Carolyn Wargula is a PhD student specializing in pre-modern Japanese art in the History of Art and Architecture Department at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research concerns the patronage, materiality, and ritual function of female Buddhist devotional art from the Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura Period (1185-1333). Since women were prohibited from entering sacred spaces or attaining salvation in the Western Paradise, many female patrons incorporated their own hair or the Buddha’s relics within Buddhist embroideries, sculptures, and architectonic reliquaries to establish close karmic ties with the deity. Her dissertation examines how ritual practices associated with these objects allowed women to subvert patriarchal Buddhist doctrine and heighten their position in this life and the afterlife.
MA: University of Pittsburgh
MA Thesis: “Legitimizing Miidera Temple: The Animated Fudō Icon and Reemergence of Abe no Seimei in the Fudō riyaku engi emaki handscroll”
BA: St. John’s University
Honors Thesis: “The Tale of Genji Handscrolls: Recontextualizing Female Identity”
“Nihon bijutsu shiryō no gurōbaru na kyakutaika he mukete” (日本美術資料のグローバルな客体化へ向けて) (“Towards a Global Realization of Japanese Art Data”) with Cordula Treimer and Junglee Moon, in JAL Project 2015, 103-111.
“Takashi Nagai: Hope for a Defeated Nation.” Diakonos: A Journal of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies 3 (2010): 67-71.
Henry Luce Foundation Grant, 2016
Graduate Paper Prize, Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies (MARAAS), 2015
Taiwan-United States Sister Relations Alliance (TUSA) Fellowship, 2014
Provost’s Humanities Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 2013-2014
“Towards a Global Realization of Japanese Art Data,” JAL (Japanese Art-Librarians Project), The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan November 2015
“From Recipient to Patron: Strands of Women’s Devotion in Embroidered Esoteric Buddhist Images,” Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies, Pittsburgh, PA October 2015