co-chair of the Animals and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religions since 2014. She served as the co-chair of the Japanese Religions Group at the American Academy of Religions from 2008 to 2014 and as the President for the Study of Japanese Religions from 2008 to 2011. She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, UNC’s Institute of Arts and Humanities, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the German Academic Exchange Service.

Before coming to UNC Chapel Hill, where she presently teaches, she taught at Columbia University in New York and at International Christian University in Tokyo. She holds a PhD in East Asian Civilization and Languages from Harvard University (2002), an MA in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University (1995), and an MA in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University (1993).

COURSES RECENTLY TAUGHT

  • RELI 073, From Dragons and Foxes to Godzilla and Pokemon: Animals in Japanese Myth, Folklore, and Religion
  • RELI 183, Asian Religions
  • RELI 184, East Asian Religions: The Religions of East Asia and the Environment
  • RELI 286, Premodern Japanese Religion
  • RELI 287, Modern Japanese Religions
  • RELI 586, Women and Gender in Japanese Religions

RECENT PUBLICATION

Women in Japanese Religions (New York University Press, 2015).

Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2012)

Emplacing a Pilgrimage: The Early Modern Ōyama Cult and Regional Religion (Harvard University Asia Center, 2008).