World-class faculty from across  the disciplines

Directors

Mark Csikszentmihalyi

Mark Csikszentmihalyi writes on pre-modern Chinese thought, and is author of Material Virtue: Ethics and the Body in Early China and Readings in Han Chinese Thought. He began his career in the Department of Religion at Davidson College, and is editor of the Journal of Chinese Religions, former Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, and was a contributing Editor for the Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition. At Berkeley, he teaches Confucianism and Daoism in the context of early Chinese society, chairs the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and co-founded the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion. On leave 2015-16.
East Asian Languages and Cultures

Jonathan Sheehan

Jonathan Sheehan is an historian of early modern European religion, science, scholarship, and philosophy.  He is the author of The Enlightenment Bible: Translation, Scholarship, Culture (Princeton, 2005), and, with Dror Wahrman, of Invisible Hands: Self-Organization in the Eighteenth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2015). His articles on secularism, Enlightenment, and early modern religious culture have appeared in Past & Present, the American Historical Review, the Journal for the History of Ideas, and Representations. On leave 2015-16.
History

ADVISORY BOARD

Karen Barkey

Karen Barkey is faculty in Sociology with expertise in Comparative Historical Sociology, Political Sociology and Religion. Her main area of interest at this stage is in issues of coexistence and diversity in imperial settings as models for contemporary discussions. Her main project is on Shared Sacred Sites.
Sociology

Charles Hirschkind

Charles Hirschkind is faculty in the department of Anthropology. His research interests concern religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the Middle East, North America, and Europe. He gives particular attention to diverse configurations of the human sensorium, and the histories, ethics, and politics they make possible.
Anthropology

Niklaus Largier

Niklaus Largier is the Sidney and Margaret Ancker Professor of German and Comparative Literature. He is affiliated with UC Berkeley’s Programs in Medieval Studies and Religious Studies, the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. Largier is currently working on two projects: a book on imagination, practices of figuration, aesthetic experience, and notions of possibility, tentatively entitled “Figures of Possibility;” and a book on the history of practices and the poetics of prayer (with David Marno).
German and Comparative Literature

David Marno

A native of Hungary, David Marno received his PhD in Comparative Literature at Stanford in 2011, and since then he’s been in the English Department at UC Berkeley where he teaches English Renaissance poetry and drama. His research focuses on the intersections of literature and religious practice. He’s currently completing his first book about John Donne’s devotional poetry and the idea of a “holy attention.”
English

STAFF

Rebecca Dizon

Rebecca Dizon is the Office Coordinator for the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, supporting the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, The Program in Critical Theory, and the Digital Humanities at Berkeley. She ​graduated from UC Berkeley in 2016 with a degree in Cognitive Science.
Office Coordinator

Patty Dunlap

Patty Dunlap is the Program and Grants Coordinator for the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research. She previously served in Corporate and Foundation Relations on campus, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for nearly two decades prior. Patty graduated from UC Irvine with a BA and MBA in Psychology, and now lives her husband, dog, and four children.
Program and Grants Coordinator

Breana George

Breana George is a Program Coordinator for UC Berkeley’s Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, an interdisciplinary research management unit supporting the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and The Program in Critical Theory.
Program Coordinator

Sam Mountain

Sam Mountain is a student assistant for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and The Program in Critical Theory. He is a first-year student at the University, and intends to double major in Political Science and Statistics.
Student Assistant, Communications

Khai Thu Nguyen

Khai Thu Nguyen is the Associate Director of The Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research (CIR). She has directed language and student affairs programs at UC Berkeley Extension, coordinated faculty teaching support at Center for Teaching and Learning, and served as a lecturer. Her multi-national theater productions and research have been funded by Fulbright-Hays, UC Pacific Rim, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy. Her writings appear in Neoliberalism and Global Theatres, Portrayals of Americans on the World Stage, and Asian Theatre Journal. Khai holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from UC Berkeley.
Associate Director

Brandon Schneider

Brandon Schneider is the Communications, Events and Student Affairs Coordinator for the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, supporting the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and The Program in Critical Theory.
Event and Student Affairs Coordinator

