Asian Studies

The University of Alabama


Do More with Asian Studies! Our Affiliated Faculty can help you inside and outside the classroom.


Michael Altman

Dept. of Religious Studies
Ph.D. Emory University
American constructions of Asia
As an Assistant Professor, Dr. Altman research focuses on American responses to representations of Asia in the nineteenth century, particularly emphasizing Asian religions. His current research examines cultural constructions of Hinduism in 19th-century America. Beginning with American interest in India in the early republic and ending with the World’s Parliament of Religion in 1893, Dr. Altman argues that Hinduism had an impact on American culture earlier than scholars have previously thought and that the ways Americans imagined the Hindu other shaped concepts of what counted as religion in America. Dr. Altman is currently at work on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Imagining Hindus: India and Religion in Nineteenth-Century American Culture.


Koji Arizumi

Japanese program
DMA The University of Alabama
Japanese literature and language
The Director of the Critical Languages Center, Dr. Arizumi teaches in the Japanese program.  His areas of interest include Japanese language, literature, and film.

Nikhil Bilwakesh

Dept. of English
Ph.D. City University of New York
Asian American literature
As an Associate Professor, Dr. Bilwakesh holds a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. His academic interests include nineteenth-century American literature, Asian American literature, film studies, and the essay. He is currently working on a book about pre-Civil War American cosmopolitanism.


Suma Ikeuchi

Dept. of Religious Studies
Ph.D. Emory University

Dr. Ikeuchi examines in her research the intersection of transnational migration and the globalization of religion through a case study of Brazilian Pentecostal migrants in Japan. Her primary areas of interest include identity formation, nationalism, the self, Global Christianity, Japanese religions, and ethnographic methods. She also employs visual methods in her work; her recent ethnographic film was selected for screening at a film festival..


Nathan Loewen

Dept. of Religious Studies
Ph.D. McGill University

Dr. Loewen’s primary areas of research and publication include a focus on globalizing discourses within the philosophy of religion and the emerging confluence between Religious Studies and Development Studies. His work on globalizing discourses has incorporated fieldwork in India with various communities. He regularly teaches the Survey of Asian Religions course as well.


Di Luo

Dept. of History
Ph.D. Ohio State University
Modern Chinese History
Dr. Luo is a specialist in the history of modern China with particular focus on the period from the twentieth century. Her research focuses on the relations among state, society, and individual, and the interplay between ideology and practices. She is currently working on a manuscript about literacy in the first half of twentieth-century China..


Cathy Pagani

Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Assistant to the Provost, Dept. of Art and Art History
Ph.D. University of Toronto
Chinese Art
Dr. Pagani came to The University of Alabama from Canada in 1993. She is a prolific scholar of Asian Art whose research can be found in over 35 articles and has been the topic of several publications. She is the author of Eastern Magnificence and European Ingenuity: Clocks of Late Imperial China, Chinese Opium Boxes and The First Emperor of China co-authored with R.W.L. Guisso. In conjunction with her scholarship Dr. Pagani is a widely sought-after lecturer who has presented her research on countless occasions at nationally and internationally respected colleges, universities and professional organizations.



Sonya Pritzker

Dept. of Anthropology
Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
Chinese Art
Dr. Pritzker is a medical and linguistic anthropologist whose research focuses on the management and expression of emotion in China, the development of Chinese medical psychology in the U.S. and China, and the translation of Chinese medicine in the U.S. Her book, Living Translation: Language and the Search for Resonance in U.S. Chinese Medicine, was published in 2014. Prior to her doctoral studies in anthropology, she completed her masters training in Chinese medicine and has been a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine since 2002. She is involved in several national and international organizations focused on the development of integrative medicine in the U.S. and beyond.


Steven Ramey

Dept. of Religious Studies
Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Contemporary religions of India
Dr. Ramey’s primary research focuses on the contemporary formation of religious practices in contexts of migration, particularly analyzing the contestations surrounding subgroups within a religion. He is continuing extensive research with people from the region of Sindh who assert a clear Hindu identification but whose practices, which incorporate Hindu deities and texts, the Guru Granth Sahib of Sikhism, and Sufi Muslim saints, lead others to question the Hindu identification of the Sindhis. He is also researching South Asian religions in the southeastern United States, especially focusing on Indo-Caribbean Hindus and Sindhi Hindus in this context. He uses the case of the Sindhi Hindus, Indo-Caribbean Hindus, and other subgroups to analyze the ways religious boundaries are constructed and contested in both academic studies and contemporary societies and the impact of those processes on minority groups. He participates in an international collaborative, Culture on the Edge, and is a regular contributor to its blog.


Lesley Jo Weaver

Dept. of Anthropology
Ph.D. Emory University