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Carolyn Wargula

Assistant Professor of Art & Art History
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About Carolyn Wargula

Carolyn Wargula is Assistant Professor of Art History. She is a specialist of Japanese Buddhist art with a focus on the materiality and intermediality of textiles, the social significances of the body, and the role of gendered ritual practices. Her forthcoming book project, Embodied Embroideries: Gender, Agency, and the Body in Japanese Buddhism, examines the mortuary practice of hair embroidery from the late twelfth- to the seventeenth-centuries to consider how the medium appealed particularly to women as a means to achieve enlightenment and to circumnavigate doctrinal teachings concerning the impurities of the female body.

At Bucknell University, Professor Wargula offers courses on the arts of East Asia which span from ancient to contemporary periods. She also teaches upper-level seminars on the role of intercultural exchange in the arts of China, Korea, Japan. She considers the classroom to be a vital space for rethinking and decolonizing the art canon and aims to show the ways a critical analysis of the past can help us better understand our shared present moment.

Professor Wargula was born in Japan and grew up in Okinawa and Sendai before moving to the United States at the age of sixteen. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and conducted archival research at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto as a Japan Foundation Dissertation Fellow. Prior to Bucknell, Professor Wargula taught courses on East Asian Art at Williams College. For the 2023-2024 academic year, Professor Wargula will join Yale University as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Council on East Asian Studies.

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317 Holmes Hall