- Ph.D. Anthropology, Harvard University, 1984
- M.A. Anthropology, Harvard University, 1982
- B.A. Anthropology, Pomona College, Claremont, 1975
Tenure Track Appointments
- Professor of Anthropology, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 06/01/1995 – 10/01/1995
- Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California, 09/01/1985 –
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 01/01/1984 – 09/01/1985
Visiting and Temporary Appointments
- Lee Kong Chian International Fellowship, Visiting Professorship at Stanford and the National University of Singapore, 2012-2013
- Visiting Researcher in Residence, Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, 2011-2012
- Visiting Scholar, Getty Research Institute, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, Ca., 2002-2003
- Visiting Researcher and Lecturer, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, Fall Spri
- Scholar Associate, Getty Research Institute, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, Ca., 1995-1996
- Visiting Scholar, Institute for Advanced Study,Princeton, 1990-1991
Summary Statement of Research Interests
Janet’s research interests are defined around several overlapping themes, each of which draws on a separate set of interdisciplinary connections : (1) indigenous representations of the past and of time, (2) the relation between gender, exchange and narrative, and (3) colonial and postcolonial theory, with specific reference to Caodaism, a new universal religion born in French Indochina in 1926. Her first book The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on Calendars, History and Exchange (winner of the 1996 Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies) was both an ethnographic study of the politics of time in an Eastern Indonesian society and a theoretical argument about alternate temporalities in the modern world. Based on more than three years of fieldwork with the Kodi people of Sumba, it examined indigenous calendars, historical narratives and new symbols of nationalist unity to show how a complex ancestral heritage has been changed in the contemporary context. Her second book, Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia (1996), continued this interest in history and anthropology by examining the reasons why headhunting rituals are still performed in the postcolonial era, several generations after pacification. These new instances suggest that headhunting is a powerful symbolic trope that resonates throughout the region, pitting a heritage of violent raids against new anxieties about domination by external political forces. Her third book Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of People’s Lives (1998) explores the relationship between persons and their possessions, and in particular the ways in which both men and women may choose to tell their own life histories by using a domestic object as a pivot for narrative articulation. It draws on the fields of gender studies, cultural studies, literary analysis and exchange theory, and opposes forms of biographic identification to the different forms of materialism in Western consumerism. Her fourth book, The Divine Eye and the Diaspora: Vietnamese Syncretism Becomes Transpacific Caodaism, looks at the changing historical contexts of a new millenarian religion that articulated an Asian synthesis of world religions in the context of anti-colonial resistance, the American war in Vietnam, and the post 1975 diaspora.
She has also edited, with Viet Thanh Nguyen, the 2014 book Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field, and has edited, with Thien-Huong Ninh, a special issue of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies on Globalizing Vietnamese Religion in 2017. Her most recent research, conducted with Nguyen Thi Hien, is about “Little Hanois and Little Saigons: Overseas Vietnamese Communities and Cold War Polarities”.
Visual Anthropology, Colonial and Postcolonial Theory, Transnational Religion, Ritual Performance, Indigenous Representations of the Past and of Time, Material Culture, Gender, Exchange, Narrative and Healing
Contracts and Grants Awarded
- Transpacific Studies: New Decade, New Directions, (Luce Foundation), Janet Hoskins $200,000, 2022-2023
- “Transpacific Studies: Building the Foundations for an Undisciplined Field of Inquiry”, (Luce Foundation, Asian Studies Division), Janet Hoskins $285,000, 2018-2021
- Little Hanois and Little Saigons: Religion and Politics in Vietnamese Diasporas, (Templeton Trust), Janet Hoskins $25,000, 2018-2019
- Transpacific Connections, Translocal imaginations, (Luce Foundation), Janet Hoskins $200,000, 2013-2014
- Religion on the Move: Crossing Borders, Setting Boundaries, (Henry Luce Foundation), Diane Winston $395,000, 2010-2011
- Vietnamese Indigenous Religions, (National Science Foundation), Janet Hoskins $28,000, 2009-2010
- Ethnic Resilience & Indigenous Religion, (National Science Foundation), Janet Hoskins $245,000, 2007-2010
- Vietnamese Indigenous Religion Finds A New Home In California, (California Council for the Humanities), Hoskins, Janet Alison $10,000, 2007-2008
- Caodai in California, Vietnam and Cambodia, (Pew Charitable Trusts), Janet Hoskins $2,500, 2004-2006
- Tourism, Television and Political Change in Indonesia, (WennerGren Foundation for Anthropological Research), Janet Hoskins $14,500, 2000-2001
- Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia, (National Endowment for the Humanities), Janet Hoskins $35,000, 1995-1996
- Ritual Communication in Eastern Indonesia, (National Science Foundation), Janet Hoskins $96,750, 1988-1989
- Hoskins, J. A. (2015). The Divine Eye and the Diaspora: Vietnamese Syncretism Becomes Transpacific Caodaism. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.
