I study accounts of the human condition in early and medieval​ China as well as in traditional Hawaiʻi. I am interested in questions about vulnerability, resilience, and how human beings construe relationships with each other and the world we inhabit. 

This work is situated in the larger discourses of ritual studies, religious ethics, and in the growing field of Chinese philosophy.

I have two current research projects. The first looks at themes of grief and resilience in the work of Tao Yuanming (c. 365 - 427), a Chinese poet and intellectual. Utilizing the study of grief and mourning to talk about the loss of life and other meaningful things, I look at ways in which Tao coped with disappointment and disaffection as he left his post as a government official to farm his homestead.

My other research project examines Kanaka (Native Hawaiian) conceptions of what it means to be human. Funded by a New Directions Fellowship with The Mellon Foundation awarded in 2020, this project is in its initial stages.

Research Areas:

  • Confucianism; Ritual Theory; Religious Ethics; Theories of Religion; Chinese Thought

Research Interests:

  • Chinese religion; early Confucianism; the human condition; ritual theory; traditional Hawai'i
Language Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese, Religious Studies, Japanese
PhD, Harvard University, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, 2011
MTS, Harvard University, Master of Theological Studies, 2005
BA, Brigham Young University, History and Chinese, 2002