Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across politics, international relations, philosophy and religion.
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 three decades. 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 I have also edited Budddhisn, International Relief Work, and Civil Society (2013 Palgrave Macmillan) and Buddhism and the Political Process (2016 PM).
I lead a programme of research in the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) focused on the transmission of ideas, beliefs and values in social context. My research interests include the theorization of space and place; the interrogation of religious and political spaces; spatial metaphors in religious and political discourse; the relationship between religion and non-religion; the 'secular sacred'; media representations of religion; and religion and its intersections with migration, diasporas, diversity and ethnicity.