Leitha Thrall

Leitha Thrall is an Interim Program Coordinator for the Consortium for Interdisciplinary Research, the UC Berkeley management unit supporting The Program in Critical Theory and the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion.
Interim Program Coordinator

Beverly Yan

Beverly Yan is a student assistant for the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion and The Program in Critical Theory.
Student Assistant, Communications

Visiting and Postdocs

Sarah Bakker Kellogg

Sarah Bakker Kellogg (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, 2013) is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on the intersection of religion, politics, and the performing arts. Using the methodological tools of sound studies and the anthropology of voice, she conducts on-going ethnographic fieldwork among Middle Eastern Christian refugees and immigrants who have settled in the Netherlands. This research has yielded several distinct projects, on which she has presented and published widely. These projects include investigations into Dutch secularism’s roots in anti-Enlightenment theocracy; racialization as the ethics and aesthetics of religious difference in Europe; gender, kinship, and ethics in the Syriac liturgical tradition; the secular construction of the category “ethnicity,” and the politics of intra-Christian and inter-faith activism globally. She has previously taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of California, Santa Cruz and at San Francisco State University. During the 2017-2018 academic year, she will be completing her book manuscript, Liturgical Song in an Age of Political Calamity: Registers of Recognition in the Syriac Christian Diaspora, with funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship. Representative publications can be found here. link: https://berkeley.academia.edu/SarahBakkerKellogg
Visiting Scholar

Steven Barrie-Anthony

Steven Barrie-Anthony (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara) is a researcher, writer and consultant in the area of religion/spirituality and public life. He focuses on the rapidly growing category of people who choose not to identify with particular religions—the so-called religious “nones”—and on their innovative contributions to community formation and civic, political and philanthropic life. He also works in the areas of spirituality and the media, technology and medicine; American mystical and metaphysical religion; and new religious movements.

His academic publications have appeared in numerous scholarly volumes, and he has presented his research at national meetings of the American Anthropological Association, the American Academy of Religion and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He is currently at work on a book about a particular network of American young adults who eschew “religion” yet who clearly embrace a shared “spirituality,” with a focus on their nontraditional experiments in public life.

Barrie-Anthony has written more than 100 popular essays and articles for publications such as the Los Angeles Times and TheAtlantic.com. He was formerly a staff writer for the LA Times where he covered technology and its personal and social impacts and also wrote about art, architecture, the movie business, literature, the media, crime and politics. His Times pieces were often reprinted in newspapers across the U.S. and internationally. He blogs occasionally for The Huffington Post.

Visiting Scholar

Claudio Ferlan

I took a degree in Law (1999) and in History (2003) and I completed my PhD in Early Modern History (2006) at the University of Trieste. I have held fellowships from Alpen-Adria Universität (Klagenfurt 2006), Karl-Franzens Universität (Graz 2007), Max Planck Institute for Legal History (Frankfurt am Main 2013) and I have been visiting Scholar at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris 2016). Since 2008 (2011 full-time) I am researcher at the Bruno Kessler Foundation, Italian German Historical Institute. As adjunct professor, I teach a course in in History of Historiography at the University of Trent (2014 Atlantic History, 2015 Food History).
My broad areas of research are religious history in the early modern age, Jesuit studies and food history.

My current research explores the historical concept of Patchwork Religion as a spiritual experience characterized by the coexistence of elements from different traditions, religions, exoteric and spiritual movements. In this field of research, I am especially interested in history of food and food habits (ecclesiastical fast, table behaviors, beverages and drunkenness) as essential features of the negotiation between individuals and cultural models.

Visiting Scholar

Jason Sexton

Jason S. Sexton is a BCSR visiting fellow through June 2018. He has taught at Cal State Fullerton for the last three years, where he is the Pollak Library Faculty Fellow and edits the UC Press-published, Boom California. He holds the Ph.D. from the University of St. Andrews, and has written widely in the areas of California studies, prison studies, religious studies, and contemporary theology. He has written The Trinitarian Theology of Stanley J. Grenz (Bloomsbury) and edited Theology and California: Theological Refractions on California’s Culture (Routledge). He is currently writing a book that gives an interdisciplinary theological account of the incarcerated church.
Visiting Fellow