- Hoskins, J. A., Nguyen, V. T. (2014). Transpacific Studies: Framing an Emerging Field. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press.
- Hoskins, J. A., Valeri, V. (2001). Fragments from Forests and Libraries. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press.
- Hoskins, J. A., Feldman, M. (1999). The Space Between One Self and Another: Anthropology as a Search for Identity. Rome: Donizelli.
- Hoskins, J. A. (1998). Biographical Objects: How Things Tell the Stories of People’s Lives. London, UK / New York, NY: Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A. (1996). Headhunting and the Social Imagination in Southeast Asia. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (1994). The Play of Time: Kodi Perspectives on Calendars, History and Exchange. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2022). Race As a Religious Destiny: The Vietnamese as ‘God’s Chosen People’ in French Indochina. Imagined Racial Laboratories in Southeast Asia pp. 30. Leiden: Brill.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). Sumba Textiles in Textiles of Indonesia. Textiles of Indonesia pp. p. 389-428. Munich: Prestel (Penguin Random House).
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). “Preface” Viet Nam: Political History of the Two Wars. pp. 5-7. Paris, France: Nombre 7 Editions.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). Refugees in the Land of Awes: Vietnamese Arrivals and Departures. Refugees & Religion: Ethnographic Studies Global T pp. pp.87-104. London: Bloomsbury.
- Hoskins, J. A., Hien, N. T. (2020). Vietnamese Transnational Religions: The Cold War Polarities of Temples in “Little Hanois” and “Little Saigons”. Transnational Religious Spaces pp. pp. 183-209. Berlin: De Gruyter.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2018). What Makes Asian Migrants’ Religious Experience Asian?. Asian Migrants and Religious Experience pp. 303-314. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2017). “The Mirror of the Material: Things, Objects and What We See In Them” in Human Nature and Social Life, edited by Jon Ziegler Remme and Kenneth Sillander. Human Nature and Social Life pp. 41-53. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2015). “What is a Refugee Religion? Exile, Exodus and Emigration in the Vietnamese Diaspora” in Alexander Horstman and Jin-Heon Jung, eds. Building Noah’s Ark for Migrants, Refugees and Religious Communities. Building Noah’s Ark for Migrants, Refugees etc. pp. 23-44. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2014). The Spirits You See in the Mirror: Spirit Possession in the Vietnamese American Diaspora” in Jonathan Lee, ed. The Southeast Asian Diaspora in the United States. The Southeast Asian Diaspora in the United Stat pp. 73-100. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2014). Folklore as a Sacred Heritage: Vietnamese Indigenous Religions in California, in Jonathan Lee, ed. Asian American Identities and Practices: Folkloric Expressions in Everyday Life. pp. 185-198. New York, NY: Lexington Books (Rowman and Littlefield)..
- Hoskins, J. A. (2013). Trance Dancers or Interlocutors of the Immortals? Gender and Vietnamese Spirit Mediums in Contrasting Traditions” In Reassessing Ritual: Conference Proceedings,. Kyoto, Kansai: Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, in collaboration with the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore..
- Hoskins, J. A. (2012). “A Spirit Medium as Architect: Caodaism’s Visual Theology”. The Spirit of Things: Materiality & Diversity pp. p. 43-61. Ithaca, New York: Cornell Southeast Asian Studies Publications.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2012). Purity, Soul Food and Sunni Islam: Explorations at the Intersection of Consumption and Resistance. Taking Food Public: Redefining Food in Changing W pp. p. 175-195. New York, New York: Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2011). The Personal and Religious Imagination of the Caodai Leader Pham Cong Tac. Modernity and Dynamics of Tradition in Vietnam: An pp. 45 pages. Ho Chi Minh City: University of Social Sciences.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2009). “The Camera as Global Vampire? Tourism and Photography in Remote Areas” In David Picard, ed. The Framed World: Tourism, Tourists and Photography. pp. 24 pages. Hants, England: Ashgate Publishers .
