University of California, Santa Barbara: Doctoral program in Anthropology (Chancellor’s Fellow). Fall 2011 – present.
My dissertation explores amateur applied mycology (a.k.a., DIY or “radical” mycology) in the SF Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest. My research focuses on answering the questions: What kind of science is DIY mycology? How are fungi encountered by participants? What is the origin of the significance of fungi for participants and how is this related to their social and technoscientific practices? My interest in this subculture draws on my background in the anthropology of secularity and contemporary spirituality in North America, particular as it relates to countercultural lineages in California.
Hebrew University: Masters Degree in Cultural Studies. Fall 2004 – Winter 2007.
At Hebrew University, I wrote a thesis on the American community of Neo-Hasids in and around Jerusalem based on two years of field work at two yeshivot (religious schools). I explored how their idea of “spirituality,” born out the particular concerns and discourses of American counterculture, was fused with Orthodox Jewish practice and Hasidic philosophy. I was especially interested in the political dimensions and the problematization of subjectivity among students.
University of Michigan: Graduated with high honors. Spring 2000 – Spring 2003.
I finished my undergraduate degree with a dual major in Asian Studies (concentration: Japan) and Urban Studies. I spent a year abroad at the University of Kyushu in Fukuoka where I studied Japanese language, literature and history.
2011-2016 Chancellor’s Fellowship Award
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- “American Neo-Hasids in the Land of Israel,” May 2010, Nova Religio: the Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions (Volume 13, #4).
- “Renew our days of old: Neo-Hasidic Americans imagine past and future in Israel.” Presented at “Old Time Religion,” Stanford Graduate Student Conference. May 17-18, 2013, Palo Alto, California.
- “Cultivating the future with amateur applied mycologists.” Presented at “Religion, Science and the Future,” a conference sponsored by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. January 14-17, 2016, Gainesville, Florida.
- “Wonder and DIY mycology: the affective dimension of a countercultural science.” For presentation at “Wonder and the Natural Word,” a conference hosted by the Consortium for the Study of Religion, Ethics, and Society (CSRES) at Indiana University Bloomington. June 20-23, 2016, Bloomington, Indiana.
SOME NON-ACADEMIC WRITING
- “Gone, but Not Forgotten [Travel pieces on Oaxaca],” four articles in a series about time I spent in Oaxaca, Mexico, in Souciant (online magazine).
- “Serve and Defy: Some Thoughts on Krishnacore,” an article looking at the subgenre of hardcore punk known as Krishnacore, which fuses straightedge punk and Krishna Consciousness, in Souciant (online magazine).
MycoWorks: Communications Consultants, part-time. Managing social media, public relations, and communications. San Francisco, California. April, 2016 – present.
University of California, Santa Barbara: Teaching Assistant / Lead Teaching Assistant, Introductory Anthropology (Sociocultural), part-time (20 hours/week). Guest lectured on new religious movements and secularism Winter quarter, 2013. Goleta, California. September 2012 – June 2013.
Taube Center for Jewish Life and The Hub, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco: Jewish Program Coordinator, full-time (40 hours/week); Substitute Hebrew Teacher (when needed). San Francisco, California. July 2008 – May 2010.
HEBREW: fluent, spoken and written, especially after a glass of wine, which I’ll need after you ask me about my time in Israel. Intensive ulpan at Hebrew University; language exemption exam passed in 2005.
ARABIC: rudimentary conversational (Levantine), primarily a mix of Fairuz love songs and shouk necessities; beginner-intermediate (Modern Standard), written.
FRENCH: intermediate, written; beginner-intermediate, spoken. Two quarters of French for Reading course at UCSB. I am forever learning and forgetting French. C’est tres Sisyphean, c’est la vie.
SPANISH: beginner-intermediate (Mexican Spanish), spoken.
JAPANESE: was once intermediate-advanced, spoken and written. Two years university study and one year at Fukuoka University in Japan, 2000 – 2001, many years ago now.