Yunus Doğan Telliel

Yunus Doğan Telliel is the Berkeley Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Theology for the 2017-18 academic year. He recently completed his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at the City University of New York – Graduate Center. He serves on the steering committees of the “Contemporary Islam” and “Science, Technology, and Religion” groups in the American Academy of Religion. At BCSR, Telliel will be working on a book manuscript, tentatively titled What is the Language of Islam?, in which he examines the politics of secularism and religious difference in Turkey, through the lenses of language and translation. He also has a long-standing interest in debates around science and religion, and will be completing an article charting possible future collaborations between science and technology studies and critical secularism studies.
Postdoctoral Fellow

Affiliated Faculty

Asad Q. Ahmed

Asad Q. Ahmed is associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the Dept. of Near Eastern Studies. He specializes in pre-modern Islamic social and intellectual history.
Near Eastern Studies

Robert Alter

Robert Alter is currently Professor of the Graduate School and Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature. He has done extensive work on literary aspects of the Hebrew Bible and has translated, with a commentary, about two-thirds of the Hebrew Bible. Alter has research and teaching interests in modern Hebrew literature and in the European and American novel.
Hebrew and Comparative Literature (Emeritus)

Kenneth A. Bamberger

Kenneth A. Bamberger is professor of law; co-director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. At Berkeley, Bamberger teaches Administrative Law, the First Amendment (Speech and Religion), Technology and Governance, and Jewish Law. He researches the ways that governments, private actors, and technology combine to “regulate” behavior, and ways to safeguard the exercise of that governance power. He publishes widely on government regulation and decision-making, as well as corporate compliance, with a particular focus on the regulation of technology and on Information Privacy.
Law

Mary Elizabeth Berry

Mary Elizabeth Berry is a specialist on premodern Japanese history. Her teaching includes attention to Buddhism, Confucianism, and Shinto. Her current research on consumption in the seventeenth century explores the contemporary religious discourse in these traditions concerning wealth, poverty, and charity.
History

Benjamin Brinner

Ben Brinner, Faculty Director of the Center for Jewish Studies, is a professor in the Department of Music. Musical aspects of Muslim and Jewish religious beliefs and practices are central to his courses on music in the Middle East. He has conducted research in Indonesia and Israel since the 1980s. In addition to Playing Across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters, he has written two books on Javanese gamelan music and is currently finishing a third, dealing with expert memory for music.
Music

Daniel Boyarin

Daniel Boyarin is the Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor of Talmudic Culture, faculty in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric, Affiliated Member Department of Women’s Studies, Member of core faculty in the minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies and of the graduate group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, and the designated emphasis in Women, Sexuality, Gender Studies, as well as the core faculty of the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture. He was awarded with a Doctorate Degree in 1975 from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America upon completion of his dissertation on A Critical Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Nazir.
Near Eastern Studies and Rhetoric

Lara Buchak

Lara Buchak is an associate professor of philosophy. Her primary interests are in decision and game theory, particularly in how an individual ought to take risk into account when making decisions; in philosophy of religion, particularly on the nature and rationality of faith; and in epistemology, particularly on the conditions under which one ought to stop looking for more evidence and make a commitment.
Philosophy

Carolyn Chen

Carolyn Chen received her doctorate in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2002. Prior to teaching at Berkeley, she was Associate Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, where she served as Director of the Asian American Studies Program. She is author of the book Getting Saved in America: Taiwanese Immigration and Religious Experience (Princeton 2008) and co-editor of Sustaining Faith Traditions: Race, Ethnicity and Religion among the Latino and Asian-American Second Generation (NYU 2012). She is currently working on a book that examines the usage of Asian spiritual practices in Silicon Valley firms.
Ethnic Studies

John Connelly

Professor Connelly’s specialty is in twentieth century East Central Europe. His research interests include history of nationalism, socialism in the region, particularly intersections with ideology, including religious ideologies.
History

Jacob Dalton

Jacob Dalton is Associate Professor and Khyentse Chair in Tibetan Buddhism and works on Nyingma religious history, tantric ritual, early Tibetan paleography, and the Dunhuang manuscripts. He is the author of The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011).
East Asian Languages and Culture

