Alexandra Kaloyanides

Alexandra Kaloyanides

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director
Religious Studies

Alexandra Kaloyanides (B.A., Barnard College of Columbia University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa; M.A. and M.Phil., Religious Studies, Yale University; Ph.D., Religious Studies, Yale University; Postdoctoral Scholar, Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Stanford University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where her teaching focuses on Buddhism. She researches Burmese religions and American religious history. Her first book is Baptizing Burma: Religious Change in the Last Buddhist Kingdom (Columbia University Press 2023, winner of the Claremont Prize for the Study of Religion from the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University). It examines the religious history and material culture of the nineteenth-century American Baptist mission to Burma.

Her new book project, “Resourcing Religion: Burmese Religions and the Environment,” explores the ways that Burmese kingdoms extracted resources like rubies, jade, and teak to develop a distinct form of Buddhism. It is inspired by an exhibition she contributed to at the British Museum: Burma to Myanmar, which ran from November 2023–February 2024, and it is currently being funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Dr. Kaloyanides serves as Associate Editor of Material Religion, served as Managing Editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and served as editor of the Asian Traditions section of Marginalia Review of Books, a Los Angeles Review of Books Channel. Her writing has appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Religion, MAVCOR Journal, Material Religion, Journal of Global Buddhism, Church History, Journal of Burma Studies, Religions, Asian Ethnology, the Religious Studies Review, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and Marginalia Review of Books.

For podcast interviews with her about her scholarship, see “When the Baptists came to Burma,” an episode of Tricycle Talks, “Baptizing Burma and Religious Change” and “Baptists & Buddhists in the 19th Century,” from Myanmar Musings, and “A Sacred Struggle,” from Insight Myanmar.

Her articles include:

  • “The Flower, then the Sword: The Militarisation of Burma’s most Beautiful Book, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 54:3 (2023)
  • “An Abundance of Riches,” in Burma to Myanmar, edited by Alexandra Green, British Museum Press, 22–47 (2023)
  • “Characterizing Material Economies of Religion in the Americas,” a special issue co-curated with Kati Curts, MAVCOR Journal, 6:3 (2022)
  • “The Saintliness of Being Smart,” From Jetavana to Jerusalem: Sacred Biography in Asian Perspectives and Beyond, Glorisun Global Network (2022)
  • “New Decade, New Directions: Advancing the Study of Southeast Asian Religions,” SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 36:3 (2021)
  • “‘Intercultural Mimesis,’ Empire, and Spirits,” Journal of Global Buddhism, 22:1 (2021)
  • “New Roads in Theravada Buddhist Studies,” co-written with Trent Walker, Journal of Global Buddhism, 22:1 (2021)
  • “Peering into Prisons, Gazing upon Graves: Early U.S. Missionary Media from Burma,” Material Religion, 17:2 (2021)
  • “Buddhist Teak and British Rifles: Religious Economics in Burma’s Last Kingdom,” Journal of Burma Studies (2020)
  • “’Show Us Your God’: Marilla Baker Ingalls and the Power of Religious Objects in Nineteenth-Century Burma,” Religions (2016)
  • “America’s God and the World: Questioning the Protestant Consensus,” Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture (2015)