- Hoskins, J. A. (2008). Can a Hierarchical Religion Survive Without Its Center? Caodaism, Colonialism and Exile in Hierarchy: Persistence and Transformation of Social Formations. Hierarchy pp. p. 113-141. London, England: Berghahn Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2008). From Kuan Yin to Joan Of Arc: Female Deities in the Caodai Pantheon In The Changing Faces of the Goddess in Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). In the Realm of the Indigo Queen; Dyeing, Exchange Magic and the Elusive Tourist Dollar on Sumba in What’s the Use of Art? Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context. pp. 141-175. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). La Biographie Visuelle des Objets: Photographies et tombes en Indonésia orientale in Octave Debary, ed. Objets et Mémoires. Objets et Mémoires pp. 139-152. Paris: Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). Who Owns a Life History? Scholars and Family Members in Dialogue in Southeast Asian Lives: Personal narratives and Historical Experience. pp. 88-124. Athens, Ohio and Singapore: Ohio University Press Southeast Asia Series.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2006). Agency, Objects and Biography. pp. 74-85. London, UK / New York, NY: Sage Handbook of Material Culture/Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A., Frank, G. (2006). Biography. pp. 287-291. London, UK: Encyclopedia of Sociology/Blackwells Publisher.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2006). Caodai Exile and Redemption: A New Vietnamese Religion’s Struggle for Identity in Religion and Social Justice for Immigrants. pp. 191-210. Rutgers, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2005). Calling on the Ancestors to Fight Crime: Reinvented Ritual in an Age of Intermittent Violence. pp. p. 131-153. London: Expressive Genres and Historical Change/Ashgate Publisher.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2005). Preface: Introduction to Caodaism. pp. p. 11-15. Redlands, California: Le Caodaisme: Theories des Trois Tresors et des Cinq Fluides/Chan Tam Publisher.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2005). Slaves, Brides and Other Gifts: Resistance, Marriage and Rank in Eastern Indonesia. pp. p. 109-127. London, UK / New York, NY: Slaves and Resistance in Africa and Asia/Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2004). Calendrical Rituals. pp. p. 65-71. London, UK / New York, NY: Encylopedia of Religon and Society: Religious Rites, Rituals and Festivals/Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2004). Matriarchy. pp. p. 1384-89. London, UK / New York, NY: Dictionary of the History of Ideas/Routledge.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2022). Spirit Possession in Buddhist Southeast Asia: Worlds Ever More Enchanted. The Asian Pacific Journal of Anthropology. pp. 2.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). Pure Land in the Making: Vietnamese Buddhism in the US Gulf South by Alison Truitt. Journal of Asian Studies.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2019). The New Way: Protestantism and the Hmong of Vietnam. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. pp. 4.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2017). Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam by Tine Gammeltoft. Social Analysis, Berghahn Books. pp. 127-142. PubMed Web Address
- Hoskins, J. A. (2015). Review of Sounding Out Heritage by Lauren Meeker. Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 195-198.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2010). The Keeper of the Kris. Anthropology Today (Royal Anthropological Society).
- Hoskins, J. A. (2006). Possessed by the Spirits: Mediumship in Contemporary Vietnamese. Journal of Vietnamese Studies. pp. 308-311.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2017). “Caodaism” in The World Religions and Spirituality Project. (David Bromley, Ed.). Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2017). Caodai California Temple in Garden Grove. Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press: Archipedia: Society of Architectural Historians. PubMed Web Address
- Hoskins, J. A. (2015). “Symbolism in Anthropology”. (Ulf Hannerz, Ed.).860-865. Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences. Vol. 23 New York, NY: Elsevier Publishing..