John Efron

John Efron is the Koret Professor of Jewish History in the Department of History and specializes in the cultural and social history of German Jewry. His work has focused on the German-Jewish engagement with medicine, anthropology, and antisemitism and he has written on subjects such as Jewish burial, circumcision, and dietary practices.  His book Sephardic Beauty and the Ashkenazic Imagination: German Jewry in the Age of Emancipation,  (2015) presents a study of modern German Jewry’s attraction to the aesthetics of medieval Sephardic Jewry.
History

Susanna Elm

Susanna Elm is Professor of History and Classics, with a specialization in the social and cultural history of the later Roman empire. Her current interests focus on the relation between slavery and theology, especially in the work of Augustine of Hippo. Her works include Virgins of God: the Making of Asceticism in Late Antiquity, and  Sons of Hellenism, Fathers of the Church: Emperor Julian, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the Vision of Rome.
History

Victoria Frede

Victoria Frede, History Department, Russian intellectual history of the late 18th and 19th centuries. Research interests include the transferal of French and German philosophical ideas to Russia; atheism and heterodox religious thought in Russia; Orthodoxy; friendship in intellectual circles, behavioral norms, and political loyalties among the elites.
History

Beate Fricke

Beate Fricke teaches European Medieval Art. Her research focuses on the history of images and their veneration, relics, reliquaries and manuscripts, using perspectives from cultural anthropology, history of the natural philosophy and theology. Her first book, Ecce fides. Die Statue von Conques, Götzendienst und Bildkultur im Westen (Fink, 2007), is going to be published under the title Fallen Idols, Risen saints: Sainte Foy of Conques and the Revival of Monumental Sculpture in Medieval Art in the series “Studies in the Visual Cultures of the Middle Ages” (Brepols, 2014). She is currently working on her second book, Beautiful Genesis: Creation, Procreation and Mimesis, which investigates how the emergence of life is reflected in painting, as well as in late medieval writings.
History of Art

Erich Gruen

Erich Gruen, emeritus from three departments: History, Classics, and Jewish Studies, with special interests in ancient ethnicity, Hellenistic Judaism, and cultural interconnections in the ancient Mediterranean.
History, Classics, and Jewish Studies

William Hanks

William Hanks is a linguistic anthropologist who works on the history of Catholic missions among Maya people of colonial Yucatan Mexico, the relation between religious conversion and translation, and modern Maya shamanism.
Anthropology

Ron Hassner

Ron Hassner is an associate professor of political science and co-director (with Steven Fish) of the Religion, Politics, and Globalization Program. His interests are international conflict, sacred space, religion in the military and religion in 20th-century contemporary warfare.
Political Science

David A. Hollinger

David A. Hollinger, Professor Emeritus of History, studies the intellectual, religious, and ethnoracial histories of the United States. His current work is focused on Protestant liberalism in the 20th century, especially in relation to foreign missions.
History

Steven Justice

Steven Justice is Professor of English at UC Berkeley and at the University of Mississippi. He works on a long stretch of writing in Christian latinity from late antiquity to the later middle ages.
English

Victoria Kahn

Victoria Kahn is Hotchkis Professor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature. She works on the literature and political theory of the early modern period, with a longstanding interest in political theology.
English, Comparative Literature

Abhishek Kaicker

Abhishek Kaicker is a historian of South Asia and Assistant Professor in the History Department. He is interested in questions of politics, culture, and the city in the Mughal empire and the early modern world more broadly.
History

Diliana Angelova

Professor Angelova’s main research focus is Early Christian and Byzantine art. Her scholarship concerns the intersection of two basic issues: continuity and change in the realm of ideas, and the role of women in ancient societies.
History, Art History

Duncan MacRae

Professor MacRae studies the religious and intellectual history of the Roman Republic and Early Empire.
Classics

Henrike Christiane Lange

Henrike Christiane Lange is an historian of art and literature. Professor Lange’s interests focus on the visual and textual arts and languages in the Renaissance and on the historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Italian Studies, Art History

Stanley A. Klein

Stanley A. Klein is a Professor of Vision Science and Optometry and a member of the Berkeley Visual Processing Laboratory.
Vision Science

