Professor Hiroko Kawanami is currently senior lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion and have taught at Lancaster University for 22 years.
She was trained as a social anthropologist at London School of Economics, University of London, where she received her PhD in 1991. She designed a degree course on Anthropology of Religion in the Department of Religious Studies and taught it for almost ten years before the Department merged with Politics and Philosophy in 2010.
She is generally known as a specialist in Myanmar studies, but have conducted a variety of cross-cultural research in Southeast Asia (Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand), East Asia (Japan and Taiwan), and South Asia (Bangladesh and India).
Her research methodology is based on extensive fieldwork embedding myself in the local contexts, using her language competence and adopting a ‘ground-up’ approach rather imposing a ‘top down’ theoretical model.
In recent years, she has worked as visiting professor at the Nanzan University (2007) and Sophia University (2010) both in Japan, and taught as Numata Visiting Professor at McGill University in Canada (2009).
She has also contributed to a series of e-lectures on Women in Buddhism at Hamburg University in Germany. She has published a monograph, edited and co-edited three books, and published more than forty papers.