Kendall, Laurel main content.

Laurel Kendall

laurelkendall

Curator of Asian Ethnology and Division Chair, Division of Anthropology
Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Phone:
212-769-5892
Fax:
212-769-5334

Education

  • Columbia University, Ph.D., 1979
  • Columbia University, M.Phil, 1977
  • Columbia University, M.A., 1976
  • University of California, Berkeley, A.B., 1969

Research Interests

A scholar of popular religion and its material manifestations in East and Southeast Asia, Dr. Kendall began her long acquaintance with South Korean life in 1970 as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, when a chance encounter with female shamans led her to subsequent anthropological fieldwork. Her Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion (University of Hawaii Press, 2009) offers a 30-year perspective on people described in Shamans, Housewives, and other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life (1985) and The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman (1988). In 2010, Korean colleagues awarded Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF the first Yim Suk Jay Prize recognizing a work of anthropology about Korea by a non-Korean.  In 2007 the International Society for Shamanic research gave Dr. Kendall a lifetime achievement award. 

Dr. Kendall’s recent work concerns the production and consumption of sacred objects in contemporary market economies, with fieldwork in South Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Bali. A special edition of Asian Ethnology (Volume 63-2, 2008) on this subject, guest-edited by Kendall, brings together the work of a joint research project with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology. Kendall has also written on gender, tradition and modernity, most notably in Getting Married in Korea (1996) and as the editor of Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class, and Consumption in the Republic of Korea (2002) and Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism, and Performance (2011).

At the American Museum of Natural History, Kendall has curated several exhibitions, including Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns, and Mermaids (2007) and Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit (2003), a unique collaboration with the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology that earned Kendall a Friendship Medal from the Government of Vietnam. Her most recent book, God Pictures in Korean Contexts: The Acquisition and Meaning of Shaman Paintings, is the product of an innovative collaboration with a Korean folklorist (Jongsung Yang) and an art historian (Yul Soo Yoon). Kendall is a former President of the Association for Asian Studies (2016-2017).

Publications

(Selected)

2015. With Jongsung Yang and Yul Soo Yoon. Gods Pictures in Korean Contexts: The Ownership and Meaning of Shaman Paintings. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

2011. Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity (ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

2009. Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

2004. With Alexia Bloch. The Museum at the End of the World: Travels in the Post-Soviet Russian Far East. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

2003. Co-edited with Igor Krupnik. Constructing Cultures Then and Now: Celebrating of Franz Boas and the Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology, 4. Washington DC: Arctic Studies Center.

2003. Co-edited with Nguyen Van Huy. Vietnam: Journeys of Body, Mind, and Spirit. Berkeley: University of California Press.

2001. Under Construction: The Gendering of Modernity, Class and Consumption in the Republic of Korea (ed.). Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

1996. Getting Married in Korea: of Gender, Morality, and Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press.

1994. Co-edited with Charles F. Keyes and Helen Hardacre. Asian Visions of Authority: Religion and the Modern States of East and Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

1988. The Life and Hard Times of a Korean Shaman: of Tales and the Telling of Tales. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

1985. Shamans, Housewives, and other Restless Spirits: Women in Korean Ritual Life. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.

Complete list of Laurel Kendall's Publications

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, since 1990
  • Special Lecturer, Academy of Korean Studies, Seoul, Korea, 2006
  • Visiting Professor, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania. 2000
  • Visiting Professor, L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 1999
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Southern California, 1988 Adjunct Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies Program, NYU, 1986-1988
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures, University of Kansas, 1981-1982

Courses Taught

  • Exhibition Culture: Politics and Practices of Museum Exhibitions, Anthropology Department, Columbia University. Spring 2011
  • Korean Society, Museum Anthropology, Women, Power, and the State in East Asia, The Korean Shaman Lens, Popular Religion in East Asian Society. Program in Anthropology, CUNY, 1995-present

Graduate Advisees

Graduate Committees

External Links