SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS EXPERTS
Helen Hardacre is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society at Harvard University. She teaches a variety of courses on Japanese religions, including early modern and contemporary Japanese religions, Shinto, and folk religion, and specialized seminars such as Shinto and the Arts, State Shinto, and the Ise Shrines. In the fall of 2013, she will teach a General Education course titled "Animated Spirituality," addressing the intersections of contemporary Japanese popular culture and religious life. She served as Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (1995-98) and is a member of the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. Hardacre earned her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1980 and has done extended field study of contemporary Shinto, Buddhist religious organizations, and the religious life of Japan's Korean minority. Her current research projects include a book-length study of Shinto history.