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). Caodaism in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. 23-25. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2022). Strange Company: Victor Hugo, the Saigon Flag and Santa Claus on Vietnamese altars. Asian Ethnology. pp. pp. 30.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). “Sumba Men’s Cloth: A Textile Masterpiece”. Hali: World Textile Art Magazine. Vol. 209, pp. p. 120-124.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). On Not Eating Onions or Grains: Conspicuous Non-Consumption in the new Vietnamese Religion of Caodaism. Food, Culture and Society. pp. p. 1-17.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). The Menstrual Hut and the Witch’s Lair. Art and the Ancestors. pp. p. 317-333.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2021). “A Palimpsest Theory of Objects: Comment”. Current Anthropology (University of Chicago).
- Hoskins, J. A. (2020). The Headhunter as Hero: Local Traditions and Their Reinterpretation in National History. Art and the Ancestors. Vol. 3 (November 27), pp. 18.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2020). On Losing and Getting a Head: Warfare, Exchange and Alliance in a Changing Sumba. Art and the Ancestors. Vol. 3 (June 25), pp. 18.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2019). So My Name Shall Live: Stone-Dragging and Grave-Building in Kodi, West Sumba. Art and the Ancestors. Vol. 2 (March 22, 2019), pp. 10.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2017). Sacralizing the Diaspora: Cosmopolitan and Originalist Indigenous Religions. Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Vol. 12 (2), pp. 106-138.
- Hoskins, J. A., Ninh, T. H. (2017). Introduction: Globalizing Vietnamese Religions. Journal of Vietnamese Studies. Vol. 12 (2), pp. 1-19.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2016). Configurations of Religion: A Debate. Dorisea Working Paper Special Issue. Vol. 24 (Special Issue), pp. p. 42-59.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2016). “Symposium on The Divine Eye and the Diaspora: Author’s Response to Review Essays by Hue-Tam Ho Tai and Justin McDaniel”. Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues In Southeast Asia. Vol. 31 (1)
- Hoskins, J. A. (2015). “An Unjealous God? Christian Elements in a Vietnamese Syncretistic Religion” in Joel Robbins and Naomi Haynes, eds. Current Anthropology. Special Issue on the Anthropology of Christianity. Current Anthropology. Vol. 55 (Supplement 10), pp. S302-311.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2014). “From Colonial Syncretism to Transpacific Diaspora: Re-Orienting Caodaism from Vietnam to California”. DORISEA Working Paper Series, The German Consortium for Research on Southeast Asia DORISEA Working Paper Series. Vol. 1 (7), pp. 25.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2014). An Unjealous God? Christian Elements in a Vietnamese Syncretistic Religion. CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY. Vol. 55, pp. S302-S311.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2012). L’immagiazione personale e teologica di Pham Cong Tac”. Annuario di Antropologia, special issue om Biografia e Etnologia. Vol. 9 (4), pp. pp. 147-176.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2012). God’s Chosen People: Race, Religion and Anti-Colonial Resistance in French Indochina”. Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Vol. N. 189 (ARI Working Paper Series), pp. 25 pages.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2012). A Posthumous Return from Exile: The Legacy of An Anticolonial Religious Leader In Today’s Vietnam. Southeast Asian Studies. Vol. 1 (2), pp. p. 213-246..
- Hoskins, J. A. (2011). What are Vietnam’s Indigenous Religions?. Newsletter of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. Vol. 64, pp. 3-7.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2011). Diaspora as Religious Doctrine: “The Apostle of Vietnamese Nationalism” Comes to California. Journal of Vietnamese Studies (University of California). Vol. 4 (1), pp. 45-86.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2010). Seeing Syncretism as Visual Blasphemy: Critical Eyes on Caodai Religious Architecture. Material Religion/Berg Publishers. Vol. 6 (1), pp. 30-59.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2010). Derrièrre le voile de l’oeil céleste: Le rôle des apparitions dans l’expansion du Caodaïsme”,. Péninsule: Etudes Interdisciplinaires sur l’Asie du Sud- Est Péninsulaire. Vol. 56 (2), pp. 211-249.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2009). “When the Sun Rises: A Toraja Priest”. Visual Anthropology. Vol. 22 (2 & 3), pp. 242-244.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). Postcard from the Edge of Empire: Images and Messages from French Indochina in Colonial Photographies. International Institute for Asian Studies. Vol. 44, pp. 16-17.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2007). Gendering Religious Objects: Placing Them as Agents in Matrices of Power. Material Religion/Berg Publishers. Vol. Volume 3 (No. 2.), pp. 112-121.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2004). Slaves, Brides and Other Gifts: Resistance, Marriage and Rank in Eastern Indonesia. Slavery and Abolition/Routledge. Vol. Vol. 25 (No. 2), pp. August , Pp. 1-18.
