Joan R. Piggott came to USC as Gordon L. MacDonald Professor of History in 2003. Previously, she was Associate Professor of History at Cornell University.
Her focus is Pre-1600 Japan, with research interests including the monarchy and the regency, church-state relations, urbanism, family and gender, and the intersections of history and literature. Her book, The Emergence of Japanese Kingship (Stanford University Press, 1997), was winner of the 1998 Hiromi Arisawa Award. Other publications include Women in Three Premodern Confucian Societies; Capital and Countryside in Japan, 300-1180; Teishinkoki: What Did a Heian Regent Do? (co-edited with Prof. Sanae Yoshida); and Dictionary of Sources of Classical Japan (co-edited with an international and interdisciplinary team, including Ivo Smits, Ineke Van Put, Michel Vieillard-Baron, and Charlotte von Verschuer). She is currently working on a book concerning the capital (Heian) and its residents in the mid-eleventh century, based on her translation of the New Monkey Music (Shinsarugakuki) by Fujiwara Akihira (?-1066). She is a member of the Obe Estate Research Group and the Ritsuryo and Gender Research Group, both of which are at work on annotated translation projects.
She is Director of the Project for Premodern Japan Studies at USC, and co-teaches the summer Kambun Workshop.