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Dr. Brett Esaki to Join Religious Studies

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Brett Esaki (Ph.D. ’12, UC Santa Barbara) will be joining the Department of Religious Studies faculty in the fall semester of 2014. Dr. Esaki writes, “I am an ethnographer of Asian American and African American religions, focusing on historic and contemporary transformations of American religion through artistic exchanges between ethnic groups. I examine these exchanges to create thick descriptions of social structures, which reveal the development of selfhood and community under oppression, the experience of religious practice, and the hybridization of religions such a Buddhism, Christianity indigenous religions, and contemporary spirituality.” We anticipate that Dr. Esaki will offer courses in American religions; religion & ethnicity; Asian religions; religion and the arts; religion and popular culture; religion, race and sexuality; and American experiences of migration. We also look forward to Dr. Esaki’s contributions to our growing religion and public life program.

His most recent publication is “Multidimensional Silence, Spirituality, and the Japanese American Art of Gardening,” in the Journal of Asian American Studies vol. 16, no. 3 (October 2013).

Dr. Esaki is currently a postdoctoral Teaching Associate and Central Michigan University. Welcome, Dr. Esaki!