Jeffrey Knapp

Jeffrey Knapp is the Ida Mae and William J. Eggers, Jr. Chair in English at Berkeley. His primary fields of study are Renaissance English literature and Twentieth-Century American Film. Religion has been a central topic in nearly every one of Knapp’s publications, including Shakespeare’s Tribe: Church, Nation, and Theater in Renaissance England (University of Chicago Press, 2002), and “‘Sacred Songs, Popular Prices’: Secularization in The Jazz Singer” (Criticial Inquiry, 2008).
English

Thomas Laqueur

Thomas Laqueur has written about working class religion and cultural change during the English industrial revolution and about spiritualism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His forthcoming book on the work of the dead engages both local questions about churches and the care of the dead and the anthropology of religion in deep time.
History

Margaret Larkin

Professor Larkin’s work is focused on Arabic literature, and in particular a subset of it that deals with the stylistic inimitability of the Qur’an (i’jaz al-Qur’an). Her first book (The Theology of Meaning:  ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani’s Theory of Discourse) was on a major theorist in this field, ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani (d. 1078 or 1082), and she has taught seminars on i’jaz al-Qur’an a number of times. Larkin has also taught Introduction to Islam as the introductory course in the Religious Studies program here at Berkeley.
Near Eastern Studies

Rita Lucarelli

Rita Lucarelli is Assistant Curator of Egyptology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology of the University of California, Berkeley and Fellow of the Digital Humanities in Berkeley. She is presently completing a monograph on demonology in ancient Egypt and she is one of the coordinators of the Ancient Egyptian Demonology Project. Her research interests include religion, magic and science in ancient Egypt and in Antiquity, ancient Egyptian funerary literature, demonology in ancient Egypt and Antiquity, Digital Humanities and Egyptology.
Near Eastern Studies

Sara Magrin

Sara Magrin is an assistant professor in the department of Classics. She works on ancient philosophy, and particularly on Hellenistic and post-Hellenistic philosophy. Her primary interests lie at the intersection of epistemology and moral psychology. Her current research focuses on Plotinus’ account of human motivation and, more broadly, on ancient analyses of the distinction between rational and non-rational forms of cognition and desire.
Classics

Saba Mahmood

Professor Mahmood received her PhD in anthropology from Stanford University. She holds professional degrees in architecture and urban planning, and worked in these fields before pursuing anthropology. Professor Mahmood teaches graduate courses on secularism and secularity; violence and hope; human rights and sovereignty; ethics and politics; modern religious hermeneutics; subject formation; and modern anthropological theory. Her undergraduate courses focus on sexuality and gender; feminist theory and postcolonialism; anthropology of the Middle East and Islam; anthropology of religion; and ethnographic research and methodology.
Anthropology

Angela Marino

Ph.D., New York University. Research areas are: Performance and Political Theory; Fiesta and Carnival of Latin/o America; Popular Performance; Theater History; and Latin American Studies. Marino is co-editor of Festive Devils in the Americas in Richard Schechner’s Enactments Series (Seagull Press, distributed by University of Chicago Press, 2015) and is published in the Latin American Theater Review (2008), Harvard Revista (2014), e-misférica Journal of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (2013) and Cultural Anthropology (2014). She is currently writing a book on Populism and Performance. Marino is also advisor to the Teatro at Cal project and coordinator of the Luis Valdez Regent’s Lectureship in 2014.
Theater, Performance Studies, Latin/o American Studies

Christopher Ocker

Christopher Ocker is Professor of Church History at the San Francisco Theological Seminary and chair of the Department of the Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. His monographs include Biblical Poetics before Humanism and Reformation (Cambridge), Church Robbers and Reformers in Germany (Brill), and Johannes Klenkok: A Friar’s Life, c. 1310-1374 (American Philosophical Society). His many articles treat the history of biblical interpretation, the history of Jewish-Christian conflict, Reformation theology, and religious conflict in the Middle Ages. He was the coordinating editor of the two-volume Festschrift for Thomas A. Brady, Jr., Histories and Reformations (Brill), associate editor of the New Westminster Dictionary of Church History (Westminster John Knox), an editor of The Journal of the Bible and Its Reception, and a member of the editorial boards of the series Studies in Medieval and Reformation Traditions (Brill) and The Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
History