- Hoskins, J. A., Rouse, C. (2004). Purity, Soul Food and Sunni Islam: Explorations at the Intersection of Consumption and Resistance . Cultural Anthropology. Vol. Vol.19, pp. Issue 2.
- Hoskins, J. A. (2002). Predatory Voyeurs: Tourists and Tribal Violence in Remote Indonesia. American Ethnologist/American Anthropological Association. Vol. Volume 29, pp. number 4.
- HOSKINS, J. A. (1985). A LIFE-HISTORY FROM BOTH SIDES – THE CHANGING POETICS OF PERSONAL-EXPERIENCE. JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH. Vol. 41 (2), pp. 147-169.
- Feast in Dream Village, Ethnographic Documentary based on a decade of field research in Eastern Indonesia, 1989-1990
- Horses of Life and Death, Ethnographic Documentary based on a decade of field research in Eastern Indonesia, 1992-1993
- The Left Eye of God: Caodaism Travels from Vietnam, Ethnographic documentary based research in Vietnam and California, 2008-2009
- USC Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Recognition Award, Phi Kappa Phi Faculty award for the book Divine Eye and the Diaspora, Spring 2017
- Lee Kong Chian Fellowship to Stanford and the National University of Singapore, 2012-2013
- President of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, 2012-2013
- National Science Foundation Research Grant to Vietnam, 2008-2010
- Documentary Educational Resources to distribute three films, 2008-2009
- Documentary selected for Vietnamese International Film Festival, 2008-2009
- Residency at the Getty Center for Humanities and Arts, Getty Scholar, Getty Research Institute, 2002/09-2003/06
- National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for university professors, 1995/09-1996/06
- Recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Harry J. Benda Prize for best book in Southeast Asian Studies, awarded by the Association for Asian Studies, 1996/03
- Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Research Scholar , 1990/09-1991/06
- National Science Foundation Grant to Indonesia, 1988-1989
- Fulbright Award, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1987/09-1988/08
- American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship Recipient, Social Science Research Council Fellowship, 1979/09-1981/06
- Graduate Advisor for Anthropology, 2021-2022
- Director, Center for Transpacific Studies, 2020-2021
- Chair of the Anthropology Department, 2019-2020
- Co-founder (with Viet Thanh Nguyen) Center for Transpacific Studies, 2010-2011
- Advisory Board, Center for Religion and Civic Culture, 2009-2010
- Committee on Academic Planning and Teaching (Globalization), 2009-2010
- Faculty Advisor, Archipelagics, USC , 2023-2024
- Faculty Advisor, Transpacifics: A Symposium on New Research, USC, 2019-2020
- Organizer, Transpacific Re-Orientations: Religion, Spirituality and the Invisible Connections Between Asia and the Americas, USC — Center for International Studies, 2014-2015
- President, Society for the Anthropology of Religion, , 11/10/2011 – 11/14/2013
- Organizer, Religious Syncretisms and Synergies, Pasadena, California, 04/11/2013 – 04/14/2013
- Organizer, Invisible Connections between Asia and the West: Syncretism and Esotericism , Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, 01/10/2013 – 01/11/2013
- Co-organizer (with Viet Nguyen), Transpacific Studies: Homelands, Diasporas and the Movement of Populations, USC, 2009-2010
- Organizer (with Nancy Lutkehaus and Gary Seaman), Cultural Dimensions of Visual Ethnography: U.S.-China Dialogues, USC, 2009-2010
Editorships and Editorial Boards
- Editorial Board, Global Journal of Anthropology Research”, 2015-2016
- Editorial Board, Visual Ethnography”, 2012-2013
- Editorial Board, American Ethnologist”, 2007-2008
- Editorial Board, Journal of Material Culture”, 2007-2008
- Editorial Board, Journal of Religious History”, 2007-2008
- American Anthropological Association, 2018-2019
- Association for Asian Studies, 2018-2019
- Vietnam Studies Group, 2018-2019
- President , Society for the Anthropology of Religion, American Anthropological Association”, 2010-2013