Kaitlyn Ugoretz

Kaitlyn Ugoretz

Specialization: Religion in Japan, Digital Religion, Popular Culture

Office: HSSB 2257

Office Hours: 12:30-1:30 TW (Zoom by appt)
Office Hours Time Period: Summer Session A (2022)

Personal Website: http://www.ugoretzresearch.org

Curriculum Vitae: Download

Research Interests

Kaitlyn specializes in contemporary Japanese religion, online sociality, popular culture, and new media studies. Her research focuses specifically on the globalization and digitization of Shinto. In her digital ethnographic study of online Shinto communities, she investigates what interests and media are involved in the production and reproduction of particular knowledges of Shinto.

Kaitlyn is also the host of the educational YouTube channel, Eat Pray Anime. Subscribe to explore thousands of years of Japanese religion and history through your favorite pop culture products!

You can learn more about Kaitlyn’s research at her personal website (www.ugoretzresearch.org) and her netnographic interactive research website (NIRWeb) (www.digitalshinto.com).


Dr. Fabio Rambelli, EALCS and RGST
Dr. ann-elise lewallen, EALCS
Dr. Elizabeth Perez, RGST

Academic History

    • M.A. East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania
      • Thesis: “Inscribing Femininity: Representations of Women in Early Premodern Chinese Orthography”
      • Advisor: Dr. Victor H. Mair
    • B.A. East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania

Recent Publications

Conference Papers

      • “Invisible Appetites: Exploring the Influence of the Facebook Algorithm on Online Shinto Community Feeds,” Religion, Technology, and Artificial Intelligence in East Asia 12th International Convention of Asia Scholars, Kyoto, Japan (cancelled due to COVID-19).
      • “Hacking Fieldnotes: Using Scrible to Study Online Communities,” Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 2021.
      • “Applying Patchwork Ethnography to Research in Contemporary Japan: A Roundtable on Positionality, Networks, and ‘Piecing Together’ One’s Field,” Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill, Jan 2021.
      • “Altared Ontologies: Sacred Anxieties in the Glocalization of Shinto Traditions,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference: Boston, MA. Nov. 2020.
      • “Drawing on Shinto? Online Shinto Communities’ Responses to the Religious in Hayao Miyazaki’s Anime,” American Academy of Religion Annual Conference: San Diego, CA. Nov. 2019.
      • “Domesticating Shinto: Materialities of Kami Worship Beyond Japan.” 3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, “Myth, Management, and Materiality,” University of Pennsylvania. Apr. 2018.
      • “World-Wide Shinto: Inventing a Global, Digital Religious Community.” New York Conference on Asian Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology, September 22, 2018.
      • “What is Indigeneity?: Questioning the Narrative Roots of Shinto.” What Isn’t Shinto? Symposium, University of Pennsylvania. Sept. 2016.

Teaching Experience

      • Spring 2019: TA, “EACS 4B: East Asian Traditions–Modern”
      • Winter 2019: TA, “EACS 4A: East Asian Traditions–Premodern”
      • Fall 2018: TA, “JAPAN 17: Imagining the Samurai”
      • Spring 2018: TA, “EACS 4B: East Asian Traditions–Modern”
      • Winter 2018: Reader, “JAPAN 162: Representations of Sexuality in Modern Japan”
      • Summer 2017: Academic Intern, Japanese Instruction, Keio Academy of New York Summer Program
      • 2013-2017: Critical Writing TA, Center for Programs in Critical Writing, University of Pennsylvania


    • 2021: Wilbur M. Fridell Memorial Award for the Study of Japanese Religions
    • 2021: Sacred Writes Public Scholarship Fellowship
    • 2021: Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Graduate Collaborative Award, GAMING + Project
    • 2021: Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
    • 2020: Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship
    • 2020: GSA Excellence in Teaching Award
    • 2020: Japan Foundation/UCSB Graduate Division Research Accelerator Award
    • 2017: Phi Beta Kappa Thesis Prize, “Inscribing Femininity: Representations of Women in Early Premodern Chinese Orthography”
    • 2015: Fox Leadership International US-China PEACE Fellow
    • 2014: QuestBridge National College Match Finalist
    • 2011: National Security Language Initiative for Youth, China: Shanghai