Manuel Duarte de Oliveira

Manuel Oliveira is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Near Eastern Studies of UC Berkeley. Before coming to the US, he co-founded the Institute for Human Studies and Intelligent Sciences. He has served in the European Commission as Expert in the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes and in the current Horizon 2020 in Economics and Human Sciences, and as Member of the Ethics Panel in Science, Economy and Society. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, at the Columbia University School of Law, and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Center for the Study of World Religions, the Center for Jewish Studies, and the Kennedy School of Government. He works in the fields of Modern Jewish Thought, the Abrahamic Religions, and the complex relations between Judaism and Christianity.
Near Eastern Studies

Stefania Pandolfo

Stefania Pandolfo studies theories and forms of subjectivity, and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world, investigating narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and postcolonialism, madness and mental illness. Her current project is a study of emergent forms of subjectivity in Moroccan modernity at the interface of “traditional therapies” and psychiatry/psychoanalysis, exploring theoretical ways to think existence, possibility and creation in a context of referential and institutional instability and in the aftermath of trauma, based on ethnographic research on spirit possession and the “cures of the jinn”, and on the experience of madness in a psychiatric hospital setting.
Anthropology

Mark Peterson

Mark Peterson is a professor of history who works on colonial British America and the Atlantic world. Most of his work is centered on the making of New England’s political economy and culture, and therefore attends closely to the puritan movement and its evolution in American settings. He is also interested in the relationship between religion and material culture.
History

Christine Philliou

Christine Philliou, associate professor, specializes in the political and social history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey and Greece as parts of the post-Ottoman world. Her book, Biography of an Empire: Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution (University of California Press, 2011) examines the changes in Ottoman governance leading up to the Tanzimat reforms of the mid-nineteenth century. It does so using the vantage point of Phanariots, an Orthodox Christian elite that was intimately involved in the day-to-day work of governance even though structurally excluded from the Ottoman state. Her current work turns to the political, personal and intellectual/artistic itinerary of the Turkish writer Refik Halit Karay (1888-1965). Her interests and other publications have had to do with comparative empires across Eurasia, various levels of transitions from an “Ottoman” to a “post-Ottoman” world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and political and cultural interfaces in the eastern Mediterranean, Middle East, and Balkans in the early modern and modern eras. This fall she is teaching a seminar on the post-Ottoman World, and next semester a graduate seminar on comparative empires, “The Ottoman Empire and its Rivals.”
History

Joanna Picciotto

Joanna Picciotto is Associate Professor with the English Department at Berkeley. She is the author of Labors of Innocence in Early Modern England (2010) and editor of “Devotion and Intellectual Labor,” a special issue of The Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 44.1 (2014).
English

Diego Pirillo

Diego Pirillo (Ph.D., Scuola Normale Superiore) is Associate Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and affiliated faculty in the Center for the Study of Religion, in the Institute of European Studies, in the Program in Critical Theory, as well as in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies. He has been a fellow at several institutions, including Villa I Tatti (the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), The UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies, The John Carter Brown Library, the Newberry Library, The Rare Book School at UVA. He specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of early modern Europe, with an emphasis on Italy and England. His research interests include the history of religion, the history of information and communication, the intellectual history of modern and contemporary Italy with particular attention to philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
Along with several articles and book chapters, he is the author of Filosofia ed eresia nell’Inghilterra del tardo Cinquecento: Bruno, Sidney e i dissidenti religiosi italiani (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 2010) and (with O. Catanorchi) of Favole, metafore, storie. Seminario su Giordano Bruno (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2007). His new book The Diplomacy of Refugees: Venice, England and the Reformation (forthcoming with Cornell University Press) is the first systematic study dedicated to the role played by religious refugees in early modern international relations. Using a broad range of sources (archival records, diplomatic and mercantile letters, visual material, literary texts and marginalia) The Diplomacy of Refugees brings to light the many diplomatic functions performed by religious refugees (as intelligencers, go-betweens, cultural brokers, negotiators and representatives) and recovers the complexity of early modern diplomacy in an age in which states did not have a full monopoly on international relations. Among his most recent articles are ‘Espionage and Theology in the Anglo-Venetian Renaissance’ in Mediterranean Studies (in press) and ‘Renaissance Peace Movements’, in A Cultural History of Peace (Bloomsbury Publishing, in press).
Italian Studies

