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.

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2021-2022 KCC JEE Graduate Fellow 
Dylan Hallingstad O’Brien
The Work of Being Well:
Macrobiotic Philosophy and the Politics of Life
University of California, San Diego

Dylan Hallingstad O’Brien is a cultural anthropologist whose work examines the intertwining of philosophy and political participation in everyday Japanese life. As an undergraduate student at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota), O’Brien double-majored in East Asian Studies & Global Studies, with two minors in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. In 2014-2015, he studied abroad at Akita International University in Akita, Japan. In 2017, O’Brien began his PhD at the University of California, San Diego. For his doctoral work, he has been working with with chefs, organizers, teachers, and writers involved in the Japanese wellness philosophy of macrobiotics. His doctoral research specifically inquires into how current debates about key macrobiotic concepts are used to imagine a distinctly ‘macrobiotic’ community as an alternative to the ways that society produces illness and inequality.


O’Brien’s research and teaching are equally motivated by a commitments to collaboration and equity. At the University of California, San Diego, O’Brien directs the Anthropology Mentor-Protégé Program, which pairs undergraduate students with graduate mentors. Working to connect his research in Japan and teaching in America, O’Brien has presented his work to audiences in Japan, and in 2019, brought a macrobiotic speaker from Japan to speak at the University of California, San Diego. O’Brien aspires to teach Japanese culture and anthropology at the university level, while challenging students to study local issues of social justice through global perspectives.