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Graduate Fellowship News

Pamela Winfield, KCC-JEE Graduate Fellow in 2001 - 2002, has finished her Ph.D. at Temple University in the field of religious studies.  She is currently an Associate Professor at Elon University, and has published a book entitled Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism: Kukai and Dogen on the Art of Enlightenment.

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The KCC Japan Education Exchange Graduate Fellowships Program was established in 1996 to support qualified PhD graduate students for research or study in Japan. The purpose of the fellowship is to support future American educators who want to teach more effectively about Japan. One fellowship of $30,000 will be awarded. Applicants may affiliate with Kobe College (Kobe Jogakuin) for award year, if selected.

- 2023-2024 KCC-JEE Graduate Fellow -
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 John Ostermiller
Between piety and popularity:
cultural code-switching and Muslim migrant communities in Japan.

University of Nevada, Reno

John Ostermiller is an anthropologist of Japan, Islam, and migration whose work examines the challenges, experiences, and strategies that ethnic and religious minorities encounter in “secular” non-western societies. As a PhD candidate in the Anthropology Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, his dissertation investigates how a diverse community of Muslim migrants in Shizuoka, Japan, work, worship, and thrive in Japanese society.


Prior to coming to the University of Nevada, Reno, John completed his B.A. in anthropology at CSU Sacramento, where he participated in the “Hiroshima and Peace” program in 2012. John completed his Masters in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University of San Francisco, where he was a guest of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Kakehashi visiting scholar in 2017. His Masters research focused on the divergence between national narratives of Japanese cuisine and how Japanese culture and food are interpreted and consumed in Northern California communities.


As a doctoral candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno, John has earned a graduate certificate in the Gender, Race, and Identity program, and received fellowships and awards from the Department of Anthropology, Ozmen Institute for Global Studies, Nevada System of Higher Education University Regents and the UNR Dean of Graduates. At UNR John teaches multiple courses as a graduate instructor. These courses include Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Peoples and Cultures of the World; Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion; and the Anthropology of Islam. He is currently the lead for the UNR Foodways Project, a mixed methods study that seeks to improve university services and enhance students’ campus experiences by better understanding students’ dining habits and access to food on campus.

John’s dissertation research has received funding from the following sources: Kobe College Corporation-Japan Education Exchange Fellowship; Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant; the Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology Promise Award from the Department of Anthropology and the Ozmen Institute for Global Studies Research Grant at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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