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Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

J. W. Traphagan is an anthropologist and professor emeritus of Religious Studies and in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations at the University of Texas at Austin and a visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo. He’s published nine books and numerous articles in scientific journals. His two most recent books are the ethnographic mystery novel The Blood of Gutoku and his anthropological memoir Embracing Uncertainty: Future Jazz, That 13th Century Buddhist Monk, and the Invention of Cultures.


  • 2015–present
    Visiting Professor, Waseda University
  • 2001–present
    Professor, University of Texas at Austin


  • 1997 
    University of Pittsburgh, PhD Anthropology
  • 1986 
    Yale University, MAR Social Ethics
  • 1983 
    University of Massachusetts Lowell, BA Political Science

Professional Memberships

  • Sigma Xi


Fulbright Scholar