Alexander von Rospatt

Alexander von Rospatt is Professor for Buddhist and South Asian Studies, and director of the Group in Buddhist Studies. He specializes in the doctrinal history of Indian Buddhism, and in Newar Buddhism, the only Indic Mahayana tradition that continues to persist in its original South Asian setting (in the Kathmandu Valley) right to the present. His first book sets forth the development and early history of the Buddhist doctrine of momentariness. His new book “The Svayambhu Caitya and its Renovations” deals with the historical renovations of the Svayambhū Stupa of Kathmandu. Based on Newar manuscripts and several years of fieldwork in Nepal, he reconstructs the ritual history of these renovations and their social contexts. This book complements numerous essays Prof. von Rospatt has authored on various aspects of this tradition, including its narrative literature, and its rituals and their origins and evolution. He currently has two related monographs under preparation, one dealing with the mural paintings and other visual depictions of the Svayambhupurana, the other with the life-cycle rituals of old age as observed among Newars and other South Asian communities.
South and Southeast Asian Studies

Ethan Shagan

Ethan Shagan is an historian of early modern Britain in particular and early modern Europe more generally. His work most often focuses on the interpenetration of religion and politics, and more broadly the contested space of religion in the early modern world. His most recent book, The Rule of Moderation (Cambridge, 2011), explored how and why the ubiquitous discourse of moderation, the golden mean, and the religious via media in early modern England functioned as an ideology of control and a tool of social, religious, and political power. In his current project, entitled The Problem of Belief in Early Modern Europe, he is exploring how the Reformations of the sixteenth century threw the category of “belief” into crisis, changing its meanings and forcing it to bear extraordinary new weight under which it eventually collapsed. This attention to the category rather than the content of belief, and his claim that belief was a problem rather than a stable backdrop against which other problems occurred, challenges the framework with which scholars have considered the emergence of “unbelief” while at the same time challenging any attempt to imagine “belief” in the past as an irreducible constant or a motor of historical change.
History

Robert Sharf

Robert Sharf is D. H. Chen Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. He received a B.A. in Religious Studies (1979) and an M.A. in Chinese Studies (1981) from the University of Toronto, and a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from the University of Michigan (1990). His graduate work included study in Japan; he was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Research into the Humanities (Jinbun Kagaku Kenkyūjo) at Kyoto University, and also conducted fieldwork at Kōfukuji in Nara (1985-87). He works primarily in the area of medieval Chinese Buddhism (especially Chan), but he also dabbles in Japanese Buddhism, Buddhist art, ritual studies, and methodological issues in the study of religion.
East Asian Languages and Cultures

Francesco Spagnolo

Francesco Spagnolo, a multidisciplinary scholar focusing on Jewish studies, music and digital media, is the Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life and a Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a host for the cultural programs of Italian National Radio (RAI) in Rome. His research interests include the study of liturgy (texts, sounds, music, architecture, material culture, body language) and synagogue life in the global Jewish Diaspora, with a particular focus on Italy and the Mediterranean since the early-modern period; the emergence of Jewish musical revival movements in Europe since the 19th century; and music in Israel.
Music

Yuri Slezkine

Yuri Slezkine works in Russian history, with an interest in Soviet millenarianism.
History

Ann Swidler

Professor Swidler works in Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Religion, Political Sociology, and Global and Transnational Sociology. Her research has focused on American religion (co-author, Habits of the Heart) and on competing forms of the sacred in congregational religion, chieftaincy, and international human rights organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sociology

Ivonne del Valle
Spanish and Portuguese

Niek Veldhuis

Niek Veldhuis, Professor of Assyriology, Department of Near Eastern Studies. Director of the Digital Corpus of Cuneiform Lexical Texts (http://oracc.org/dcclt). Main research interests: literature, scholarship and religions of ancient Mesopotamia.
Near Eastern Studies