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Faculty Bio

Williams, Leslie, Ph.D.

Williams, Leslie, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Japanese; Director of the L&IT Program

Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Leslie Williams (Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh) has been a member of the CU faculty since 1999. His primary research interests include Japanese pedagogy, Shintô ritual, pre-Meiji Japanese history, Taoist cosmology, and Taoist health maximization practices. He has presented numerous papers at national and international conferences and on two occasions has been designated an Outstanding Clemson Professor by the CU Student Government. He has coordinated and led six summer study abroad programs in Kyoto; in addition, he has placed and supervised a number of CU interns in companies in Japan. His forthcoming book is entitled, Japan Before Meiji: A Short Cultural History. Since May 2011, he has served as the Director of the L&IT major program.

Dr. Williams was a two-year Monbushô Graduate Research Scholar at Kyûshû University, received his M.A. in Anthropology and B.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from the Florida State University.

He also coordinates the Clemson University Study Abroad in Kyoto program. See this page for more information:

Selected Professional Works

Books (Published)

Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shinto Ritual at Hakozaki. Lanham: University Press of America, 2007.

Journal Articles & Book Chapters (Published)

Becoming One with the Dao: Meditation in the Daode jing and Dôgen. Journal of Daoist Studies, February 2014 (7) pp. 163-178.

A Unity of Pattern: Kami Ritual and the Cosmology of Folk Shintô. Journal of Ritual Studies 14:2 (2000) pp. 34-47.